Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Be Fluid

Do you ever notice the conflicts of the season--the warm lights and the chilly snowman, the happy decorations and the melancholy Christmas carols, the celebration of the birth of Jesus and the mass-marketing of the holiday to consumers?  It seems Christmas can be whatever it wants to be to whomever.  It's sort of a make-your-own holiday, I guess.

While I love certain traditions, I firmly believe in mixing in some unique, some out of the ordinary as well.  I like staying home with my immediate family on Christmas Day, but I also like visiting with the extended family and friends over the holiday season.  Nothing is set in stone with me--I don't have to do this on that day or expect something to be the same because "that's the way we have always done it"--I just think that sets you up for stress.  I think when you are hell-bent on tradition to the point of no room for change, it just limits you....and your holidays.

With this ever-changing world and definition of "family," I firmly believe in staying fluid.  I don't want to set up expectations for those around me so that I'm disappointed or hurt if I don't see so-and-so on the 24th or the 25th.  My thinking is who cares what actual day it is on the calendar?  Why not celebrate your Christmas on the 13th if that is the day you can be together?  And it's okay if we can't get together during the holidays this year either.  All of that is just stuff that stress is made of.

Life is conflicting enough, don't you think? I mean, we have to make decisions each day as to what works best for us, and the holidays just seem to exacerbate the situation.  I have a friend who is frustrated by the demands her family places on her, and she ends up saying "Merry effing Christmas" every year--half-joking...half-not.

Let's not stress each other out....nor ourselves. Be flexible in your plans and with those you love.  Accept the conflicts of the season and go with the flow....it's the only way to survive and enjoy. 







20 comments:

Marg said...

I do like the way you think. Those are my feelings too. Hope it all works out for you and your family.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Yes, we've often done the family Christmas on a different day so everyone can participate. It's still just as fulfilling in my opinion.

Grace said...

And for those of us who ignore the whole thing - no stress at all!

vanilla said...

In few words, liberate yourself to truly enjoy the season. Our "family" Christmas was last Sunday, and if we don't see any of the kids again this year, well, good enough. They have lives to live, too.

Patty Woodland said...

Hell, I don't even have a religion and I celebrate Christmas so talk about fluid.....

Secondary Roads said...

Like Vanilla, our immediate family Christmas observance was last Sunday. The church Christmas program was that same day. Come Saturday, we'll be with Sylvia's family.

Interesting note: I misspelled Christmas above. Auto-correct suggested "Masochist." Is there a message in that?

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Dear HR Lady, Yeah right!

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Indeed!
We all need to be less stressed at the holidays!

Have a lovely week!

Mimi
The Goat Borrower

BeadedTail said...

If I ever get the cards in the mail I'll be stress free! We just celebrate with the two of us and our two kitties so the stress is getting everything done and mailed to everyone else.

Candy C. said...

Well said Lin! Too often people get caught up in the family "traditions" and lose sight of what the spirit of the day is all about.

Ann said...

How did it ever get to the point where such a warm and joyous season turned in to mass chaos and stress. I like your line of thinking

Debbie said...

Spending a few days away from home was so fun and definitely relaxing! I always wonder how Christmas got so commercial, and was it always this way?!

Lin said...

Marg--I think we have to be kind to ourselves, first and foremost in these crazy times. Life is full of stress, you know?

Lisa--I think it's better to spread it all out--easier on the kids, you know? I found my kids enjoyed it more when it wasn't all crammed into one day.

Grace--Oh, you don't ignore the whole thing....you love those cards, Grace!

Vanilla--I like your thinking. I hope I'm like that too--that I remember they have places to go too. I try to think that way now.

Patty--I think Christmas is more than just religion--it's about love and kindness and remembering what is important. :)

Chuck--Oh my gosh, that darn autocorrect. Even that is against Christmas??? Why did I know you would be fluid about it all? :)

Jerry--And let's keep the morale up, Fish!

Mimi--I know that I have to make an effort to not get crabby and stressed. But, it's all worth it to just enjoy the day. Gotta let a lot of things roll, you know?

Beaded Tail--I like a quiet Christmas day. I do. I like that we don't have to be anywhere doing anything....at least just that one day of the year! (I got my cards out yesterday!)

Candy--I think it's bad to be stuck in too much tradition because things change--lives change, people die or move away. It's hard enough to have changes in life without having to have your "traditions" change too. I like to be fluid because I want the kids to know that it's okay if they can't be here..or there...or wherever. We do what we can.

Ann--I think there is too much expected of us ALL the time. I don't want to stress my family out thinking that they HAVE to do this or HAVE to do that. Just enjoy, I say!

Debbie--I think it is getting worse, don't you? I'm sick of Christmas starting in October--all for the almighty dollar. I think that is why I wait to put my tree up or turn on the outside lights until the last minute. It's more fun to anticipate!

Hot Rocks said...

I totally agree, Lin! There was a point a few years ago, where we had so many "traditions", that I was super stressed and too tired to fit them all in, and I was just not enjoying it anymore. I told my husband to pick a few traditions, and go with those, and not try to do it all. Christmas been so much better, and more relaxing and enjoyable since then.

Hot Rocks said...

I totally agree, Lin! There was a point a few years ago, where we had so many "traditions", that I was super stressed and too tired to fit them all in, and I was just not enjoying it anymore. I told my husband to pick a few traditions, and go with those, and not try to do it all. Christmas been so much better, and more relaxing and enjoyable since then.

Nancy said...

Ugh, so true!!!

Anne Albanese said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Small Town Mommy said...

I used to be so tightly wound for the holidays but have since learned to relax. I had to because my husband's family is just bizarre. If I was worried about having the perfect Christmas I would be disappointed every year.

Sharkbytes said...

OK, this is try #2. I guess blogger doesn't like me tonight. I think you've got it just right. Flexible is required, and you said it well.

Veronica Lee said...

It's the Chinese New Year that stresses me out with all the traditions imposed by my very traditional MIL.

You are so right, pally!