I don’t hate Christmas. I just can’t stand everything that I’m told makes the holiday what it is.
One of those things is spending Christmas with family.
Can that be an answer? Can I say no?
Holidays are the worst times to spend with family. I don’t like meeting with people just because deeply embedded in our society is the assumption that I’m supposed to. Some people don’t like their family, but that’s not where I am about it. I’d just rather not because I prefer the company of my cat and my thoughts.
For starters, I have too much family. I’ve been alive for two decades and I’m still meeting family I never knew I had. Figuring out who I’m going to spend Christmas with this year and next year and, “Hey! You already spent Thanksgiving with those people! WHY DO YOU HATE US???” It’s just too much. It’s like bidding on the Olympics. I get a barrage of calls and texts starting right after Halloween from various family members asking me what I’m doing with my life for the holidays. I never know, because I don’t plan my future any further than tomorrow most of the time. So it becomes a battle of the most persistent throughout the month until I sort my life. And it’s apparently never the right decision because someone is always disappointed I didn’t make it to their dinner table. Well sorry. If I had it my way, you would all be equally upset and I would be by myself, but this world is far from perfect. So bear with me. But preferably without me.
On top of having so much family, did I mention they’re not all in the same place? It’d be great to spend Christmas and other holidays hopping from house to house, eating grub, collecting leftovers, giving hugs, rolling out. That’d be great. But I have family in:
Philadelphia, NYC, Upstate NY, Southern California, Northern California, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Albany(the one in Georgia. Yeah, that’s a thing), Tampa, Chicago, Virginia, Arizona
And that’s just the family I know. And most of them I only know but so well..
I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve moved quite a lot of times throughout my life. As a result, I’m not necessarily close to anyone, because I was gone most of the time, and keeping in touch wasn’t always an option. Nor was I very good at it anyway. So Christmas, Thanksgiving, whatever holidays, I’m usually a borderline stranger, with people not having seen me since I was a small child. Conversation topics are limited to old memories I can barely recall, questions on what I’m doing now, and recaps of what I’ve missed over the past decade. Basically, everything I don’t want to talk about. That is, if I’m recognized at all. Otherwise my identity turns into a game of charades.
“You know who her mom is! Jennifer! You know Jennifer. Jenny? Jen?!”
“We all went on that trip to the store that one time and bought…things?”
“She went to kindergarten with cousin Frankie? Oh, you know her!”
Or hey, let’s just forget about me. What about Jesus though? He’s why we’re here, let’s talk about that guy.
Or I’m asked if I remember relatives.
I don’t. I almost never do. But I also don’t remember where I put my chapstick, and it was literally in my hand an hour ago. Why do you ask this question? I never know what to do. Do I lie? Do you want me to lie? Will you be happy if I say I remember you? And if I say no? No, otherwise known as the truth you are already aware of but refuse to accept? Do you enjoy rejection or something? Do you live to make me struggle through conversation? Just, gah don’t ask me if I remember you! It’s a lose-lose situation and who needs that stress in their life? Not me! That’s why I’m working on Christmas. And I couldn’t be happier.