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*Sigh* Christmas is changing for me...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm sad about Christmas this year. Well, I guess it really started last year...

We've always had a very special family evening on Christmas Eve in my family. We have a wonderful dinner, which includes the family tradition of Oyster Stew, and then exchanging presents and opening them one by one to share in the fun of everyone's gifts. It's really a special night for me, and one I look forward to all year, and ever since my sister married this husband (who I don't particularly care for, but that's another post...) this is the only time in the year that I see her.

Last year Earl insisted that we go back to Illinois to spend Christmas with his family. It was the first time ever in my life I wasn't with my own family. As if that wasn't depressing enough, his family did next to nothing for Christmas so I felt doubly depressed for having missed the special time with my family.

This year, Earl started in early about Christmas at my sister's house (it was moved there after Mom passed away, and Earl doesn't like the BIL either), and about them making concessions to make it easier for us. OK, there goes that tradition of dinner then gifts. Fine, I talked with my father and we changed arrangements to do that. Then I talked with my father this weekend about Christmas Eve when he told me that my sister was having other guests over on Christmas Eve. I guess the whole "family" thing just got thrown out the window too. If I wanted to go to a party, I could go to a bar to spend the evening with people I don't even know.

I'm just getting pretty down and depressed about the whole thing. It's like the last decent Christmas was 2 years ago, and that's it. I just want our traditions to carry on, and not be lost. But I think it's just too late for that.

Am I being horribly selfish about all this? Part of me doesn't even care if I am.

As you all grew up and moved on with your lives, did you have to face this type of reality that Christmas just couldn't be magical anymore? It was magical for 30 years, I just don't understand how that can just be thrown away like this...
post #2 of 20
{{HUGS}} Darlin', 'cause I think you could use a couple right about now. No, I don't think you're being selfish in the least, of course, I'm the one who hates for things like this to change! I do still enjoy Christmas, but it stopped being magical for me several years ago, when I knew every gift I was going to get 'cause I picked them out!
post #3 of 20
I love old Christmas Traditions!! They're a must! Some of them, I have kept, moving on through life, but I've developed new ones for my life with Jason If there is one day a year for tradition, it's christmas. I'm sorry that yours is falling flat this year . I hope things turn out for the best though... :/
post #4 of 20
Nope.... Heidi I also dont think that you are being selfish. Not the slightest bit. I also used to think that Christmas was magical.... Back, when I was a kid I loved Christmas. Couldn't get enough of it. But now... As I grow older, it has lost some of its magic. I dont know how to get the magic back.
post #5 of 20
Aw Heidi, I'm sorry to hear this and no you are not being selfish at all. Hugs sweetie.
post #6 of 20
If you've grown up with special traditions around Christmas, it's very hard to find them changing.

It was hard enough for me when those changes started happening -- and that was because of changes in MY life: moving west, new circle of friends, and later on Rob coming into my life, etc. I still enjoy Christmas, but I don't get into it in the same way, or anything like as early, as I used to, because most of the "traditional" aspect is gone and what's not gone is from Rob's family, not mine, and it's harder to latch onto the spirit now.

But it's even harder to accept change when it's not your own idea. I don't think you're being selfish, and I certainly understand your feeling of sadness. The magic is in the traditions, and the child within doesn't want to let go of the magic -- even a little bit. SIGH!

It won't ever be the same once those changes start happening, but that doesn't mean it won't be lovely. It'll take a few Christmases for you to find a new rhythm, that will build a new tradition, and perhaps bring with it a new magic. Meanwhile,
post #7 of 20
We do oyster stew on Christmas Eve too and no, I don't think it's selfish of you. Can't you do your normal family tradition every other year and then what Earl wants on the opposite years? That way you both get equal time with your family traditions.
post #8 of 20
I don't think there is anything selfish about your post at all.

For me, the magic has stayed because I so love giving presents (and I do still get excited about receiving them)...though DH and I live thousands of miles from my family, and though family has been an important part of that "magic", I've kept certain traditions going for us, and I delight in trying to have Christmas be wonderful for my DH.

As a Christian, there could be no presents, and I think I'd still delight in the wonder of what Christmas is truly about..that is the most precious gift of the season.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by TTMom
We do oyster stew on Christmas Eve too and no, I don't think it's selfish of you. Can't you do your normal family tradition every other year and then what Earl wants on the opposite years? That way you both get equal time with your family traditions.
OMG Ericka!! I've never known anyone else who does oyster stew on Christmas Eve!!

After last year, even Earl said that he liked Christmas with my family better than his, so we won't be doing that again. It's not really the time change that bothers me about this year, as much as inviting their friends over. It's supposed to be about family, not their buddies. And especially since I only see my sister once a year now, and I haven't seen her in 2 years this time, I would have like to have been able to spend what time we do have with HER, not some people I don't know.

Thanks for the hugs everyone, and the reassurances. It helps, really it does. I still hold out hope for a good Christmas, but it's hard right now...
post #10 of 20
Try not to mourn the past and enjoy what time you get to spend with your family this year. It's not selfish to want things to stay the same. The problem is, life just doesn't.

Communicate with your sister. Tell her how much the older traditions meant to you and why they meant so much. See if you both can incorporate some, if not all, once again.

post #11 of 20
My boyfriend doesn't get along with my family, so we came to an agreement. Since we see each other just about everyday, we spend the holiday with our respective families and celebrate with each other when we get home. That way, we get our family time, and he doesn't have to be uncomfortable hanging out with my parents. It helps that our families live nearby, but the idea is that we see each other so often that it's okay not to spend all day Christmas together.
post #12 of 20
I am sorry that you are so down I hope everyone comes around again but if not...welll....maybe you could start a new tradition???
post #13 of 20
Oh yes...magical...that was once upon a time. Having Christmas divided among 3 families is very crazy for me. I love Christmas time--but seems to be stressful at times.

I did enjoy spending Christmas with my father, stepmother and sisters yesterday. But, I could tell he was dissapointed in me not being there on Christmas day as I was doing that for 13 years before 2002.

Things do change, unfortunately. But, we have the opportunity to start new traditions.

Merry Christmas Heidi! I hope you find the tradition again or a new one that you can start for you and your husband!
post #14 of 20
Well I gotta tell you, the older I get, the more and more I dread Christmas. How I long for those days years ago when I was a child without a care in the world, I had my whole family together, and the excitement of the Santa Claus thing.....those were the days. It has now become to for me gifts we really can't afford to give, food I definitely shouldn't be eating, etc. I know it has gotten worse since Dad died in 2003. How he enjoyed the holidays........but I guess i have to think about the good things in my life and thank God for those things......
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kittylover4ever
Well I gotta tell you, the older I get, the more and more I dread Christmas. How I long for those days years ago when I was a child without a care in the world, I had my whole family together, and the excitement of the Santa Claus thing.....those were the days. It has now become to for me gifts we really can't afford to give, food I definitely shouldn't be eating, etc. I know it has gotten worse since Dad died in 2003. How he enjoyed the holidays........but I guess i have to think about the good things in my life and thank God for those things......
Susie...I do understand where you are coming from with your Dad. Mom passed on in 2000, and she adored Christmas. It was really hard the first year, and I still see so many things that I think "Oh, Mom would love that for Christmas!"

I don't know...maybe it's that it has been almost 5 years since Mom passed, and now my sister thinks it's time to move on beyond what Mom always did? I guess I just don't want to move beyond what Mom did...
post #16 of 20
This will be the 2nd year I refuse to go to my family's traditional Christmas get-together.
Last year I didn't go because my sister's brat kid who is beyond the imagination of most of us here. Her daughter now has 3 kids and they are being raised basically the same way, with absolutely no discipline except for screaming at them, and vice-versa.
This year I have just ex-communicated with my whole family. Although I do talk to my youngest sister some. No Mom, no Dad, (yes, they are alive) no other 5 sisters, and my brother just doesn't come around much anywhere anyway.
After the fight over the summer about Mom's possessions, and who gets what, I have not talked to her, or anyone and I do not intend to.
I have my own family now, and Jeff's family. They are actually a nice bunch of people who would never utter a word of hatred or do anything intentionally to hurt the others. I don't think I even miss them to tell the truth. Mom & Dad were too busy to notice me most of the time anyway. It's as if they were never there anyway.
I'm sorry if I sound bitter, but maybe they have left a very bitter taste in my mouth and I feel no need for another bite!
post #17 of 20
aw Heidi, I wish i got to have experience the same magical moments but wth my family.
The only time i enjoyed xmas was when i was at my friends family place. I didnt feel out of place they welcomed me as if i were their own except i didnt get presents and it didnt matter because i was so happy just to have a great lunch and dinner with them.
I dont think you are selfish, there must be a reason why she is inviting her friends over.
I hope i get to start a great tradition.. Maybe not with the oyster stew but something similar
post #18 of 20
Wow, I can relate Heidi!

As you know, both my grandmother and father passed away when I was 16. We were a small family that even became smaller after that. Christmas was not the same since we mourned their deaths and felt the family traditions were over. My dad was the center of our family and once he passed away everything around us fell apart.

When I met Rob I 'tried' to do Christmas. I still didn't enjoy the days because I also wished for magical moments and memories from the past. Even up until last year, I was unemployed and seriously not into the season. I even avoided the family get together because of the pity I had for myself and wanting what I could never have again.

This year, things are totally different. I'm not wishing of years past or how much I regret that certain family members are not here anymore. I am realizing that life will change and it's time that I start living and making the holidays what I want them to be. I will not waste anymore time on negative emotions or things I cannot change. I will start being grateful for every moment I have with the people who are currently in my life and spending time doing the things that I enjoy about this season. I now make new memories instead of the old memories running my life.

Life is way too short to wish for things of the past. Instead, one could spend those moments making today better and more memorable. Each positive action you take in your life today will only help make you more satisfied in the days to come.

Cherish the past, but live for the here and now chikk.
post #19 of 20
I wanted to reply to your post Heidi, because I've had a lot of changes occur in my life around the holidays, but have always managed to find the magic regardless.

You HAVE to make your own traditions! This is key. Even if you must oblige to family, there are lots of things you can do to create new traditions to enjoy.

For example, many years ago I used to go to my grandmothers on x-mas. All my mother's extended family would be there and we'd have the traditional dinner and x-mas presents afterwards.

But when I got married and we would only get to see my stepson on x-mas eve, my in-laws house became the more important place we had to go (since they are my stepsons grandparents). I encouraged my in-laws to try some new traditions (like lets all sit around after dinner and open our gifts one by one).

In the meantime, we decided we would invite my grandmother over on x-mas day and make that part of OUR tradition.

Then a few years ago my grandmother passed away.

Now what we do is we get my mother's extended family together 1 or 2 weeks AFTER x-mas. We do gifts and dinner just like we would on x-mas eve! It's great... an excuse to keep the tree up longer. Takes the pressure off to get shopping done by x-mas eve. It still FEELS like x-mas cause it's close enough to the holidays and we get to do OUR family tradition regardless of scheduling conflicts that typically occur x-mas eve and x-mas day!

Another big thing for me is decorating the tree. We've made this a very special day with my immediate family. My husband and kids, and my mom always go to an x-mas movie, come home and decorate the tree, and have a special dinner. It's become OUR own tradition and I love it.

And just two years ago we started another one that I hope will continue at least for the next few years. We find a day during the holidays, often the weekend after x-mas, and go to see x-mas lights with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. We make a day of it. Dinner together and then trekking out to see the lights. Last year we went to botanical gardens and saw the x-mas train show. Year before the bronx zoo x-mas light exhibit. Year before that Jone's beach and their x-mas light show.

So make your own hon! It can be fun to find new things to do, and you can make them all your own. Talk to Earl about this and how it's important to you. Holidays are everything we make them to be, so if you want magic, create it!
post #20 of 20
I'm sorry you are feeling down I know how you feel it all changed for me when my Nanna died when I was 12 and it has not been the same since and 2 years ago my mother in law died and that put another spaner in the works and we are still haveing a hard time trying to get the so called Christmas spirit going but on a happyer note you do find other ways to get through when you have to we have 4 kids all grown up now but when they were little we made it special for them and now we have 2 butifull grandkids to make it special for we have lunch and tea here and everyone pops in and out all day witch is nice but it's not like it used to be I hate to say it but Christmas for us has turned into just another day what we do now is just try and make it special for the kids and grandkids I think as we grow up we loose the magic in our lives it's really sad but I think it's just a part of growing up I don't think there is anything wrong or selfish about not wanting things to change I hope things work out for you
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