Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Doing Things Differently

This holiday season has been very different.

I remember after last year's Christmas I was just going to skip the whole thing this year and take a beach vacation with my husband. Well, unfortunately, the beach trip didn't happen, but I've still done things very differently and I've enjoyed the changes.

It started with Thanksgiving. Actually, it started with a cousin's wife getting pregnant in their first month of marriage. We had just started celebrating Thanksgiving with this side of the family at my mom's house in the last 5 or so years. As soon as I heard she was pregnant and as I remembered how she was while planning her wedding (very nice but very self-involved), I knew I wanted no part of her pregnancy.

So I decided back in the fall that I was going to give myself the gift of a pregnancy- and baby-free holiday season this year. And can you believe it? I am succeeding!

So, Thanksgiving was easy to skip because it was out of town and I couldn't travel because of my school assignments. (However, even if it was in town, I still would have skipped.)

Next was Christmas. My husband and I have been traveling every holiday season for... Well, I don't remember the last time I didn't travel to see family for Christmas. We used to alternate among the cities we all live in but that dropped off awhile ago. When I suggested celebrating in our city this year. I was told, "It is just so hard to travel with small children." To which I replied, "It's just as hard to not be able to have children and have to accommodate everyone else's lives." I was met with slightly awkward silence.

Well, honestly, I was tired. Completely wiped out, exhausted from school all semester. Plus, my beach trip wasn't happening. So I just decided we weren't going. I love my family and I definitely missed them this year, but... I have no regrets!!! :) Instead of running myself ragged, I am fully rested and perfectly content with my quiet holiday this year.

Two years ago I was going through IVF and *still* traveled during the holiday season. I was stressed and terrified and traveling with hormone injections in an ice cooler was not fun for me at all. I always regretted traveling that year. So this year felt a little like I got to balance out that experience.

The interesting thing is two years ago I would not have dreamed of skipping Christmas. In fact, my counselor at the time suggested it and I remember being mildly horrified at the idea.

How things change...

And here I am, enjoying my holiday season without any painful reminders of what my life isn't.

I highly recommend it.


  1. I'm so glad you're having the Christmas of YOUR choice this year. I'm a firm believer of doing that. And I'm glad you responded to the standard "it's too hard with small children" comment, to be honest. More people need to think about their assumptions and how they affect other people.

    I hope you do something special that you wouldn't do with family - whether it's a particular type of food, or not changing out of your pyjamas all day, or binge-watching something entirely unappropriate, or whatever you choose!

    I'm having a very relaxed preparation too. I'm even debating whether I'll bother cleaning the house! And I'll be the youngest person at our Christmas dinner (at a cousin's of DH), so that will be a change. lol

    1. Well I don't know how special it is, but I've been sleeping a lot!! :) That school semester wiped me out, so I am catching up on lost sleep. I hear you can't really catch up on lost sleep, but I beg to differ. I felt like a restored person after having this last week off from school and most responsibilities. So I'm taking care of myself. ;)

      Wow, you will be the youngest at your Christmas dinner. That will be fun! I hope you have a wonderful time full of good food and great conversation.

  2. You're doing the right thing. I'm sick of Christmas already after listening to everyone talking about their kids at work for the last two weeks. I really have to get into a more diverse environment, I've had a gutfull. Me and the hub are separating for Christmas and going to our respective families which I'm not that thrilled about - after this one, we definitely do what we want. There'll be kids where I'm going and I'm not feeling too accommodating after putting up with the office crowd so I'll be grinning and bearing it only. If skipping Christmas is counsellor-endorsed I'll be doing it from now on - I think I'm totally over the whole thing; sick of it. I hope this comment comes through: I left a couple on your other posts over last weeks but they disappeared. Enjoy your holidays and see you in '17, Phoenix

    1. I hope your Christmas celebrations go by really fast, Different Shores! It took me several years to get to this point. I think if I would've skipped Christmas that one year I was doing IVF, I would've regretted it. So, go and regret it or not go and regret it- I really couldn't win that year.

      But this year has taught me that I really can do whatever I want and feel good about it. It is just too much to "enter other people's worlds" during the holidays when they are nothing like mine and there's no room for my reality in the whole situation. Actually, it reminds me of your blog post "For December: staying afloat" where you write about what it's like to be a childless-adult guest in someone else's home at Christmas. (Someday I will learn how to insert links so anyone reading this comment could immediately jump to that post, but considering I just learned today where to check for my comments awaiting moderation, it's gonna take me a little bit to get there.)

      Yes! See you around the blogosphere in 2017, Shores!! I'm looking forward to it. :)

  3. "It's just as hard to not be able to have children and have to accommodate everyone else's lives." You are my hero!! I will admit I've never had this problem myself ;) but I so admire you for being so completely, bluntly honest and making others aware of their privileged position as parents. :) Looking forward to reading more from you in 2017. :)