Turkey Day

I read a post this morning, that got me to thinking.  This blogger, My Perfect Breakdown, touches me in so many ways.  She is thoughtful and insightful and filled with much love.  Her most recent post reminds me so much of our family struggles and lives.

Family holidays, the times when you wish to see family, friends, cousins from afar.  The times when you want that sense of security and love.  They are not always so.

My DH and I both come from large families.  His much larger than mine.  We have siblings and many cousins.  Many of which are as close as a sibling.  We each grew up very close to our grandparents.  We are blessed with these memories and occasions.

Then we married.  My parents separated when I was 4 years old.  I have lived my entire life with a split family.  This has been a note of tension with my in-laws since day one.  They do not understand or respect the parameters which I must navigate through each holiday.  To ensure that each and every parent and grandparent has been checked off the list.

Christmas looks much like this.

  • Work until noon Christmas Eve
  • Last minute stops at the stores on way home
  • Prepare super for parents, in-laws etc for 4 pm (I began this tradition thinking it would help the checklist…)
  • Clean up supper
  • We head to church for 6:30 pm.  We switch between his parents and mine each year.
  • After church we head to DH’s Aunt and Uncles for Christmas Eve to see his cousins and spend time together.  (Usually getting home by 1 or 2 am)
  • Christmas morning can be any number of things.  Breakfast at my in-laws, followed by dinner at my parents and supper is always at my Grandmother’s at 5:30 pm.  At my grandmother’s I will see my father.
  • Boxing day we go to my parents to see their gifts and usually boxing day shopping followed by supper at my In-laws.

It is a constant schedule change and mix up to ensure we have been everywhere, and at the times they dictate we be there.  Within all of this we go to our son’s grave to light a candle and spend time with him as well.

Easter and Thanksgiving are much the same.   As I have aged, I feel there is no quality time anymore as we are rushed between them all.  I try to hint at some to change schedules to different days.  So that we all do not feel rushed and can take time to spend with all but that never happens.

DH has grown to dislike all holidays.  This weekend will be no different.  Often, Tuesday morning heading to work is a relief. Things are back to normal.

I never wanted to be in this state for myself.  I strive to calm holidays down for my DH’s sake and so that we can enjoy.  I just struggle to find the balance.

Sending you all warm wishes for this holiday weekend.  May you be surrounded by love and good memories.


4 responses

  1. We used to do the same dance you do. Christmas involved middle of hte night flights on the 24 so that we could spend Christmas eve with one family and Christmas morning with the other. On more then one occasion we ended up stuck in the airport eating pizza and beer for Christmas dinner due to snow storms. One year my MIL actually yelled at us on the phone saying that we ruined Christmas, yet we were sitting on the floor in an airport while she was at home with the entire family.
    We eventually got so upset about being yelled at no matter what we did from all of our family that we just stopped. We debated alternating years but in our naive state decided that it would be best to just stop so once we had kids we could just stay at home with them. And so, even though kids didn’t come as easily as planned, we now have a rule, we do not travel on Christmas, but they are are welcome to come to us. Honestly, the rush of it all just broke our Christmas spirit, we are so much happier now that we spend quality time at home together.

    October 9, 2015 at 11:38 am

    • Jo

      Excellent idea. I think I shall take a page from your book!

      October 9, 2015 at 11:56 am

  2. Wow. I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself knowing we won’t have much if any Turkey Day this year (I was abandoned by my family on holidays the year after my mom died since when my dad has spent every special occasion with his partner and her family, my brother and I are estranged and the LP’s only family is a sister who is awesome and usually invites us over but they’re away this year). Perhaps I should be counting my blessings.

    I empathize with you DH. I don’t like drama and crazy scheduled either. But nothing feels a little lonely by comparison.

    October 9, 2015 at 11:42 am

    • Jo

      What is your absolute favorite meal? Cook it together. That will make the best Turkey Day! I know that we are blessed by a large family. I always try to see the best of it and to be thankful. Sending you much love this weekend!

      October 9, 2015 at 12:06 pm

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