Holiday obligation

Anyone feel like holidays are some kind of dumb chore? I don’t want to go to some other person’s house or host guests and pretend I’m having a good time. Plus presents are dumb when we can all just buy what we want from our jobs.

All I wanna do is sit on the couch and play video games.

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Nope. Visit family, take some time off work. Big meals, loud conversations. Also, turkey.
My spouse is a twin, so we’ve developed a tradition where we have christmas day with our immediate family/my side, then boxing day with their side. Count 'em, that’s TWO family christmas dinners I get.

I love holidays and spending time with family. I guess it helps that I love my family. Not everyone does, I get it.

If i feel like sitting on my couch and playing video games instead of attending a family holiday celebration, then that’s what I do.

I used to really dislike the holidays, particularly after I was an adult but before I had children. It certainly felt like an obligation to buy gifts that weren’t at all sentimental.

At some point, I realized that the holidays are what we make them, traditions be damned. I got my family to stop doing gifts; we pivoted to a secret santa for a few years, and now we just don’t do gifts at all. It’s a lot more enjoyable now, and I don’t feel obligated to participate in things.

If you don’t enjoy celebrating the holiday, that’s fine, but also consider that you’re part of a system, and it’s not all about what you want, either. It’s within your rights to sit on the couch and play video games, but you may regret not spending meaningful time with people you care about, or who care about you. But, you gotta do what’s right and healthy and best for you, your partner, your kids. There’s no single right answer, and plenty of people celebrate holidays less traditionally or not at all.

On my mom’s side we have stopped doing intra-generational gifts and only do inter-generational gifts.

So nephews & nieces don’t buy for each other, and my generation doesn’t buy for each other. There’s still lots of presents, but not quite as many so we get through them quicker, which is nice, and there’s less outlay, and it’s the people who were hardest to shop for that got eliminated. Kid gifts are easy and cheap, and I can usually figure out something good for my mom.

It’s definitely what works for your family though.

I do buy for my stepsiblings on my Dad’s side, but they are super easy. One always wants a particular type of wall calendar and the other has no money and loves pizza so that one gets a gift card for pizza every year. And I usually tuck in a small Starbucks gift card with the calendar because calendars are cheap and I want to get the other one a big enough gift card to at least cover one pizza and I’m trying to spend the same on each.

Hardest part now is finding a calendar store that has the specific type I’m looking for. The one near me shut down so now I have to drive across town. I’m in that area sometimes anyway, so I have to make a point to build in time to hit the calendar store when I’m in that neck of the woods.

After my mother passed away, up until the pandemic, my Christmas involved flying to where my father was living, and making sure he got to his various commitments from continuing to sing in the church choir. (He wasn’t a great driver before he started to decline. It was safer and less stressful for me to show up, manage his calendar, and chauffeur him around.)

My wife spent Christmas with the horde and drama of her family. Neither of us was too enthused with our family holiday obligations.

The pandemic brought us a couple of nice, quiet, peaceful holiday seasons together at home.

My father passed away last year. I was to have gone and joined the chaotic horde of my wife’s family celebration…but my furnace developed a problem the night before I was supposed to fly out. So, I got spared.

Unfortunately, that means I get subjected to chaos and drama this year…unless I’m fortunate enough to have another major travel issue emerge at the last minute to spare me. (I have a cardiology appointment the day before I’m scheduled to fly; maybe I’ll be lucky enough to be sent to the hospital for testing…)

I used to feel obligated to see my family. Since meeting my spouse my family is easier to avoid. So I’d suggest getting a spouse to avoid your family.

Uh, sure it did.

Eh, my wife loves these holidays enough for the both of us.
I get the benefit of eating my wife’s awesome “holiday” food.

Have you never heard of Amazon?

Yeah, I’ve heard of them, but for something like a wall calendar that I’m going to use as a gift I don’t really trust them to ship one that arrives at my doorstep in good condition. Too many books arrive bent.

I’d rather drive across town and pick it out in person.

Mixed feelings here. We have a ton of family what with all the siblings and halfs and steps. Trying to see everyone and buy gifts is definitely overwhelming. As is having to pretend you like a gift that is destined for donation or sitting in the garage.

So we decided to go away this year. But now some family will be in town the day before we leave. Ugh. I am NOT going shopping just bc they’ll be here. Honestly I’m kinda shocked to have so much notice. They often don’t tell us they’re coming. We’ll go bc Mr aj wants to and it’s his people.

part of being multi cultured is finding all kinds of excuse to not celebrate anything with family

Chinese new year? not in asia, skip
Thanksgiving? no family here, skip
Christmas? Not a christian holiday