Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Holidays (harumph)

I love the Holiday Season, as long as it stays a few months in the future! There's something magical about the promise the holidays hold as long as they aren't right upon us. Of course, once we hit November 1, all bets are off and the stress just builds until the grand yet soporific anti-climax of New Year's Day.

This time of year always brings back memories of idyllic childhood Christmases, and those memories get all rolled up with the stories in the multitude of holiday children's picture books I've collected over the years. My Mom is a regular June Cleaver and really did an amazing job of building these memories for me to carry forward. She would be in the kitchen baking holiday treats while my Dad fought with the Christmas lights in the living room, and I would bounce between the two "helping". Somehow these ghosts of Christmas past are so seductive in their air of fantasy, that there can be no chance of present-day reality living up to their standard. I know I'm not alone in this, that this is part of being a grown-up. But I can't help but think that, in the usual way of things, grown-ups get to move through this transition into recreating those fantasies for their children, sharing the stories with new little ears, seeing the lights with new eyes. And we all know how that's panning out in this house.

So all of that leads to a host of conflicting emotions. I feel like I should be jolly and hopeful, but I can't help reminding myself of Reality. I want to be generous and giving, but some days have trouble just dragging myself along.
  • I hate traveling.
  • I hate family drama.
  • I hate feeling like I have to go broke to make things "Merry".
  • I hate wondering if this will be my last Christmas with my grandma.
  • I hate the fear of the inevitable questions about the absence of offspring in our marriage.
That's a lot of hate. Hmmmm... what about things I love about this time of year?
  • I love evergreen scented candles.
  • I love Christmas trees and decorations.
  • I love making cookies and other tasty treats to share.
  • I love the early season snowfalls, as long as I'm not driving.
  • I love sitting down for a big family meal and seeing my loved ones faces around the table.

Sorry if this post was a bit of a bummer for you guys, but it's where I'm at today. I know this is no great revelation. This is just Life. It is what it is and it's down to me to make the most of it.


  1. Oh, I'm sorry that you are kinda down as the holidays come up on us. Let's see... what else do we love about the holidays? Roaring fires! Getting cards in the mail! Looking through childhood ornaments! Egg nog! Candy canes! Okay, this is starting to sound a bit like a Julie Andrews song, so I'll stop there. Hope the good outweighs the bad!

  2. This time of years bring out a lot of conflicting emotions for most of us. Plus the reality of IF struggles just puts added pressure to be jolly when all you want to do is curl up into a ball. Was talking about that on my blog yesterday.


  3. Oh I LOVE evergreen scented candles, too! I totally feel you on the holidays and how depressing they can be in IF land. I hope this time it's not so brutal for you (and us all). xo

  4. I get this post so much. I love Christmas and I hate that I can't celebrate it the way I long to. Making up stories about Santa and knitting stockings for my babies and leaving out cookies and milk on the mantle and teaching Christmas carols and buying little velvet dresses and red satin hair bows.

  5. Not a bummer at all, it's the raw truth. I am totally feeling the same way as the holidays fastly approach.


  6. No, I get it too - I have such happy memories of my childhood Christmases, and I hate it that I can't start recreating some of those memories for a new generation. So I look forward to this Christmas with huge feelings of ambivalence - particularly with the thought that we may either be cycling then or have just got the result of our final IVF.

    We got the result of IVF #2 a week before Christmas last year, and then I got the best gift I could have had - we were snowed in so that we couldn't spend Christmas Day with the in-laws, and spent a week relaxing at home and celebrating with friends who don't have children. It felt as unlike a traditional Christmas as it possibly could, and that got us through it.

    This year, my brother and his 8 months pregnant wife will be hosting our family Christmas. I tried very hard to arrange for it to be at our house so I could escape to the kitchen and pretend to be busy whenever things got a bit much, but that's life.

    I hope you (and all of us) manage to find the joy in the holiday season this year and that all these family events don't end up being too difficult x