Christmas Blues

We’ve all know the super-fun statistic that most suicides occur around the holidays because not everyone has money or family or even emotional stability on a normal day, so the pressure of the holidays and the constant reminders of what you don’t have can darken even the brightest of people. I think about those people all season and worry about them. I try to be extra kind to strangers in case the man in line in front of me is suffering under the weight of this so-called Season of Joy.

I’ve never been a Christmas person. I never got into the decorating or the spirit even as a child. I would be excited about presents, of course, but I never felt an entire Season of Joy like so many of my friends did. I have different theories about that, but none of which are worth sharing.

As a parent I’ve gotten more into Christmas for sure, but it’s still not something that really excites me like it does many of my friends and family. I get excited about finding the perfect gift for someone, but man, people are just hard to shop for. Especially when they don’t ask for anything specific. I enjoy spending time with family but it never, ever, ever goes how I hope. Maybe I want us all to watch a movie together but someone has plans or someone else is watching a game. Maybe I start a puzzle because that one year we all put one together and this year no one seems to give a shit. It’s also hard when you see friends/family gifting huge Christmases to their kids…I’ve seen some gifts that total more than our entire budget for all 3 kids combined. It’s hard not to feel inadequate over that.

I don’t know. I just struggle a lot at Christmas on a good day, but this year has been really tough. It doesn’t help that I have so much extra stress that has nothing to do with the holidays: Getting the house ready for renovations so we can try to sell it again. Donnie working so much. The kids fighting so much. And y’all? I don’t mean to be snotty but of the four other people in my immediate nuclear family, I only had ONE THING to open at Christmas and it was a glorious coupon book from Nikki. And it’s not that I want anything to be bought for me, not with our budget as tight as it is. BUT MAN…I put hours and hours and hours into planning and shopping and decorating for these guys and it’s kinda depressing when I realize no one thought about me at all. Not even enough to draw me a picture or write me a note or stop by any of my favorite places on the way home and buy a gift card.

I know. It’s dumb.

Luckily my Brother and Sister-in-law gave our family a gift that is A) Inspiration for Adventures and B) Great blog material. I can’t wait to write about it. That was excited and the perfect kind of gift for me. And Donnie’s family Christmas is always loads of fun and his Mom is crafty and always makes me stuff that is AMAZING. But again – then I feel completely inadequate because I gave gift cards. *sigh*

And of course I feel selfish and guilty for being bummed about not having gifts from the people who supposedly love me most. I just work so hard for these guys all the time and there are only a few days a year where they’re forced to do something for me. Mother’s Day, my Birthday, and Christmas. Three days a year amidst the 365 I work for them. Nikki is always great about giving me handmade gifts and they’re my FAVORITE always. She left me notes hidden on Mother’s Day. She’s drawn me pictures and she’s just always so thoughtful. BUT THE MEN IN MY FAMILY ARE TERRIBLE. Are all men terrible?

And now I have to take it all down. I put it all up to begin with and now I have to take it all down. And then I have to continue with the stress and chaos of family and animals living alongside painters and builders and carpet guys for the next 2’ish weeks and that may kill me. And I’ve been eating crap and drinking too much beer and you all know that messes with me terribly. And I had to cancel my Sunday group run today which I was really torn about but I can’t take a big group on terribly flooded trails. And I’m just tired. And I really really really miss my Dad.

The holidays are hard, yo.

20 thoughts on “Christmas Blues”

  1. Most men are terrible. I wish i could have given you a gift because I get so much from reading your blog. Hug!

  2. Most men are terrible! I totally understand how you feel. My daughter was so excited this christmas because she had a job and bought us all gifts. If not for her, I would have had nothing. Like you said, it’s not like I wanted tons of presents, but it would have been nice if someone had put the same amount of effort into a gift for me that I put into a gift for them. I buy for my husband’s parents and he never even gives it any thought. He never asks if I’ve even bought the kids presents, just assumes I’ll take care of it. My dad was the same way… You’re not alone.

  3. 1) You’re daughter is awesome.

    2) I’d be so sad if my husband didn’t give me anything for Christmas and on top of that, didn’t help the kids get me gifts as well. I don’t get not thinking of your spouse at all on birthdays and holidays.

    3) At this point especially, I would not put it all away my self. I would tell my husband and kids they were going to help.

    4) Thank you for your blog. I look forward to reading your thoughts. I hope the renovations are less stressful than you are anticipating.

  4. My oldest son is not a gift giver. He’s now 25 and makes lots of money, so it’s not that he can’t afford it. It’s more anxiety over WHAT to buy. I’ve always said, you know I love chocolate – buy me a candy bar! He’s getting much better – last year he got me one of those gadgets for breaking a car window (he knows I have the fear of being trapped under water in my car).

    Does your husband usually get you something? Was he just too busy this year? Did he notice that you were hurt (I don’t blame you!)?

    Go out and get yourself something – how about a day to yourself? Go to the movies, hide in the library and read a book, get a massage? You deserve it!

  5. Seems to be something in the air this year. So many of my friends’ husbands just flat out ruined Christmas with bad attitudes or zero thought. Makes it difficult. I’m sorry things didn’t work out better for you. I’ve rarely heard of someone who does as much as you for everyone. You seem to have tireless energy and I wish it was reciprocated more heartily.

  6. I get you. Sometimes Christmas seems more of a chore than a time to celebrate. My kids are at the age where they want specific things, so I feel more like a personal shopper than a gift-giver. I love finding things they haven’t specifically asked for that I know they will love. It isn’t always easy to do, either. And all of the gift-shopping falls to me (yay Amazon Prime). My husband’s part consists of putting money in cards for them (because they are at the point where it is easier to just give them money instead of buy them things…. which kinda ruins Christmas for me). Thank goodness I have a granddaughter to see enjoy Christmas. 😀 My 2 oldest children are both in serious relationships and have full-time (or nearly full-time) jobs. They did each remember me this year, so that was appreciated. Truly, I have a hard time thinking up things I “want” for Christmas… it isn’t all about what I’m getting. But it is nice when I can see thought put into a gift for me. It is obvious she does that. In time, she will probably nudge the men in that direction. My oldest has often done the shopping for me for her father because he is usually too busy to do it. If I get one thing that makes me smile, I am happy. My favorite thing about Christmas these days is seeing the smiles on the others’ faces when they open something they like (especially if it’s something I came up with on my own, and not from their list!).

    Now undecorating…. blecchh. My kids are old enough to help, and they do/will.

  7. I hear you. I think most Men are rotten at gift giving. If not for my sisters and I shopping for my Dad my mom would get socks every year. I also feel you on the budget stuff. This year was smaller for my family but what shocked me was how thrilled my 7 year old was with that stupid snackezz cup (9.99) that she had seen a commercial for and thought was so cool and my 10yr old loved the $9 collection binder and $4 triple pack of football cards best (even more than the soccer jersey of his favorite team I searched for to get it less expensive). It was kinda refreshing to see excitement over the little stuff.

  8. You’re not alone. I didn’t get our tree up until the 23rd, my little brother was on vacation an hour away from us and never called, and I got nothing from my family for Christmas either. My Christmas present to myself was 12 hours of sleep the day after.

  9. I’m sorry Kim. I can’t get this post out of my head. How crushed this must have made you feel. I hope you have shared your disappointment with Donnie and with E.

  10. Did anyone notice you weren’t opening any gifts? That just makes me want to give you a big hug and invite you over (except we are having a blizzard in NM and all roads are closed). Maybe someone in your house will read this and get a clue. (((HUGS))) You are a great Mom!

  11. Oh geez – I am so sorry! You really need to sit down and talk to Donnie. There have been so many little things you’ve mentioned on here that make him sound like he’s a crappy husband – and no gifts? Dude, that sucks 🙁 Does he know how upset you are?

  12. I’m so sorry about all this. It can be a very hard time of year, and unfortunately sometimes loved ones make it harder instead of easier. (And missing loved ones; my dad has been gone since 2009 and I got sniffly about him a few times this week.)

    Simple thoughtlessness can cause so much pain. I know you’ve mentioned how much Donnie is working lately, but he needs to face that he let you down, that not giving you ANYTHING is a slap in the face. The boys, too, should be doing something, even if it’s just drawing a picture with “Merry Christmas, Mom” on it. (Props to Nikki, anyway!) I wish I could make it even a little better for you from here.

  13. I second this! Give yourself a gift. I give my boys a very specific list of some things I would like.

  14. I don’t think it’s true that “men are terrible at gift giving.” That’s bogus, and though it may make neglected people feel better, it also lets the ones doing the neglecting off the hook. It’s understandable that you’re sad because you are putting in all this effort and it seems like no one else cares. It’s also understandable that some *people* don’t get what a big deal it is when they don’t reciprocate. But you have to take a stand and say something to the people you feel are neglecting you if you want things to change.

  15. I couldn’t agree with you more. I would not be doing all the work, letting people take me for granted and then feeling bad about feeling bad. Kim, as caring and considerate as you are, you deserve a lot better.

  16. I don’t think it is selfish to be hurt by that at all – it’s natural to want the people in your life to think of you on occasions. Even with a tight budget.

    I agree that you should talk to Donnie. Not in an accusatory way but with lots of I statements. When this happened I felt terrible. Keep in mind Donnie is modeling some really weird behavior for your kids – mom does all the emotional and physical labor of the holidays and we don’t have to be generous or kind with her feelings. I guarantee that isn’t what he really wants to model.

    It took a while but I finally landed on I want thoughtful gifts from my husband that I will genuinely enjoy. I very bluntly send him links. Not demands but suggestions. And when he chooses one of those things he gets real and genuine credit for the great gift! Because he was thoughtful and chose something I would like.

  17. Oh, not a crappy husband at all. Just a different set of priorities. I think I feel even worse being like, “You couldn’t have gotten me anything?” But I feel better now because I remembered I did order myself the illustrated harry potter and it will be delivered when it’s back in stock 😉

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