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Eggnog not Eggshells

December 4, 2007

“I don’t do Christmas.” That’s how Kelly worded it when the issue was first brought up. Since then I’ve been walking on eggshells trying to behave in a way that didn’t set off whatever complexes she has surrounding the holiday. I just didn’t understand exactly what the issue was, a difficult one for me to get, because I happen to love the holiday season.

I love all of it. The friends and family, the giving, the lights and decorations, the generous mood everyone is in, the smiles and greetings from strangers. (And let’s not forget a week off of work.) The entire season is so filled with goodwill; I just can’t help but be in good spirits. Even in the mess of shoppers at the mall, I am calm. I decided years ago to expect nothing less than total chaos when going to the mall in December. I am never disappointed, nor am I agitated or stressed. I can smile and spark up conversation with strangers and extend best wishes to anyone that stumbles into my happy space. Yes I love the holidays.

Sure there are gifts. I do love giving. Getting is fun too. But it’s not about the gifts. It’s just a reason to do something nice for loved ones, and any other deserving soul. The food banks, the Salvation Army, adopted underprivileged families at the office; everyone benefits of the generous feel-good seasonal vibes.

That’s how I see Christmas. But I’ve been trying to tiptoe around my feelings because I thought it might be best to just pretend like nothing is going on.  Yeah. It’s kind of like walking around with a baboon on a leash trying to pretend like it’s not there and not doing funny things. Christmas is all around us. You can’t avoid it. From the songs on the radio to the decorations to the cookies on display at the grocery store. It’s there. Even driving along the other day, the van in front of us had a tree tied to the roof. I can’t pretend I don’t see it. I LIKE seeing it. Every little reminder fills me with happiness. I just wish I could share it with the woman I love.

And as it turns out, I can. Kelly and I had a long talk last night. We are always able to talk things through; it’s one of the great strengths of our relationship.

Last night I had started to post about this topic, and I realized as I was typing that I was being more honest with the blog post than I had been with Kelly. So I trashed the post and decided we needed to talk. We talked at length about it. I explained how I had been feeling and how I thought she had been feeling and why I felt the way I did about how I thought she felt. If you think that’s confusing, you should have been in my head during the discussion.

It turns out that Kelly does not really dislike Christmas at all. What she dislikes is the expectations that are placed on people during this season. All the traditions that you should be doing and the visiting that you have to do, and the buying and the decorating and the cooking and all the stuff that comes with the holidays that people expect you to do. And they expect you to be happy doing it. Too much weight on her shoulders. She would rather sit this holiday out, thank you very much. You all do what you have to do, leave me out of it.

So it’s not that she doesn’t like Christmas, as I had come to believe, it honestly is that she doesn’t DO Christmas. I can do what I want. Knock yourself out Sylvain, enjoy your busy commercialized Christian holiday. I don’t mind one bit. Just don’t place expectations on me.

Ok. Deal. I can do that. Now will someone please pass the eggnog??

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2007 10:01 am

    Sylvain, you could be writing my sentiments exactly. My husband feels as Kelly does and I feel as you do. Here, let me lift a glass of eggnog with you.

  2. December 5, 2007 1:08 pm

    I am coming over for eggnog. It is not even my holiday and I get caught up in the spirit of the season anyway. I’m with you on this one. But I see it is a bit of work, and might go up and down about how much of that I wanted to do.
    Lets just have fun, and in the meantime i need to start lighting my Chanukah Candles! Missed last night because of drawing class.

  3. December 5, 2007 6:22 pm

    I admire your relationship for it’s ability to work through things via conversation, Sylvain. I think that your relationship will be an example for others who know you in respecting individual differences. That is what we do when we really love each other, but I never knew this until recently…what a great way to live! Peace, O

  4. December 5, 2007 6:34 pm

    Sylvain–As O points out, the blessing is not the season or the holiday for Kelly and you. The blessing is much better and longer-lasting, and you both honor that blessing by respecting each other even as you love each other. I am delighted to be able to read about it regularly!

    Your trashing of the beginnings of a post so that you spoke with Kelly on the subject first was perfect, and it is my inviolable rule. I never blog about something which includes Julia without making sure she knows about it and has the opportunity to express her opinion. As with you and Kelly, we both blog. Hers is very different than mine, as it is really her forum to teach from. Mine is simply my blog where I write about whatever, whenever. Still, it’s a great idea to let the prettier half know what we are up to!

  5. December 6, 2007 5:46 pm

    Merry Christmas, Sylvain! I love the holiday season too.

  6. October 13, 2008 3:51 am

    I probably fall half way exactly between the both of you. I have already started playing Christmas carols, and I love the food, and the tree and the decorations. I love the old school animations too. But… I wish I didn’t have to worry about driving around to please everyone else. I think it comes of being stretched in too many directions. My ideal would be to have my own little Christmas celebration where everyone had to do it my way and no-one was allowed to complain. And I didn’t have to go anywhere, or accommodate for anyone unless I choose to. Not controlling at all, hey. I think I should celebrate the Orthodox Christmas in January so I can do it on my terms.


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