We've officially arrived at THE HOLIDAYS. Be you Hindu or Buddhist, Christian or Jew, Muslim or agnostic, nearly everyone gets together over THE HOLIDAYS with family and friends, share a meal or a drink, exchange presents, enjoy the season.
Alas, for too many, the season is fraught with arguments over politics. I heard from so many friends that their families didn't check their politics at the door, thus leading to loud arguments and one actual fist fight. I frankly am burned out on politics and can't wait to wave goodbye to 2017.
Another alas comes in when stress mounts and people allow themselves to be overwhelmed. I used to be one of them. I was a Martha Stewart wannabe. I decorated my home to the nth degree, wrapped more presents than anyone needed, baked and cooked more food than we needed, all to collapse the day after Christmas into a puddle of cleaning, self-pity, and exhaustion. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't turn my home and family into the Brady Bunch decorated by the indomitable Martha.
My family wanted a quiet day, a gift or two, a decent meal, and people who weren't stressed. They finally got it.
I turned in my Martha card and took out membership in the Martha Stewart Never-Be club. I set aside three days to decorate my house. What's not in place at the end of those three days goes back in the garage, Maybe next year. Maybe not. I like the way the house looks and smells. I like to cook, but I don't overload the table. Usually, holiday meals are my husband and me, and maybe a couple of friends. Gone are the days of 25 people sitting down to eat in my house.
How did I manage this? Well, it was easy: My husband and I moved 500 miles away from most of the family. We make the drive to New York for an annual "Between the Holidays" luncheon at a restaurant equally convenient for the locals up there. Terry and I host. We enjoy good conversation, good food, and no clean up afterwards.
The grands are part of this "Between" party. We deliver gifts and enjoy watching them open just ours. If we were there on Christmas Day, we'd have about five minutes before they would be carted off to other family members. We're selfish. We like a day alone without competition.
When we get back from New York, we are home for at least eight weeks. No travel, no appointments, no nothing but what my husband and I want to do.
I hope you all enjoy your holidays in your own way. If you like political arguments, this is one year when there is plenty of opinions to go around. If you like peace and quiet, may you find it.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. See you in 2018.