For a lot of reasons that are the fault of so many different people, I am not on speaking terms with my family. Most of them have unfriended me on Facebook, I don’t get birthday wishes on my wall or cards in the mail anymore from them. This is my life, and there isn’t anything I can do now to change it. (Trust me, I’ve tried.)
Tonight, my daughter is at their annual Christmas celebration. I wasn’t invited, and neither was my husband. I made do by sending big fancy presents to the niece I’ve only met once and the nephew who hasn’t seen me enough to know my name, but instead of spending my Sunday night in a house that is a little too warm from all the bodies and a crackling fire, shared memories of Christmas past over dinner, and watching cousins play together under foot in the kitchen, I am sitting on my couch marathoning the Star Wars movies and eating cupcakes.
Truth be told, my family is a drama cannon (I learned from the best) waiting to go off at all times, and most of the time it’s nice to be free of the judgment, the stress, and the general never-being-good-enough. I thought the holidays would be more of that, less stress, less crying, and a chance to breathe instead of stressing through them, but I was wrong. When my first Thanksgiving invite didn’t show up, I dropped to my knees and cried. It was a long, hard holiday for me, and Christmas wasn’t any easier.
This went on for a bit, me just pushing through the holidays and birthdays as best I could. Hiding the tears from my daughter, hoping she didn’t know. And then I’d had enough.
I turned to my husband, and we made a decision– holidays don’t have to be steeped in family and tradition. Holidays can be what you MAKE THEM. Sure, I miss my family, but inviting my best friend and her kids over for a Thanksgiving feast, filling the house with laughter and smiles, that’s what the holidays are about.
So, what I am trying to say here is that I am not spending the holidays with my family and that’s okay. It’s okay when you spend your holidays with friends, make new traditions that include movies you actually want to watch, food you actually like, and maybe even go do some good somewhere. This is your day. Do what makes you happy, and remember the wise words of one of the coolest people I know.
Oh, plus–these cupcakes are really good. That helps, too.