My daughter got me thinking about this……at first I thought it was sacrilegious to even think this way, but after another brutal holiday season, I wonder if maybe I should give her opinion more thought.
Back in October when we started making plans for the Holiday season we were discouraged about the price of an airline ticket. Double what it normally is, my daughter suggested I stay in Tucson and she stay in Seattle and we see each other another time of year. Of course, I would have no part of that. After all, ’tis the season and I couldn’t imagine not being with her. She and I are the only two left in our little family. I have many extended family members, and I love them all, but as a Mom, my daughter is the one I want to spend my holiday with.
She (my daughter) reminded me of how stressful the holidays are and how hard traveling can be at that time of year. She reminded me about built up expectations we all have and unreasonable urges to spend unnecessarily just to find the “perfect” gift. Don’t get me wrong, may daughter is not a “scrooge,” but she is making a valiant effort to simplify her life and not add any additional stresses. She works full time and goes to graduate school full-time, so she has plenty on her plate already. Wouldn’t it be better for her to take time off in the spring when the weather is nice? She, and I agree, also believes the holidays are too commercialized.
Bottom line – I flew to Seattle to be with her for the Christmas holiday.I’m sure you parents out there will understand. On the way there, I noticed how everyone seemed to be in a good mood. There were many more families than usual and all of them seemed to be happy and not bothered by the long lines and cramped planes. None of the babies were crying and parents didn’t look overly tired. The weather in Seattle was uncharacteristically sunny the entire vist and we shared a delicious Christmas dinner at my daughter’s friends’ home.
But, here’s when we get to the whole point on this blog……..
The expensive ”perfect” gift I gave to my daughter was one of the worst choices I think I have ever made. As she gently pointed out after opening it, it wasn’t her style and now I could never imagine her wearing it. I don’t know what I was thinking. (I was able to return it)
Two days into the trip I developed a head cold that totally slowed our activities down. We had been looking forward to seeing “Avatar” at the IMAX theater, but I was too afraid of having a coughing attack during the show that we decided it best not to go. I wasn’t even able to visit the Pike Street Market while I was there. My daughter, who was leaving for San Francisco for New Year’s Eve didn’t want to get too close to me for fear of catching my “bug.”
Upon return to Tucson on Tuesday night, I drove straight to the ER because of severe shortness of breath that had me pretty worried. After an all night ordeal and a ton of heart tests, blood clot tests, chest x-rays, etc I was sent home with an in-haler. Now, finally on Sunday I think I’m going to live. Oh, and most if not all of the children on the plane were crying, many with runny noses, and the parents looked like the walking dead.
So, what is my lesson here? I underlined “my” because this only pertains to me and you can take it or leave it.
- The holidays cause undue stress
- The holidays cause unnecessary expense
- The holidays cause unreasonable expectations.
- Some people become overly sensitive and uptight during the season. (luckily, my daughter and I communicate well and have been able to avoid negativity between us)
- Undue stress and not enough rest can cause your immune system to be weaker than normal.
- Flying in a cramped plane exposes you to all the “bugs” going around at the time.
- Although weather wasn’t a factor for me this time, you most likely will have to deal with delays and cancellations if you choose to fly and possible road closures if you choose to drive.
What will I be doing during the 2010 Holiday season? Hummm……that will be a tough one, but my intention is to try and embody the spirit of the season all year……….Peace and love to you and yours.