Thursday, July 20, 2017

Picnics and Sparklers and Roman Candles, Oh My! #MFRW Authors #29

Christmas used to be my favorite holiday.  Why?  Because it fell right after my birthday, then New Year's was a week later.  Three weeks of cake, presents, food, and parties.  Who wouldn't love that?

But then I married and had kids.

Since I married a man who didn't have my parents' income, the month of December soon became a headache.  We simply couldn't afford to spend a great deal on presents for our family, let alone my extended family!  He had grown up with only buying for his parents, a sister, and her two kids.  I had to buy for 3 grandmothers, one grandfather, two aunts, a cousin and her two children, my parents, and my sister.  Thankfully, my dad's side of the family decided to draw names, so I only had to buy for whomever name I drew.  Then later, we decided to only buy for the kids.  But this still seemed 'too much' for my grumpy spouse.

As my kids grew older, the toys got more expensive, and soon we were adding school parties and teacher gifts to the budget.  As a result, no matter how much I bought in advance, December always snuck up on me, and I soon began wishing we could simply skip it altogether.

That's why now the 4th of July is my favorite holiday.  We don't have to go anywhere; we can buy hot dogs and Johnsonville Brats and cook on the grill.  Watch the parade at 6pm, then find 'our spot' to watch the fireworks.  Eat ice cream.

No stress!

So what about you?  What's YOUR favorite holiday?

Want to know what others think?  Click here. 

Heart-felt apologies.....last week, I had to take a bus to Chicago with my mom, in order to help her catch her (very early!) morning flight out of O'Hare on Sat.  She's spent the last week with my sister in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.  Today, I'm taking the bus back to O'Hare, to help her get to the motel so we can return to Lafayette tomorrow.  I also have a class reunion tomorrow night, so I probably won't get around to commenting until Sunday or Monday again.


Maureen said...

I have similar thoughts- it's hard when holidays become so much work. Everyone wants the Hallmark Christmas where everything seems to fall perfectly in place. Ahh...where is my magic wand? :)

Unknown said...

Christmas can be a lot of stress, and especially if you have a December birthday or two in the mix. It wasn't until I let go of the "need" to buy for everyone (which, as a single mom, I never could afford to do) that Christmas really became my favorite holiday. I'd kind of forgotten that until I read your post, and I really appreciate the reminder. I enjoyed your post.

Kenzie Michaels said...

@Maureen: Exactly. I started getting a mild depression every year around Thanksgiving in 1993, and have had to practically force myself to decorate and make everything good for the kids! Maybe when that Empty Nest finally happens I'll get my magic back?

@Sherry: LOL....we have 3. My oldest son's is the 8th; mine's the 19th, and my SIL is a New Year's Day baby:) Plus, my late FIL's used to be Nov 27th, so Thanksgiving was always a combination birthday/T-day for him. My husband's sometimes falls at Easter, and my daughter's is July 3rd. Birthdays and holidays just go hand-in-hand at our house!

Yes, I actually found a spare moment when I could go around and comment on everyone's blog this morning! Halleluia!

See what a 'staycation' will do for me? LMAO! Heading off to pack for my overnight trip to Chicago.....

Linda McLaughlin said...

Kenzie, your post brought back some not always pleasant memories for me, too. As a kid, I loved Christmas and Thanksgiving, but once I got married, both became a hassle. Not because of the need to buy gifts, but having to divide time between my parents and my in-laws. Sometimes, esp. on Thanksgiving, my husband would go to his parents house and I'd drive to the other direction to have dinner with mine. Then there was Christmas eve with my folks and Christmas day with his. Sometimes there were hurt feelings. Sigh. That's why I picked Halloween. Lots of fun and no in-law hassles.

Alina K. Field said...

I can SO relate to this!

Cathy Brockman said...

I agree 100 percent. I like Christmas but it has gotten out of control and we live on fixed income.

Molly Daniels said...

@Linda: One of the smartest things we ever decided to do was alternate Christmas/Thanksgiving with our parents. If we had T-day with his, then Christmas was at mine. This only grew complicated when my grandmother was dying of cancer and we flew to Florida to spend the holidays with her. Then the following year, a snow storm hit and we couldn't make it down to his parents until New Year's.

Then when HIS mom fell ill, we spent that year's both holidays with her....but my mom had bought non-refundable tickets for the kids and I to fly to Ottowa to meet up with my sister. After a lot of stress, arguments, and me not sleeping for a week and having to be prescribed Ambien, my parents spent a considerable amount of money to switch our tickets to the day after Christmas. His mom lived six more years, but the stress of my spouse yelling, "No, you are NOT going; this may be the last Christmas the kids get to see my mom!" really irked me at the time.

Kenzie Michaels

Molly Daniels said...

@Alina and Cathy: We've been on a fixed income now for 5 years, but thankfully my sister has FINALLY realized (in the last 10 years!) that limits need to be placed on family spending. When she was single, she didn't understand my financial constraints, but now that she has a family and an out-of-work spouse, she finally 'gets it'.

My kids are older and understand that the main focus needs to be on the granddaughter:) All three of my grandparents are gone now, and so are my in-laws, so now we only focus on the kids, and my parents get a few gifts, but nothing extravagant.

Kenzie Michaels

Anonymous said...

Holidays can certainly be stressful. Even though I love Christmas, some years it's been tough.

Meka James said...

December can get to be super expensive. Like you, the amount of gift giving has gone down for the same reasons. We have 4 kids so buying for them gets more expensive the older they get. Then there is the extended family. And my oldest son, well his birthday is 2 weeks before Christmas. Still we enjoy being able to spend time with family.

Unknown said...

The other thing that can be tough is differing "tastes". My mom always insisted on buying my kids and my niece clothing and, believe me, her style and theirs were two different things. When you're on a budget and have to share the kids it becomes even more of a pain (man, I remember those single parent days). Holidays can be very stressful even if you love them!

Unknown said...

I forgot to say, we just got back from a week in Chicago - love that city!

Unknown said...

Nice blog !!!
thanks for sharing
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