We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.

12
December

Home for the holidays – The ultimate gift or Bah Humbug?

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The adult in me knows that as a grown-up, one only gets a few days off from one’s work obligations to celebrate the holidays. However, I’m enough of a child (emotionally) that it feels unfair not to get several weeks free from doing anything productive. Alas. This year I get a grand total of 3 days off from work – and that includes the weekend. I know a few people who aren’t even getting Monday off, so for them Christmas weekend is just… a weekend. Understandably, for these folks, the idea of trying to fly home and navigate the Holiday gauntlet is just too much.

Even if, like me, you’re blessed with an amazing family with whom you genuinely love to spend time, the holidays can sometimes be more of a chore than a gift. When one’s parents are divorced (and if, also like me, you’re married to someone who’s parents are also divorced) your Christmas ical can be so full from trying to work everyone in that going back to your job after the holidays can feel downright restful. I had no desire to see the movie Four Christmases, let alone try and reenact it year after year.

More and more of my friends are taking a stand. They’re staying home for the holidays and starting traditions of their own. When speaking with them, many expressed some initial ambivalence about their decision – on the one hand they felt guilty about the possible disappointment their parents will feel, but on the other, if pressed about how they actually feel, most of them say they’re also experiencing a good deal of relief. The ability to craft the holidays around what they want to do, rather than what they’re expected to do, is very appealing.

The older one gets, the more ambiguous the notion of ‘home’ becomes. Is home where you grew up or is it where you’ve chosen to live your life? At the risk of sounding ancient, in a few years time I’ll have not lived in my ‘hometown’ for as long as I lived there. So if I wanted to be ‘home for the holidays’, where exactly would I be? Neither of my parents lives in a house I ever lived in. The same is true for my guy. At what age/ point in your life do you get to call where you live your hometown? For many of us, ‘home’ is less about geography and more about where the most important people in our lives are. For some people, that’s the family they grew up with – parents, siblings and grandparents – and always will be. For others, that’s the family they’ve chosen – partners and friends with whom they share more of their love and lives than they do with their biological family.

So this holiday season, I ask you…

A Zeros Before the One Poll

Are holidays with the family (meaning your parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, etc) your ideal?

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