Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like *&^%$*

In the end, I think we can all agree that the blame rests squarely with National Geographic. Had its October issue been lengthier, I would not be finished with it already and would not have been compelled to open the November issue of Bon Appetit which led to immediate stressing about the holidays.

Even though I know the holidays are relative eons away.

It's just that people are starting to talk about them.

I know I have it easy. At the first whisper that mother-in-law was going to California for Thanksgiving, devoted partner and I bought non-refundable plane tickets to the Dutch Antilles. Mother-in-law is the most sentimental of our parents and her absence means we can act like irresponsible kids and celebrate our turkey day underwater. I didn't even really bother to warn my parents. I bought the tickets first.

But Christmas is the Achilles heel of our relationship and partly with good reason. You see, technically speaking, my family does not celebrate Christmas (ok, more than technically. My family does not, at all, celebrate Christmas); devoted partner's family does. As devoted partner and I have no children we are, for the purposes of the holiday discussion, children ourselves, bound by tradition and the desire for a minimum of hurt feelings, to comport ourselves as children and adhere to the Christmas schedule. I, for my heathen, pagan leanings, consider Christmas to be a very very secular holiday. An awesome secular holiday, but a secular holiday nonetheless, and my desire to roast an animal and make stuffing is in no way, shape, or form, indicative of a latent desire to worship anything that isn't edible (and you transubstantiation folks out there don't count). I just like having people over for dinner. In my fantasy world, I have a big, day-long free-for-all where food is available pretty much round-the-clock for any and all who choose to stop by: my family, his family, our friends. That's my perfect Christmas.

There's just one problem: devoted partner has deemed my fantasy Christmas not-Christmasey.

So we divide our time between devoted partner's no longer married parents. Some Christmas Days will be spent all together in what I will politely say is a good-faith effort by all. Christmas Eves involve Church (though this year, by dint of living in the same town and having my own holly jolly vehicle, I will be able to come and go as I please and I fear that means I will miss out on Church - which I napped through last year) and frequently a meal at a restaurant; Christmas Days are hosted by mother-in-law. My sister-in-law is a vegetarian and does not enjoy roasted flesh and I believe, would prefer to spend Christmas on the couch in a fleece blanket watching an Extreme Makeover Home Edition marathon while eating pie. I, myself, would love to offer her that alternative chez moi, but fear the repercussions.

But damn it if I don't think I have some skin in the game. I want to host Christmas Eve dinner. At my house. With my food. And, frankly, with my family. Yes, it's true, the eight of us have never been in the same room together, but I think we're all big enough to change that. Oh, except if it's not eight because one of the following things happens: sister-in-law brings a date, father-in-law brings girlfriend, brother brings a date - then it would be clusterfarkish. The only obstacles to that happening are:

  1. Brother already has a standing invitation to a much much better Christmas Eve party. I, myself, have, on occasion, ditched devoted partner's family to go to this party. It has turducken!

  2. Father could have minor coronary vis a vis my hosting a Christmas Eve at all. There would be a little crying and some guilt-inducing talk about abandoning my long-abandoned heritage. Coronary could be exacerbated by viewing of Christmas tree, now in its third year (years one and two found father not at our apartment during the holiday season where viewing of horrid tree-object would have been inevitable).

  3. Father-in-law could feel put out that Christmas Eve, his traditional domain, had been usurped.

  4. Mother-in-law could decide, upon hearing suggestion that I would like to cook food, that my desire is a poor reflection upon her and will feel as though it is a complaint about her NOT traditionally cooking on Christmas Eve.

  5. I could stage a nutty because I will have to a) cook two separate meals to accommodate father and sister-in-law's dietary restrictions and suggest that we just order Mimi's before realizing I now live 27 miles away from Mimi's and that they are closed on Christmas Eve anyway.

So I get what everyone else has always said about how the holidays suck.

Instead of dealing with any of this, I would prefer to go away. Far, far away. Devoted partner might fear the tears of his family, but I am a selfish and cold-hearted woman who would much rather spend Christmas alone, or with families slightly less complicated than her own.

I am accepting invitations starting...



  1. My cousin and I have spent the last ten years creating Jews for Santa - an excuse for a good meal with friends - you are more than welcome...

  2. Over lunch the other day my parents were saying how great it would be to have you over for the holidays. If you agree we will take care of transportation and food.
    We'd love it if you made it over, I just can't promise that we are less complicated!

  3. Ms.Athena, Won't you be, I don't know, doing something important during that time this year? Like honeymooning?!?

    AB, Would we get to shoot our own Xmas dinner?