The Holidays are Coming So Why Do I Feel Like a Grinch

Here we are swiftly heading toward Hanukkah and Christmas.  I don’t get as caught up in the holiday celebrations so much lately. Why is that? I think my way of wanting to celebrate has changed. I realize that I celebrated the holidays for my kids when they were living at home. I still like to make Thanksgiving. I really like Thanksgiving. I think it engenders feelings of family warmth and togetherness for me more than the other holidays.

Now it is just me and my husband here in the house. The empty nest. Both of our kids are adults and making their own lives. We will be seeing them and spending time with them which is very nice. They both have their own ways of celebrating with their partners.

I don’t feel like decorating the house. It seems like house decorating could be rated on a scale. Some people really go all out and have their yards and houses covered with decorations and lights. I imagine the interior of their houses might look like a holiday craft magazine layout. Then on the other end of the scale is me. No outside lights or decorations and nothing on the inside of the house as of now. I noticed there are other neighbors who do not put up lights outside as well. I wonder if it has to do with religious differences.

My husband did not grow up with Christmas celebrations in his home or lights outside so he does not care and does not miss anything if I choose not to decorate. My son and daughter-in-law do have a Christmas tree and my daughter usually doesn’t for environmental reasons.  We all do exchange small gifts.

I don’t feel like making anything for Hanukkah either. We will probably light the menorah. We usually go to my son’s or to one of my sister-in-laws for Hanukkah gatherings.

My grinchy-ness could be that I don’t feel the need to decorate my house and make so many preparations in the past few years because my family has grown up.  Now I can take a break and enjoy being the guest at their houses.

I know I am fortunate that my kids are not too far away. My son lives nearby and my daughter is in the same state. We will be seeing both of them over the holidays. There are people who do not have families or their kids close by and that has got to be hard for them or they could be estranged.

If you have an empty nest it may be that the holiday celebrations have shifted to your kids homes as well. Or if your kids are too far away how have you decided to celebrate the holidays?

 

14 thoughts on “The Holidays are Coming So Why Do I Feel Like a Grinch

  1. Silver Threading

    I’m going to write a post for a friend similar to yours. I so agree with you. As we get older it is so much more about family and traditions and not so much about decorations. Frankly, I would love to know more about other religious celebrations and getting back to the roots of what Christmas and Hanukkah are all about. Thank you for sharing. ❤

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  2. Laura L.

    Since I’ve never had kids, so my nest has always been empty, and I’m not Christian, and I’ve reached “that certain age” you are alluding to, you’d think I’d be right along with you on your post. In past years I was an Elf. I enjoy(ed) fussing. Not to the extent that our house blew out the electric grid, but…fussing. I can understand not wanting to drag out all the tree stuff and whatever, that’s work, but I’m finding myself yearning to set up *something* and I can’t.

    I think you should do what makes you happy. If you (generic you, not you-you) feel better not decorating, then don’t. But… if it is out of a bit of ennui, the kids aren’t here, existential angst stuff then, put up something essential to the holidays for you. A snow globe. A wreath. A poinsettia. Something that you can look at and still feel like “special time” without all the Fuss and Bother.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thanks Laura. I have been thinking about it too. A little of it is the empty nest but this is the not my first year of empty nest. I have thought my little artificial table top tree looks a little lame by itself. I will see. We may be going up north to visit and then we won’t be here. I hope you can put out something if you want to. Like you said it can be something small.

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  3. markbialczak

    We don’t decorate much, Deborah, but we celebrate a lot on Christmas Eve and Christmas with the grown kids. I think the decorative itch lessens a lot with age. Then again, I didn’t really have it when I was younger that much, either.

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  4. NotAPunkRocker

    This is my first year as an empty nester, kid is too far away and at the ex-husband’s anyway. I plan to order Chinese food, watch silly movies and stay off Facebook.

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