Monday, July 4, 2016

Holiday Blues

I have a holiday problem. Every time there's a big one we fall short of my expectations for how it should be celebrated. This is partially because of the unrealistic expectations I pick up from Facebook and other social media: it seems like everyone is posting fun awesome stuff that we 'should' be doing, but between the difficulty of organizing an increasing number of children and the sheer difficulty of planning at all, I'm constantly falling short.

I can't dismiss the problem as simple unrealistic expectations though--the rhythm of holidays breaking up the normal flow of things is important. I remember the first Christmas we celebrated as new parents. We intended it to be pretty low-key. It was our first Christmas alone as a new family without the traditions that would have shaped the holiday if we were at our own parents homes. Merry was too young to bother with the whole Santa business and the Gaffer basically wanted to treat it like any other day. For some reason I even skipped Christmas mass, probably because baby is an excuse to sit anything out unless you're determined enough. This was before the days of near-constant social media, so I hadn't been marinating in everyone else's Merry Christmas posts. But it felt off, not to recognize such a huge holiday somehow. By early afternoon we were bathing Merry before heading to Christmas dinner at my aunt's, and I ended up bawling into the bathwater because a Christmas that wasn't special was so deeply wrong.

This would have partially been due to hormones, but the point still stands. The Gaffer seems to be content to leave holidays as ordinary days until social demands require otherwise. I can't do that. Can't let the social media pressure dictate how we celebrate, but taking the time and energy to plan an outing, a special meal, a special treat--something that marks the day as different and set apart, that's worth it.

Happy Fourth, ya'll :-)

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