There seems to be this feeling of obligation during the holidays, that you have to go to all the family functions and gatherings. As I am getting older, and as I am learning through experience, it really is ok to just say no and stay home. Though sometimes easier said then done.
I have been with my now husband for 7 years, and while I am not positive of all the why's and how-comes, he prety much hates all holidays. Doesn't even seem to like his own birthday (which to me, how can you not like your own day to celebrate yourself even if it means you get older). He hates having to drive around, fit in sometimes cramped spaces, be all social and chipper, just all the hustle and bustle. And while I understand some of this, and some holidays are stressful, he really is miserable to be around. And it seems his children are developing his bad attitude about having to go visit family during the holidays now (except for Christmas of course cause they get presents). After feeling like I am in the middle and always trying to be the peacemaker and find excuses for his attitude, I am getting to my wits end with it. I finally told him last night, that he should just start saying no and we will do our own thing at home. He agreed, shocker there. Ha!
I remember when I was a little kid, and I liked seeing family during the holidays. Going to someone's house for yummy food, sitting around talking, etc. Although I also remember the parts I disliked; cleanup, having to get dressed up, driving around all day. There is positive and negatives to everything, I suppose.
I hope when I have a child, that I can teach them the value of family and being together, because to me thats what it is really supposed to be about. With the crazy, sometimes stressful times, that the holidays can bring its easy to lose sight of that. I am certainly not exempt at times. It makes sense to feel exhausted after a holiday/family function at times. With all this being said, and having my own little family now, I think at least a couple of times we will try to do our own holiday just us at home. It will save myself and others the attitude my hubby and step kids seems to bring along. And maybe we can get back to the real meaning of holidays, togetherness. :)