Years ago, I used to always write, this time of year, about the holidays and how to make sure you were making them about you and your happiness. Eventually, everything had been said. But it’s been almost a decade since our original series of writing and there’s a whole new batch of wayward souls who are dreading what should be one of the happiest times of the year. With that, I’ve dusted off some of the previous lies I’ve debunked and added some new thoughts as well:
Sadly, so many of you don’t enjoy the holidays. No one should believe that the Holidays should be anything other than wonderful. In an attempt to help you realize that, here are many common lies and myths about the holidays, which sadly, too many of you believe are absolutely true:
LIE #1: THE HOLIDAYS ARE FOR CHILDREN. Bullshit. The holidays are for YOUR children. As a parent, you should do all that you can to create positive, happy holidays for your kids. Additionally, if you are in a financial position to help other people do that for their kids WITHOUT sacrificing your holiday, then you should do that too. However, it is not your job to make the holidays bright for your nieces or nephews, nor for your friends’ kids at the expense of your own ability to enjoy the holiday. People often spend $500 on the children of the family, then have nothing left to spend on their spouse. They then add to the lie by saying something ignorant like, “the look on my niece’s face was gift enough.” What a bunch of tripe. I’m betting a blue box from Tiffany & Co. would have made the look on your face rather priceless. Do not assign your holiday happiness to others, especially to children that aren’t even yours. The holidays are for us; each and every one of us.
LIE #2: THE HOLIDAYS ARE ABOUT FAMILY. Bullshit. The holidays are about me. The holidays should be about what each of us wants them to be. If that truly includes family, great…enjoy! Don’t lie to yourself though and simply tolerate the family at holidays because you’ve been told that’s the thing to do. Holidays are to be savored, not tolerated.
LIE #3: I HAVE TO TOLERATE BAD MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY IN ORDER TO ENJOY THE GOOD ONES. Bullshit. This is what I call the “brother-in-law” rule. It seems as though every single family has a brother-in-law that most people can’t stand. Sure enough, every year at the holidays, he’s the one who at the very least makes everyone uncomfortable and in the worst case scenario, actually ruins the day. It can be through drunkenness, inconsideration, fight starting, inappropriateness, or a myriad of other behaviors, but it always seems to happen. When it does, people respond by rolling their eyes and saying something idiotic like “there goes brother-in-law Jack again.” People claim that in order to see the family they enjoy, they have to tolerate Jack. Not me. I tolerate no one and nothing at the holidays. You shouldn’t either. Stand up for yourself. Stop associating with your asshole brother-in-law year round. Make your reasons known to the family. In other words, grow a spine and demand only the best for yourself.
LIE #4: I HATE THE HOLIDAYS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO EXPENSIVE. Bullshit. You can have an amazing holiday with the one person you love more than anyone and a bag from Jack-In-The-Box. If you choose to succumb to society’s pressures and definitions of what makes the Holidays great, that’s your fault.
LIE #5: I HAVE TO GO TO CHRISTMAS EVE MASS: Total and complete bullshit. This is one of my favorite holiday lies. On Easter and Christmas every year, millions of Americans who have stepped nary a foot inside a church the rest of year, pack in to the rafters. Some do it because they legitimately enjoy the service, but not most, especially in 2014 when religious and church going participation is at an all time low in America. Most people do it because they believe they should or have to. Others do it because they actually think that going to a church twice a year will get them into Heaven because “God understands how busy I am the rest of the year.” Oh Brother. This year, pull a Homer Simpson and stay home while the rest of the family trudges off to mass. You’ll have the greatest holiday ever, especially when you don’t allow their guilt to ruin your holiday.
Refuting these lies is a good start towards a happy holiday. My message will never change. You can love the holidays, but first you have to love yourself enough to demand what’s right and best for you. Get to it.