This year I will not celebrate the holidays as much as I will *cope* with them. As if the transformation over the last several years of the holiday season becoming one of obligation, expectation and duty weren’t bad enough, this year I am dealing with it without the good humor of my mom. I’ve read through the “grief at the holidays” brochures. One in particular deals with my sentiment—my deep desire to just skip the entire holiday season altogether. I’m giving myself permission to skip the holiday cards, to abstain from cooking or hosting Thanksgiving, and to leave the decorations in their boxes.
Other “tips” I’ve read are downright banal. “Give yourself permission to do what feels comfortable.” Really? “Open the windows—sunshine can help reduce depression”—great advice (if lacking in any scientific evidence) if we weren’t going to spend Christmas in Chicago, where today’s high was 32 degrees. Who writes this crap? Exercise. Check. Maintain a healthy diet. Duh.
I did find one item online that I liked…it’s called The Griever’s Holiday Bill of Rights, by Bruce Conley.
The material is copyrighted, so I can’t paste it here. But here are some highlights.
* You can do things differently. This year I’m not hosting Thanksgiving. It’s a ton of work, and the one thing that made this holiday fun was spending it in the kitchen with mom. Last year, despite how sick my mom was, she and my friend JJ tag-teamed on the one-liners (not fit for publication). Without that, it’s just another day that I’m alone in the kitchen all day. No thanks. What a lot of people don’t understand is that Thanksgiving was never about cooking FOR anyone. It was about cooking WITH someone. So unless I have help, and the entire process is a day-long party in the kitchen, forget it.
* You have the right to be where you want to be. Huh.
* You have a right to rest, peace and solitude. Amen.