General chatter - I hate this holiday!

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12-05-2010, 10:02 AM
I get absolutely no help...NONE!

It is so sad to walk out my door and see houses with beautiful lights! And I hate the lights because they make me sad! They make me sad because I have no time to put the lights up on my own house and I want to so much. They're so pretty and I love my wreaths with red bows.

The inside of my house is a wreck and I'm a neat knick. I hate clutter and Christmas brings worse clutter. I can't stand a decorated house with clutter. It is HALF decorated and has been since Thanksgiving. There are still boxes out!!

And I have to do all the shopping not just for my family but for my mom too. And I have to do all the wrapping and all the planning and all the food prep. Apparently I have to do the grocery shopping too because I sent DH out yesterday and he came back with a QUARTER of what was on the list. "They didn't have white bread." :?::?::?:

And the kicker?? He's been flippin' off work for a month!!!

I cried about it last night. Did it do any good? :(

Sorry! I HATE this. I have had it and I hate depression. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

Sorry. Rant over.

As a woman, am I supposed to just suck this up? Are women supposed to hate Christmas but put on a happy face so no one knows? Because I don't notice anyone who hates this holiday, just me. It is no fun and worse it makes me feel horrible because I actually love the holidays, if that makes sense. It's worse because something I know I SHOULD enjoy just plain sucks.

12-05-2010, 10:14 AM
I assure ARE NOT ALONE!:hug:

FACT - Suicide rates are at its highest during the holiday season.

The love for fellow man/woman, joy, peace and security seems to be overshadowed by RETAIL and $$$ during this time of year. Being in a depression, this places unnecessary STRESS on many. So please...don't feel really are not.

I see it all the time...and it is during the holidays that I truly appreciate NOT celebrating them...nor feeling compelled to:)

Hope you feel better soon.:hug:

12-05-2010, 10:23 AM
Just to be clear, it's my husband's depression, not mine. I'm a really upbeat person...can't you tell? (sarcasm) LOL!

Seriously, I am really struggling with him right now.

12-05-2010, 10:27 AM
:hug: If it helps, I have boxes of Christmas decorations out too. I also still have a couple of Halloween things up. :bat: So, you are definitely not alone.

How about choosing one or two things that are really special for you? Maybe put your wreaths up and then some little lights around one window rather than going for full-house decoration.

(Don't read this Mandalinn) How about refrigerated cookie dough instead of making your own dough for Christmas cut-out cookies? Sometimes the pressure for cooking and homemade comes from us. For example, I made homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Who ate it? Well, I had a tablespoon full. The rest was tossed 2 days ago. Lame. No one would have missed it if it wasn't there. I won't be making homemade tamales this year, either. Frozen ones are very good and we get our tamale fix and there you go.

Also, remember that all the planning in the world won't make it perfect. And that's okay, it doesn't have to be a perfect holiday--it just has to be yours.

As for the shopping, ay yi yi. I actually just picked up a whole bunch of interesting Christmas ornaments for most of the people on my list. We'll make some cookies and give them with an ornament and there you go. Done.

Vent away, my friend, vent away. It's not fair that all of the pressure lands on you. So reject most of that pressure and decide what you can and will do and release the rest.

The other thing is that we don't have to do ALL of the traditions every single year. Choose a couple for this year that work and get the next ones done next year.

12-05-2010, 10:33 AM
Hey, quitcher whinin' and get to decorating! ;)

I put candles in my windows and did my tree yesterday.

Get rid of all the crappy clutter in your house - hey, you're doing it for your body, why not your house!


12-05-2010, 11:25 AM
I am with midwife about taking an easy path through the forest. That way, we should miss the pitfalls and tank traps. Cut down on the 'oughts' and 'shoulds' and be kind to yourself. That's the priority, IMHO. Do one or two things which you think are important every day and it will come together. It doesn't all have to be done.

One year, we had a mixed grill for Christmas dinner (this included sausages and burgers which we never have otherwise - plus a pile of veg which we always have). That year was probably one of several when we haven't managed to get it together until the 26th (too much to do on the 25th, you see).

Then there was the year I had a peanut butter sandwich and a long walk. That was good but I was single then.

I also like midwife's idea:

I actually just picked up a whole bunch of interesting Christmas ornaments for most of the people on my list.

That's a great idea! My uncle is going to get one of these! Possibly also my mum.

We have SO's birthday to deal with on the 27th. :D I mean, of course, to celebrate.

Eliana - I'm snowed under with work at present (working all weekend) so I'm not sure I've been coherent. It will be OK. And vent away. BTW, my DS was so delighted that you sent him a hug the other day. Imagine, trying to help someone your age the other side of the world and such nice feedback! Hope things are going well with the boys.

12-05-2010, 12:36 PM
I'm Jewish so it's funny that I have a suggestion, but when I get overwhelmed I prioritize and outsource. Can you do your gift shopping online? There are great deals going on all over the place and many offer low cost gift wrapping. Can you use an online grocery delivery service like Peapod?

If people expect you to do it all, maybe try getting some help by doing what you can from your computer. It may not be the traditional way, but it certainly is easier!

12-05-2010, 12:42 PM
:hug: The other thing is that we don't have to do ALL of the traditions every single year. Choose a couple for this year that work and get the next ones done next year.

Yes! Eliana, I don't think you're alone at all either.

above were my thoughts too.

make a chart (I love charts), of what you want to get who, where you can get it, how much you want to spend (use the www). prioritize on a couple of things that you'd enjoy doing decorations wise. pick a couple of fun things to do and look forward to (a craft fair, movie, lights exhibit, whatever, going ice skating).

I totally get that overwhelming feeling the holidays can bring. it can take a little planning and effort -- and letting go -- to be able to appreciate them better.

12-05-2010, 12:46 PM
I'm Jewish so it's funny that I have a suggestion, but when I get overwhelmed I prioritize and outsource. Can you do your gift shopping online? There are great deals going on all over the place and many offer low cost gift wrapping. Can you use an online grocery delivery service like Peapod?

If people expect you to do it all, maybe try getting some help by doing what you can from your computer. It may not be the traditional way, but it certainly is easier!

The funny thing is I want to convert to Judaism but that's never gonna happen. :( I have weird beliefs as it is but most fit with Judaism. BUT my family is Christian and I love the lights. Chanukah snuck up on me this year and my boys had to tell me when it started. :rolleyes: I've been playing catch up every night since!

Thanks guys! I know I need to let some things go. I think that's part of the problem...I have!! What I have left is stressing me out. I'm trying to get as much done today as possible so I can relax.

Oh and about the clutter...all the clutter I have left is stuff we need/love. :D I hate clutter and oust it whenever I can. But boys create clutter even in the most clutter free homes, ya know?

Pint Sized Terror
12-05-2010, 01:26 PM
You are NOT alone in this! I feel the exact same way, and I'm sure there are thousands of other women like that.

As a woman, there IS a stigma that we should "put on a happy face" especially around this time of year. Does that mean we should perpetuate that stigma? No.

My house is cluttered too. We just don't have space for the stuff we need, let alone the stuff we want. I do purges about once a month, and we still don't have room, despite the fact that I've given away or trashed about 4 or 5 pickup truck fulls of stuff since Spring of this year. :o

Just do the best you can and remember that you're supposed to enjoy this season too. ;) :hug:

12-05-2010, 01:42 PM
I always say I hate christmas but I like the day itself. When all the wrapping and shopping is done.

and it's the longest time possible to the next christmas :lol:

12-05-2010, 01:49 PM
I agree, I don't like Christmas much.

Because I routinely ask too much of myself, between work, and the gym, and even "relaxing" past-times, I always feel like trying to find extra time to complete the holiday-related duties is pretty much the straw that breaks the camel's back. If I'm already thinking desperately, "How can I get it all done?" and THEN the holidays pile on social obligations & the need to find time for decorating and for shopping, all I feel is irritation, rather than good cheer and good will toward all. To really feel a glow of well-being, I have to feel relaxed. And I won't till New Year's Day.

My mantra lately has been: "Ask less of yourself." I keep pulling it out on any day when I feel homicidal or when I start thinking three or more handfuls of trail mix is a really good idea.

12-05-2010, 02:48 PM
My favorite holiday, hands down, has become New Year's Eve because there are no expectations and because I celebrate it with my dear brother and his family. There is no pressure whatsoever, just really good food we prepare and plan TOGETHER and we just relax and have fun. No stress.

12-05-2010, 02:51 PM
And just so you guys understand a little of why I'm whining so much these days...

I dragged DH to the store to buy gifts for our boys while they're at the grandparent's. He wanted to take a nap. On the way to the store I had to tell him TWICE that a red light is not a stop sign. :dizzy:

At the store he followed me around like a pouting puppy dog, offering no help, advice, suggestions, nothing.

I unloaded the stuff from the cart onto the belt. I put all the bags back into the cart the cashier handed me. I pulled out the card and paid for it. I then unloaded all the items into the car...and he just stood there.

But he thinks I'm the crazy one.

12-05-2010, 03:11 PM
I'm sorry your DH is dealing with depression right now. That is hard on both of you. Do you think the shopping would have been more enjoyable for you if he would have stayed home and taken his nap?

I'm pondering my own expectations at this time. The only person I can control is me. So, if someone else's behaviors or choices disappoint me, maybe I need to change my own expectations.

Example: When I rant to DH, he tries to solve the problem. I don't want him to solve the problem. I want him to say "Wow, that is terrible. I totally agree with you." But instead he tries to get all logical with me and have me see it from a different perspective. I don't want to be logical and circumspect. I want to be a brat and vent. So I vent and he gets all logical and then I get annoyed because he is not giving me what I need. After 18 years, I finally have learned that if I want to vent and have someone go "Wow, that is terrible, I totally agree with you", I need to choose someone besides DH to vent to. In 18 years, he has not ever made the leap from problem-solving to simply supportive ear. I might wish that he would. I have explained to him what I need over and over again. And it just hasn't evolved that way. So now I try to not put behavior expectations on him that he cannot or will not fulfill and I'm am not disappointed.

Since your DH is depressed, I can see why you might want him to get out of the house instead of take a nap. But I wonder if you would have had more fun with a girlfriend or even shopping alone (alone time---what is that??). So I think that those of us who have so very much on our agendas need to start getting a little selfish and a little practical and think, how can I adjust this situation to make my life better and more satisfying?

Hmmm....I like your thread (even though I am sad you are stressed).

12-05-2010, 03:27 PM
Sounds like too much multitasking to me. Which, believe me, I can relate to.

What I mean is, you had to get the shopping done for the boys, but you were also trying to "treat" your husband's depression.

Looks like you have to choose between focusing on one thing or the other, not both.

Not to mention that the latter is an impossible task. You can't treat his depression. He has to seek treatment. And the insidious thing about depression is that he probably lacks the will to do this.

Based on posts here, sometimes I think we need a dedicated forum here for "Women Who Are Trying to Lose Weight or Maintain & Who Also Have Depressed Significant Others."

Maybe Depressed Significant Others make us focus more on ourselves & our own well-being, and and also seek to change things in ourselves over which we do have control ... in part to set an example to the inert unhappy creatures we cohabit with. ("See, all efforts are not futile, and you really can change your life ... Look, I'm doing it every day, look how all my small daily efforts add up to something big.")

Sometimes I think that, years ago, when I started coming out of my own depression, but didn't quite have the will to completely emerge & change my situation, I worked on my physical fitness in much the way prisoners behind bars tend to do. Because I felt stuck in place in my life, pretty much imprisoned, cultivating my physical strength & appearance was a way to occupy myself & make myself better, for the eventual jail break & escape, for the day when my time was served & my debt was paid. (But I overdid it, years ago, partly because I didn't deal with the depression, just with the food/exercise thing -- but I think the project began with quite virtuous intentions.) Also, I think getting fit taught me things that I applied later when I broadened my focus & began to remake other parts of my life.

But your husband would have to discover this on his own. I don't think your example has transferred over. He sees your road, but he's stuck & can't go anyplace cause the engine just won't turn over.

12-05-2010, 05:37 PM
Yes, my husband's depression is considered "untreatable." We've just finished up what is basically "shock treatment" and it did nothing...except make him confused. This is why he thinks stop lights are stop signs. :rolleyes: He has been trying to treat it. He's also tried exercise. Nothing works.

I'm still hopeful about meds because the doctor just listed about 20 he wants to start trying. DH, on the other hand, has lost all hope.

Me? I just want a little help around here and can't afford a maid. I was considering a housekeeper. Treatments have left us broke.

Nola Celeste
12-05-2010, 06:06 PM wonder Christmas is stressing you so much. I'm sorry for your husband's depression and hope that the new meds help, and quickly. It's very easy to lose hope and so hard to maintain it when depressed; that's the nature of the beast, unfortunately. :(

You should really consider getting yourself a treat for Christmas--go ahead and call Merry Maids, have them come in and do a top-to-bottom clean. You don't need to have a maid in regularly; just getting a fresh start for your house and banishing some clutter will make it so much easier to maintain. I know this because I did it and it was THE best hundred bucks or so I ever spent.

Even if the rest of the season's pretty crappy, there's one good thing about Christmas--going for a neighborhood walk with all the lights on everyone's homes is wonderful. Let your family tend to themselves for an hour or so here and there and take some "you time" to see it.

I hope things ease up for you soon. :hug:

12-05-2010, 08:40 PM
*Big hug* for you, Eliana. That's an awful lot of emotional weight and stress you're carrying around on your shoulders, and I'm sorry to hear DH isn't doing well depression-wise.

I think Nola's suggestion to have a maid come in for one clean is a great idea. One less thing to stress about. And I definitely think spending alone time or girlfriends time is a must-do, even if it's just for an afternoon or something.

12-06-2010, 03:33 PM
:hug: I'm sorry. I wish I could help. . .

I was going to post my own Grinch-ness and disgust with this holiday season, but I won't hijack. Financially we aren't able to "treat" anyone, so our kids are getting very slim pickings this year. Basically, if I didn't give birth to you, you are not getting a gift from us this year. So I feel blah and down and ready for it to be over. Now!

12-06-2010, 04:03 PM
:hug: I'm sorry. I wish I could help. . .

I was going to post my own Grinch-ness and disgust with this holiday season, but I won't hijack. Financially we aren't able to "treat" anyone, so our kids are getting very slim pickings this year. Basically, if I didn't give birth to you, you are not getting a gift from us this year. So I feel blah and down and ready for it to be over. Now!

I hate that aspect of the holiday. :( We're in the same boat. My husbands treatments have left us dry. I did a lot of our shopping for our kids at the thrift store and the second hand book store and the second hand sports store. They're getting a very nice Christmas on a dime and they won't know the difference.

12-06-2010, 04:52 PM
In the spirit of giving, you have just given me some wonderful advice. Isn't it funny how things don't occur to you? I'm checking out the Rainy Day Pal Bookstore and the Play it Again Sports this weekend. Doh! Thanks!:hug:

12-06-2010, 11:56 PM
I love thrift store and $ store's really amazing the nice things they can have there. I have found brand name clothes, with the tags still on sometimes @ the thrift store and we have a Dollar Tree here that has all kinds of cute little stocking stuffers!

12-07-2010, 12:13 AM
I hatre stepping foot into a mall or a store around this time of the year. It is ridiculous the long lines up especially if you just go in for 1 thing!! 1 THING! I'm kind of alone this holiday, I have my aunt and my cousin out here but I doubt they'll get any turkey or anything for an xmas dinner (because they'll cry broke and expect me to cough out the expense for it...) Which I wouldn't mind as long as my aunt cooked it. I can't cook for the life of me...but for me to have to buy the whole meal is bogus and they don't even appreciate ANYTHING I've done for them...sometimes I wonder if I should just spend it alone...

12-07-2010, 12:33 AM
I have no issues with refrigerated dough!

What I do when I get overwhelmed is leave in the things that really matter TO ME, and cut out everything else. I enjoy baking cookies and making homemade gifts, so I do that. Decorating is less important to me, so we hang a few lights and our stockings and call it a day. I like to send Christmas cards, so I do that, but I don't worry about other stuff. It's really important to my wife to have beautifully wrapped gifts, so I leave that to her.

You have enough going on without putting pressure on yourself to do things that aren't important to you. If you're resenting the holiday and become stressed over things, eliminate them and stick with the parts that matter most to you.

12-07-2010, 01:05 AM
Check out "Unplug the Christmas Machine" from the library.

Sit down to list what you value about your holiday season and traditions, religious observances, etc. What are you top 3 most valued, treasured things?

Then list what you spend time on and how much time.

Then see if the areas you spend time on are matching the priorities.
If they are not syncing up, trim down so that you really are focused on the top 3 things that matter to you. The rest? Learn the word "No" and the word "good enough."

It may sound like all you are doing is saying "No" a lot, but remember that what you are really doing by turning down extra bonus stuff is saying a big "YES! YES YES!" to the top 3 things you love most and clearing the time to be able to do them.

That will make it much more satisfying, and hopefully, more spiritually rewarding as well.

12-07-2010, 04:46 AM
there are a few things that i think would help. first off- stop thinking in terms of what you have to do, what needs to be done for other people, etc. because when you think like that, you immediately put yourself into the mentality of "why isn't anyone helping me?" and you get mad at them and down on the whole thing.
instead, i recommend you think in terms of what do I want to get done? Make yourself a list, accept that these things are a single person chore, and just get them done.
when i finally let go of the fact that i wasn't going to get any help, instead of feeling overwhelmed, sad, and angry- i got organized and felt accomplished. look at all i can do and i don't need anyone!
i am all about lists. lists lists lists. i have a list of christmas presents i need to get, a list of food i can buy at walmart, a list of fresh stuff i want to get at a better grocery store, i usually chart myself a timeline for cooking christmas dinner, etc. if i have a plan, i can get it all done.
my grandmother had depression like your husband has. they did ETS on her and it did not work. i am not entirely convinced she had a single happy day in her entire life. BUT maybe this is because she is a woman, i don't know, she could still fake it. I don't think it's asking too much for your husband to fake it for you. maybe do some of the chores that are easy and don't take much- like gift wrapping?
and as for the clutter- i think spending a few bucks on some big tubs is a great idea- one for each kid and one for each adult. you can toss your crap from all over the house in there and dump it off in the room. it might not be put away, but it's out of sight from the common area which is good enough.
sometimes it's not about perfection but about what is good enough.