I love the holidays. I really do. From mid-October to January 1st my life is consumed with them. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. I love it all. I like pumpkins on my porch and orange lights, and pine boughs and red bows. And I like Christmas music. I like Kenny G’s Christmas album, thank you very much. It soothes me. I’m practically radiant with good cheer. I’m sure you can see it, all the way over there.
But the thing is, I’m an adult now. Which means I bear a lot more responsibility around the holidays than I ever have before. And this has increased ten fold recently.
We bought a new house over a year ago, and before then, Holiday Central was my mother’s house. Not so anymore. We now have the biggest house, the biggest dining and living area and are now, by default, Holiday Central.
Last year was my first experience with this. Halloween is easy. That’s us and the kids. No stress. But Thanksgiving? Oh. My. Gosh. The stores may forget about Thanksgiving, but I do not. And neither does my family. Not only did my house need to be clean, but there was food that needed to be cooked. A lot of food. Thanksgiving morning consisted of me grousing at my husband about how I HAD TO DO ALL THE THINGS AND HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND BECAUSE MEN HAVE TO DO JACK NOTHING BUT WATCH FOOTBALL ON THANKSGIVING.
So this year he’s offered to help. And I’m skeptical. And here is my can’t-win-holiday-conundrum. I blame my father for this, because as far back as I can remember, around the holidays he starts singing Fiddler on the Rood. TRADITION!! Tradition.
Yeah, we’re all about the tradition. And most of our traditions revolve around food. That means I’m very reluctant to allow other hands in my baking dishes, so to speak.
Now, I learned how to make all holiday meals from my mother, so of course SHE’S allowed. But anyone else? *side eye* I don’t know. They don’t know me. They don’t know how much broth I want in my dressing. THEY DON’T KNOW MY LIFE.
There have also been other offers made to me re: bringing food. And I’m of course hesitant to take the help.
This is the story of my life, not just my holidays. I think what it boils down to is that I’m a control freak (yeah, don’t laugh. I’m sure any of you who read this blog/follow me on twitter/know me IRL/work with me in a professional manner already know this, but I’m just figuring it out) and that makes it hard for me to ask for help, but easy for me to flail around whining about how stressed I am because I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO.
I’m not going to do that this year. I’m not. This is me making a resolution. Because it’s okay if the mashed potatoes don’t taste like I would make them. (hesitates even as I type this…) But it’s not okay for me to be growling at everyone on Thanksgiving because I’m marinating in my role as Grand Suffering Mother Doing All The Things (that I chose to do but whatever).
I’m releasing hold. And that’s hard. But I do love the holidays, and I want to keep on loving them. And that means pausing to remember what’s really important, and to enjoy the time with my family.
Except I’m still making the dressing. No one else is allowed to make that.