Yes, we’ve all told each other we had a great Christmas, whether we did or not. It’s the polite thing to do.
How we normally respond is socially acceptable. I remember the years of hard Christmases, especially the year our Grandpa died on Christmas Eve. The home movies of us opening gifts looked somber and just sad. People who have losses of loved ones aren’t having a great time, either. My dad died December 7, 1988. Christmas was terrible.
It isn’t just the people who experience losses who have a bad/hard Christmas. Dysfunctional families really have an unbelievable Christmas for sure. I experienced some of that this year, but not on Christmas. It was the day after. I shared some of our fabulous beef tenderloin, spinach/sweet potato salad, and 2 desserts with a person I’ve known for a long time. Long story, short story. It did not turn out like I planned. I was happy to deliver some food, a gift of love, but was met with lots of discontent and misunderstanding. Yelling ensued, which I don’t do well with. I don’t yell in response, I am quiet. This time, it ended up differently.
What did I do? What I wish I’d learned years ago. I was horribly uncomfortable. I simply turned around and said, “I have to leave.” First time in my 70 years of life I’ve done that. I avoided a verbal assault, having to defend my intentions, etc., and left the guilt, the feeling bad, the feelings of rejection at the door of the person I tried to do something nice for. I didn’t bring it home with me.
I am grateful I’ve finally learned it’s not my fault. I didn’t cause the problem. It’s them, not me. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. And the Babe is the person who has told & taught me to be stronger. Don’t let people do that to me. I’m grateful for the Babe; the gift who keeps on giving. And did I tell you, 25 years ago Christmas Eve, he asked me to marry him? Years ago, I told his sweet Mom, “Every day is Christmas with the Babe.” She laughed. Loved that lady.
I want to encourage anyone who needs to hear it; often, it’s not your problem. It’s their problem, you didn’t cause it. 2023 will be the start of helping others in a way I haven’t before. You need to claim what is your fault; what is their fault is what they need to claim.
Life is a two-way street and the yield signs are not all on your side. — Kathy Raabe, 2022
Self-care includes sticking up for yourself. Learn it, practice it, before it’s too late. Be safe out there and see you tomorrow!