Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Holidays

Hey people.  I'm practically *done* with Christmas preparations.  I know, I know-- how ever do I do it???  Well, here's one way--  ~*Merry Christmas*~ everyone I know-- here's your card:  (back by popular demand) (You can click image to make it bigger)

You may remember last year Dan went off the reservation and sent out cards by himself.  This prompted lots of teasing, people saying smugly, "I thought you weren't doing cards this year."  Well, I didn't.  So there.  Last year I got a card from my cousin's wife, that had "Darrin had nothing what-so-ever to do with this card!" scrawled on the back of the envelope.  It was for sure the funniest card we got.

Another time saver?-- ~*Merry Christmas*~ friends of Sue!  Since it is the thought that counts, that's what you're getting this year!  A friend recently pointed out people generally go out and buy whatever inexpensive things they want anyway-- something I've thought for a long time.  Also, most people don't remember what they gave or received year to year unless it was something super special.  Some trinket I'd pick up could never encapsulate how I feel about my friends anyway.

I guess I could say my gift is letting you all cross one more thing off your lists-- "find gift for Sue."

As for decorating?-- No traditional tree this year, and not much else either.  There have been years I've gone completely nuts with this, making garlands out of fresh cut pine boughs I went out and got myself out of the woods etc etc.  This year I have one or two ideas, but they're really minimal, just things I think would look nice and would kind of have fun doing, so that's what I'm going with.

I'm having my family over Christmas day, but it's supposed to be about spending some time together anyway, so in the spirit of not driving myself nuts, and therefore perhaps being in a crappy mood that day, I'm just not going to go all out.

Oh-- HA!  Too funny--Dan's mom just called to ~pass along~ this little light-up village scene he gave her one year.  She doesn't really want it anymore, so instead of just getting rid of it, is pumping it full of holiday sentimentality/guilt for Dan.  (Which totally works on him btw-- he's so worried about bursting her bubble he's assuring her we'll put it up somewhere.  Probably not.)  ~Like we want it.~  This is the kind of thing that makes the holidays so hard.

I've heard of both sides of this occurring-- kids pressuring parents to sustain, or even recreate traditions from their childhoods for their own kids (the grand kids), and parents, pressuring kids to adopt traditions or objects, sort of passing the torch.  These are just *things* people.  If you don't want it, no one else does either probably.  As for the traditions, I've heard people say they are super into this, and that's something I've never understood.  Maybe it gives them a feeling of constancy or something, to me it just feels suffocating.

I think it's unfair for people to expect others to take on their traditions though.  People load the holidays with so much excess baggage.  It would be very easy for me to sardonically unpack those bags right here on the lawn, so to speak.

The holidays are:

A big excuse to go shopping and over-spend (for some).

A time to remember those less fortunate.

A time when you're forced to participate in social/family gatherings you'd normally try to get out of.

A time when you get to see people you see little of the rest of the year.

A consumer event, that marketing specialists and retailers strategize for all year.

A religious holiday.

A very difficult time of year to get through.

The happiest time of the year.

Only about a month long.

*This last item is about the only thing EVERYONE can agree on.


Linda G. said...

I nearly wet myself reading that letter -- laughter like that is gift enough. :)

Maery Rose said...

And here I feel guilty every year because everyone at work is talking about Christmas shopping and how they battled their way through the mall to find the perfect gift. They'll ask me if I'm done with my shopping and I'll mutter something about, gosh, gee, I don't have anyone to shop for. Everyone is dead or out of state. I feel rather pathetic. But even if I did have people to shop for, that's what the internet is for.

pseudosu said...

Linda G-
People still ask me if I can send them this card. Luckily I saved one for myself!

Yeah, I'm giving your permission to just say, "yep," and give them a smug, satisfied smile.

Maery Rose said...

Sue - you should go check out this blog post: http://farsideoffifty.blogspot.com/2010/12/music.html I think that lovely Christmas pressure is starting to build.

I meant to comment on what you wrote about Christmas being a difficult time and a happy time. I guess it depends on what it means to you. It has usually meant loneliness for me because so much of my family is gone. This year, I'm thinking that I'm building a new family.

irishk said...

You know, (I've heard you say and I feel the same) I am full of contradictions and so is life. All your statements are true and I feel them at different times in varying degrees. I love the opportunity to search for something that somehow conveys my sentiment for someone special in my life. That makes me feel good, so maybe it is a self-serving thing to do...that old saying that it is far better to give than receive is soooo true. I truly feel joy when I can give something special to someone. Conversely, to HAVE to buy someone a gift out of obligation is the absolute worst part of some people's Christmas. I hope I never feel like that is what I am doing. I love what Maery wrote about building a new family. It's what we should all be doing all the time. Choose your 'family' wisely and cherish them, just because you can:-) Thanks Sue! Kathleen

pseudosu said...

Yeah, I think people in that position feel like they're on the outside looking in, and that they're missing out, when in reality, no one had the norman rockwell thing going on in real life. It makes me feel good to hear you say your in a rebuilding phase. :)

I like that too- finding just the right thing for the right person, and it has in the past been one of the few things i enjoyed about the holidays. But now, the whole season is such a turn-off for me, and there is a real awkwardness and pressure around "who is getting me a gift and who isn't?" "What's the appropriate level of gift to not make anyone feel weird?" etc etc, it has taken all the fun out of it. I'd really just as soon skip it. Time with my friends is WAY more valuable than any gift could even be anyway. :)

linda thiltgen said...

The gift of time is the best!

I always appreciate your holiday letter, Sue. And am thankful for the laughter, friendship and fun you provide all year!

pseudosu said...

Right back at you Linda!