I have to be careful about what I say on this blog. That's not really the point of blogs; they are a way (in my mind anyway) to let people anonymously into your thoughts and sometimes get feedback. They aren’t really meant to be read by your family, so that you have to take care of their feelings while you are processing your thoughts and emotions; kinda like a diary, but with people who can read it.
Mine isn’t. I set it up to keep people updated on my journey in England and I haven’t changed the address. I could, but ultimately I like knowing that people read it and I'm too scared to lose the followers if I remove the blog and replace it somewhere else. (Ego whore?) I know that my Dad reads it as well as some of my close friends. Other people who have found me a followed me also read it. Now, my friends can know whatever’s going on in my brain, no problem. Strangers? Bring it on. My family? I don’t want to hurt them, but I find the outlet of blogging is beneficial. While I like being alone, I hate being lonely. Massive difference. I don’t talk to people about things like this, and when I do I get people trying to 'fix' it or trying to tell me why I shouldn’t be thinking that way and so I’ve pretty much given up telling people my feelings. I need this. And I need to talk about the things I do. Just writing it in my diary sometimes isn't as cathartic as putting it out into the World.
So, Dad. Here goes. I am going to write this. I know it will most likely annoy you and if your wife reads it, it will definitely hurt her. I apologise for that. Please know that it is not my intention to hurt either of you (or my sisters if you’re reading) but I really need to write this. She wrote her interpretation of traditions on her blog and I know that it wasn't as bald as this, I need to do this.
If you don't want to read on, that's fine - close the browser. Otherwise, I've warned you and I would appreciate you taking this as me letting my emotions out and I really hope there are no repercussions should you choose to continue.
Without further ado:
It appears we have none. It really upsets me. I know that we grow and traditions need to change wit us, but I can't see anything other thans P's dinner that resembels anything that I have done in the past.
As a kid, we went to my maternal grandmother's for a family dinner. Mostly just us and her and her epically magnificent 'roast' potatoes and half-frozen chocolate bavarian. Ot that might be just when we went for normal dinner. But it was special. No one else I knew did anything on Christmas Eve and I thought it was a really good thing to separate the families. Yes, we saw her mostly on Christmas Day anyway, but we didn't need to, we already had!
Then we had Santa on Christmas Day at home, then either everyone came here or we went to our Aunt and Uncles. An actual family event! Lots of people, lots of food - the only time when we had a large family. Ah, the joy. Swimming, lasagne, potato salad, pizza. Italians.
As we've gotten older, of course things change.
When our parents split up, we kept Christmas Eve as Mum's night and Christmas Day as Dad's day. It allowed Mum to go to friends and kept up the traditions. We changed the location; it became cold chicken and coleslaw on the beach watching the sun set, but it was still Christmas Eve, leaving Christmas Day open for the large family gathering.
Then it all changed. Because of melding families. We gained an aunt's thing the week before, wich was great a large family gathering and lots of laughter. My new sisters also had the celebration on Christmas Eve, so we had to swap. We were told we had to swap. And my original sisters couldn't understand why I was upset. I can't even really explain it, except that I still am.
But then of course, we lost Christmas Day as well. Yes, they've all grown so aren't large gatherings on Christmas Day, but we don't get it, 'cause we had to change to spending the day with Mum. I love her and I love spending the day with her, but her family are pretty lame and no one ever makes the effort to see each other. I miss having lots of people around.
When we got to about 20, my friends and I were SMSing Merry Christmas to each other and worked out that we were all free and got everyone together and went to Southbank and swam. Christmas Dinner always turned into some kind of sausage roll or chicken roll bought at NightOwl. Ewww but excellent! A tradition back in my life. That's changed as well now. There are children and people working on Christmas Night. Ok, I'm down with that - I've just made it clear I still want to see some of them on the day. If my family is going to make it a 2 hour thing 'cause the sisters with partners have to go and spend time there as well, I want to feel included and loved as well.
But all in all, it's changed. I hate it. And I feel guilty about it. I kinda added to it, but spending three Christmasses out of the past 5 years away. Why should I have any right to feel that things have changed?
I don't know, but I do. And I want some kind of tradition. Some kind of knowing that what the hell I want to do is listened to and considered.
'Cause of course we've know got Secret Santa because Christmas is 'too expensive'. From a family where we grew up buying everyone a present to only buying one and getting one is pants. Disgusting. That's the point of Christmas to me. Looking, scouring and really thinking about your family and finding things they'd like. Not the money. Not the getting (but of course, I like getting) but the freaking giving. But I'm not allowed to now. Oh no. But I have to spend $100 on one present when 10 usually cost $100.
Why does everything leave me behind? I think the tradition we have now sucks balls and I can't wait until I've got a partner who can organise a new tradition with our family.