Top 10 Ways to Inflict Holiday Torture Upon Yourself

‘Tis the season – the season for unrealistic expectations followed by the inevitable crash and burn of disappointment.  How many of these things are you planning to put yourself through this holiday season?

Oh Noooooo....

Oh Noooooo….

1. You expect that somehow, despite decades of evidence to the contrary, your family get-together will be a blissful affair, with angelic children sitting in rapt attention by the fireplace as grandpa reads “The Night Before Christmas;” adult siblings enjoying one another’s company with not a hint of competition or resentment; in-laws happily allowing you to do things your way; everyone eating and drinking in merry moderation; and you pulling it all off without breaking a sweat.

2. You believe a perfect gift exists for each person on your list and you are damn well going to find it, even if it’s Christmas Eve and the overnight shipping will cost more than the gift itself.

3. Similarly, you expect your significant other will pick out, purchase, and lovingly wrap the perfect gift for you, even though you have no idea what that might be.

4. You are determined to get the perfect family photo for the Christmas card, you know, the one that depicts the fictional family of your imagination, rather than your actual family.

5. You eat and drink and eat and drink and eat and drink, knowing how badly you’re going to feel, but thinking, “Hey, it’s Christmas, what’s Christmas without a little (fill in your family’s standard Christmas food/drink excesses)?

6. You veer way out of your normal routine, staying up way too late, foregoing meals to compensate for all the crap you’re eating, and deciding that skipping your regular exercise routine for a few days or weeks is no big deal.

7. You believe that the office Christmas party is one big competition and that, this year, you will finally out-cookie the office baking maven, whose Christmas cookies and cakes are legendary.

8. You conveniently forget the hell of holiday traveling and think you can arrive at your destination unscathed, with no airline delays or traffic nightmares, ready to embrace your family with holiday cheer.

9. You expect to accomplish all holiday related tasks by yourself and that people will notice, appreciate and thank you for all that you did.

10. You finish up the holidays by comparing the reality of your holiday to the unreality of everyone else’s newly posted holiday Facebook photos.

Once you’ve tortured yourself through Christmas, it will be time to look ahead and make some seriously unrealistic New Year’s resolutions. Who wants to start?

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47 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways to Inflict Holiday Torture Upon Yourself

  1. I suffer from terminal, acute holiday travel hell amnesia. Every December I swear to the high heavens that I will never, ever again book myself on a multi-city flight from Florida to New England to the Midwest and back to Florida, all with connections, in order to see my family and my in-laws on Christmas. And, then, every August, there I am buying those same exact tickets.

    There really needs to be a race for the cure for this.

  2. #5 and #6. I’ve already gorged on two Christmas dinners and two Christmas brunches and missed six workouts. And it’s not even Christmas yet… Oink!

    I’d resolve to do better next year, but speaking of unrealistic resolutions… ;-)

  3. I don’t do that any more. Really. I used to. But it made everybody, especially me, nuts. I really did stop. I buy a few gifts. Send a few cards. Drink some extra adult beverages. But I do not have the energy, the stamina, the money or the need to keep doing it.

    I think somebody flipped a switch on me. And I am delighted.

  4. As a military spouse, we finally decided to not travel home for the torturous holiday travel. Its stressful and unfulfilling and really, we should enjoy this time to be together. So, its much as it hurts to trun down family, we’re staying home! (I snickered in approving laughter while I typed that!)

  5. Reblogged this on Mumzilla's World and commented:
    I normally wouldn’t do this, but in the theme of Christmas, I thought a re-blogging was necessary. If this blogger’s options fail to suit your self-inflicting Christmas wishes – you can always go back to my original advice of just simply staying in bed. After all, it should be safe there.

  6. Yep– nailed it. Especially the “perfect gift for everyone” thing. I’m the queen of this. It’s no holds barred, I will do what it takes to Santa Clause the world to death.

  7. I used to succumb to #1 but this year I tossed out all those expectations and decided to go with the flow. With 12 people under our roof for the past week (4 of them between the ages of 2 and 5) and most of them sick with colds and/or stomach flu at one point or another during that time, thank goodness I did! We’ve survived temper tantrums, sleepless nights and a late night trip to ER. They’re leaving tomorrow and in spite of it all, I’m going to miss them. I must admit that I did indulge in a little too much of #5 this year though.

  8. Pingback: Imperfect Christmas | Following Augustine

  9. I recall an exceptionally vile and devastating family christmas get together some years back. The noise, the liquor, the despair and hatred were all present. Screaming children, wretched music, sweat, and vomiting. Wonderful. Merry Christmas.

  10. Thoroughly good read! New years resolution: become the next Paula Radcliffe, minus the public defecation (fingers and legs crossed) and share ridiculous challenge on the internet. Starting to feel a tad unrealistic.

  11. Well spoken indeed! I always find that by the time I complete the arduous trek to whomever’s home in which the holiday festivities happen to be taking place on a given year, that I’m so fraught with unbridled hostility and aggressive exhaustion by the time I arrive that I can’t even open my fat face to speak to anyone, let alone behave in any sort of remotely affable manner. Thus my holidays are perpetually peppered with reckless bouts of hatred sleep…and alcohol. Tis a brown affair.

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