Going rogue during the holidays

by Kristina Tahnyak on January 13, 2014 · 4 comments

Happy New Year Dinks.  Did you survive the holidays with your brain and your budget intact? I know that the holidays can be a stressful time – both emotionally and financially and stress can definitely take a toll on your relationship.  But the great thing about being a Dink is that you can rely on your spouse for moral and financial support.

What do the holidays mean for you?

For some people the holidays are an exciting time filled with gifts, dinners, family and friends.  But what if the holidays are more stressful than they are fun?  If you are like me then your parents are divorced and the holidays include running from multiple dinners and parties while trying to be on time so that I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  My parents have been divorced for many years but they still take it as a personal vengeance if I spend more than five extra minutes with the other side of the family because “it cut’s into their time.”

My boyfriend Nick and I both live far away from our families and this year we decided to avoid the hectic holidays.  This year we just stayed home and spent a quiet few days indoors with good food, good music and a lot of Netflix.   I am not going to lie, this was one of the best holidays that I have had in a long time.  I do love my family but I can definitely live without the stress of the holidays.  I’m 33 and it’s time I start my own traditions, so that’s exactly what I did.

Starting our own Christmas traditions

Staying home for the holidays saved me a lot of time and travel costs.  It takes literally an entire day to travel to my hometown from where I live now and although I sleep for most of the train ride, it’s eight hours that I could be doing something else.  After Christmas morning with gifts and a really great breakfast, this year I spent Christmas Day in my pyjamas watching movies on Netflix while my boyfriend Nick watched five NBA basketball games.

Every year when Nick throws himself into a ball of NBA holiday cheer I always tell him “those NBA players could be home with their families, if you weren’t watching the game.”  Every single year Nick responds with the exact same response “Getting a pair of NBA tickets as a gift is the best Christmas present ever.”  Although I am not a sports fan, I have to admit he may have a point.  All the kids at the games looked so happy and filled with joy.

Not apologizing for my choice to stay home

Of course not going home and doing what I want comes with repercussions.  My family, actually my mother, was not happy that I didn’t come home for the holidays and as bad as this may sound I really don’t care.  I had happy holidays and I am not sorry for that.  I spent five awesome days with my boyfriend relaxing and taking a much needed break from my life and it was totally great.  It was actually the perfect way to start the New Year…focusing on my personal health and my relationship.

Photo by DrunkenMonkey

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brock @cleverdude January 13, 2014 at 8:24 am

There’s certainly no need to apologize for the way you spent your holidays….to each their own and what makes them happy. I love seeing the joy on my son’s face when he opens his gifts, but outside of that, I could do without all the other stress that comes along with Christmas as well! SO HAPPY that it’s January and I can now get back to my usual routine!

2 Kathy January 13, 2014 at 10:38 am

When my husband and I first married, we went to both sets of parents’ home. What a hassle! So we told them, years in advance, that when we had children we were staying home Christmas Eve and day. Anyone who wanted to come was welcome but our child would be spending Christmas in his own home. We stuck with that for years. Now our son is married and he and his wife are facing the same thing. I try to be understanding about her family taking priority since they are in a different state, but it is hard not to be disappointed. But I keep reminding myself that Christmas is an arbitrarily chosen day and when we see them a day or two later it is just as meaningful.

3 Elizabeth January 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm

You have nothing for which to apologize! You are a 33 year old woman who has every right to spend the holidays as you wish. My parents also divorced when I was seven and the holidays have been less-than-wonderful ever since. I finally stopped returning to my hometown for the holidays years ago and have no regrets. My visits are now when flights are cheaper, the weather is better, and it’s a less hectic time of the year. I at first received several guilt trips, but after a few declined invitations to spend the holidays where I live, those quickly dissipated. I think it simply takes some time for families to realize that you aren’t really “returning home,” but you are instead visiting them…and you have every right to do so when the time is right for all parties (including you).

4 Slinky January 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

The current plague decided to visit our house as we were about to depart for Christmas, so we stayed home this year too. It really was wonderful. Dealing with family drama is so tiring and stressful!

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