I find myself holding onto traditions when others take them for granted or it isn’t as meaningful for them as for me. Take being together on Christmas Day, for instance. Or the choice of food. Don’t get me going on that. People nowadays are so fussy about what they will eat or won’t eat. It’s not like hostessing a meal anymore. The pendulum has swung so far that there now seems to be endless discussion on what to cook and what to eat. When I’m the one who will do the heavy lifting to satisfy everyone’s whims and wants: doing the shopping, paying for the food, cooking and serving it, and what happens–people pick and choose what they want to eat and, whether to be late or to leave early. There is a new entitlement these days about being a guest. No longer is it the case that you invite people and present a shimmering Christmas tree and a groaning board of delectable food.
I don’t even mind that picky part about the entertaining when one is hosting the venue, setting the stage with holiday decorations, spending weeks setting it up and then having people come and adjust things just so after you have spent so much time already on making things just so.
What I do mind, after setting the stage, financing, shopping for and providing for the food, drink and all the largess (dollars and presents galore) is when I am treated like the backdrop. When people make decisions about when they’re going to be here or not. When choices are made in tandem with people who have treated me so badly in the past. And nobody gets that or even notices. So, with that, the whole thing turns to dust.
But wait, it’s not so bad when I have had time to process it all. To think to myself how weary I have been feeling even thinking about putting the whole show on the road (literally!) again. It’s time to let it go. The show doesn’t have to go on anymore. Because my integrity is more important than even Christmas, believe it or not.
That’s how the cookie crumbles. And. . . happiness is a choice, right?