Friday, December 25, 2009

Could I be the Grinch?

The second Thanksgiving is over I pull the christmas decoration out with much zeal. The house goes through it's transformation into a winter wonderland of red, silver, and white (my personal christmas color decorations)! I love it and I love decorating for it. I love everything about getting ready for christmas, the music, the decorations. the stockings, the cooking, and the shopping. I'm the first to admit that I go WAY overboard each year because I just love buying my kids gifts! And each year it's the same, the same sweet anticipation of christmas morning and the joy that will be brought to the faces of my sweet children.....SCREECH!!! Not so fast. Therein lies the problem.

I love all the preparations that go along with christmas and HATE the actual event. Yes, I realize that this may sound a bit depressing and brutally honest, but for anyone that knows anything about me, that's me! The utter dislike of the actual day stems from having children grow up and a lot of years of being alone or not having the kids at all, let's get that strait right from the beginning, christmas without your kids is, well, just about the most depressing thing you can imagine x 10. Everyone makes a great effort to make sure you are included, but really when it comes down to it, it's a lot less depressing to sit on the couch in your pj's, watching falalala lifetime (christmas movies) for hours on end with a huge supply of junk food feeling pretty sorry for yourself than it is to watch people in the happy marriages with their happy kids. I know, it's probably really rude of me to say that, but any single parent I'm guessing will agree with me. It's like having a happy life rubbed in your face on the hardest day of the year. Not so fun, even though I know that NOBODY ever means that and just loves all of us single parents!

I wander, this is not the point of my entry. The thing is, that the years you have your kids, you put SO much anticipation into being able to enjoy that day and not be depressed that it's a complete let down. You know, it's like when you go out to eat at that "incredible" restaurant that everyone loves and that's all you've ever heard about, you order and it's not nearly what you expected and you feel like you just got financially raped for wasting your money (usually a lot of it) and feeling like you could have made it better at home for free. It's that feeling, but worse because it's your children.

This morning was no exception to my complete and utter disappointment in christmas. Maybe it's my fault. Wait, I know it's my fault - my kids are spoiled brats is what it comes down to. Okay, I love my daughters and most of the time I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but let's face it, most kids of that generation are basically just totally and completely ungrateful and expect life and all it's wonders to be handed to them on a silver platter and when they don't get it, well they let you know it. I have created it, along with the world that they live in and I hate it. I want them to have so much and I try to give them a really good life. Unfortunetly for me (and them) I go overboard on christmas, along with most of the world.

This year I thought that maybe things would be different. Actually, I didn't actually remember how much I hated this day until today when the total let down was shoved in my face as my girls (12 and 9) looked through their stockings and I could see the disappointment on their faces. Let me see, the shirt Jane got wasn't nearly as cute as what Katy had, and she didn't get shoes, and on and on. To Kate's credit, she didn't say anything and really was fine, just not showing any signs of happiness (normal I guess for her age). Sammy was just riding around the room on his new scooter, oblivious to the surrounding nightmare that was soon to errupt.

I tried, I really did. I tried so hard to not let it affect me and to be happy and to try to not let it ruin my day. I chalked it up to them being tired and got up to make breakfast. At that point Kate began to yell at me for stopping and wanting to have a nice, big breakfast because she wanted to open the presents RIGHT NOW! Let's just say that I wanted to jump down her throat. No, I wanted to take Sammy, get in the car, with all of their presents, and just drive to a shelter somewhere and give them all of the gifts and then walk in the door with NOTHING!!!!

Once again, I controlled myself and told her that she couldn't talk to me that way and that we were going to have a nice morning and stop and have breakfast and that way Christmas would last longer and not be "over" in an hour. By the way, we always do that, so it shouldn't have been some surprise to her. I offered the prayer on the food, making sure to pray for all of those poor, unfortunate children out there that did not have so much on this day and were not nearly so blessed. I went on a little about how blessed we were, hoping that it would maybe sink in that they were not showing their gratitude.

Okay, sorry that this is so long, but you know me - long winded when it comes to writing. Maybe that's because I hate actually talking to people and sharing my life. How pathetic am I? Don't answer that, I already know. Anyway, I was doing the breakfast dishes and someone said something and I did lose it. I couldn't hold it in anymore and just said "I don't want to do this anymore. You are both so incredibly ungrateful for all that you have and I can't stand watching it. I am going away from both of you." I walked out of the room and started to cry in my room thinking about how my children had turned out like this and how they really had NO idea in the world how blessed they really are. It broke my heart to be honest with you and made me so sick to my stomach. I just sat there and cried and cried wishing that things were different. I hated that I was alone and didn't have a husband to come in and comfort me and to tell me that this was normal and that he let them have it when I left the room crying. I wanted to have a different life at that moment and didn't want to do this alone anymore. I feel like I am doing it all wrong and I don't know how to do it any better. I try so hard to teach my children gratitude above all else, but they just don't get it.

Christmas is a huge in your face showing of your children's views on gratitude and mine failed miserably once again. Katy came in after I could hear the girls yelling at eachother and realizing that that was not going to get them anywhere, to try to comfort me in her own sweet way. I will say, that she really does hurt when I am struggling and shows a great deal of compassion when I have my little breakdowns. I try so hard to cry in private and to not let them see that I can't handle life sometimes, but I can't always hide it.

At that moment, I just wanted to cry and to go back to bed and start all over again. No, I just wanted the day to be over. Jane made a pathetic attempt at an apology (she can be very insincere when she's not sorry and it comes off way bratty), and I just told them that I wasn't coming out of my room until I could see some form of gratitude. I will admit that it was humorous and took about an hour for them to figure it out, that all I wanted was happy kids that showed gratitude for all that they had and showed gratitude for me and all that I do by helping me and thinking of others. I could finally hear them working together, trying to figure it out and then it happened, I heard the sound of dishes being done, garbage being taken out all the way to the actual trash can, and things being cleaned. It may not be a lot, but it was what I needed to get over it. I walked out and gave them hugs and told them how much I loved them and how much it hurt to me see that they didn't appreciate all that they have been given by me and more importantly, by our Heavenly Father.

We proceeded with opening our gifts and it was a different house. They were smiling and laughing. They were happy and showing actual gratitude. Now I have no idea if it will be anything that will last, but it was nice for the moment. However, it doesn't change that I just hate this day and probably will for a long time. I love the buildup to this day, but just hate this day. I spent the rest of the day cooking a huge dinner for lets see, me, my three children (that would be just as happy with cereal), and Casey, who came to see Sammy and spend time with him. Very unrewarding. I was and am TOTALLY exausted and at the end of it all, have a huge mess to clean, things to put away that don't have places, too much garbage, and a hole in my heart that I have children that don't appreciate all that they have. Honestly, I don't want to do christmas anymore. I think that from now on I will decorate and do all of that and just omit the shopping part of it and just give my kids NOTHING!!!!!!! They have everything and need nothing and I'm sick of having bad attitudes pointed out to me when I go above and beyond and them not appreciating it. So I may be a whiner and I may be totally negative and complaining and wishing for the world, but you know what, I hate hate hate ingratitude. Yes I wish that I had a lot more in the way of money and a actual husband rather than a fantisy one that I hope to have at some point, but the reality is that I'm so grateful each and every day for all that I have. I wake up daily thanking my Heavenly Father for all that he has given me. I don't have a lot when it comes to material things, that will probably never change, and that's kind of okay. I'm just grateful and wish that my kids were too.

So, I have become the Grinch, a twisted grinch! One that LOVES the holiday season, and just hates the holiday. I won't do it anymore. It isn't worth it and makes me feel horrible, and I don't want to feel that way. So if you have any suggestions on what we can do instead, feel free to let me know. And if you say "use the money to go on a lovely family vacation" HELL no (sorry for the strong language). My kids don't even appreciate that! So, I don't want to spend the money and I don't to give them anything. So my dear friends (or maybe not), please let me know what you think I should do instead on christmas day. If you made it to this point, please help me and tell me what I can do instead because really, they will not get christmas next year. NOTHING!