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Not to understand Christmas day

(71 Posts)
ginorwine Thu 17-Dec-15 08:27:35

I love Christmas Eve.
Veg prep , getting the turkey , cleaning , candles , carols and meet friends for carol singing in the pub .
Christmas Day we have a tradition of stockings for the teen dc , then gifts then late lunch .
Then I tend to get twitchy
Clausterphobic feeling

We have been out for a walk but as lots of folk are doing the same thing as we live near a park its quite busy and also I feel the loss of my darling dad more when I see families .
I know thAt I'm lucky to have family and a home .i just wonder does anyone else feel a bit odd on Christmas day ? I know it's known to be a bit of a loaded day emotionally but no one in rl I know feels this .at work it's all 10 sleeps to Christmas etc .

TwoSmellyDogs Thu 17-Dec-15 08:29:58

What do you mean you don't 'understand' Christmas Day? What's to understand. It's a day. hmm

RJnomore1 Thu 17-Dec-15 08:33:50

Helpfulconfused

I get you op. Are you able to drive somewhere that might be quieter for a walk?

I always take a few minutes to remember my gran on the day. It helps me then refocus the rest of the day on the kids and relaxing and having fun.

But it is just 24 hours, in fact it's only really half the day you've mentioned, and before you know it it's over. What would help you fillet? Box sets, crafting, board games?

PotOfYoghurt Thu 17-Dec-15 08:37:24

A good sharp knife should help to fillet RJ.
**
thanks op. Try doing something different this year, to break the routine?

WeWillLaugh Thu 17-Dec-15 08:37:27

I think it's because Christmas Day carries so many memories with it, especially from our own childhoods.

It's the one day we tend to break from our all the distractions of 'normal' life - work, school etc.

So it's only natural that we'll feel the absence of loved ones. I certainly do.

I'm sure it's more common to feel this way than you might think.

Your Dad will be with you in spirit! flowers

ArgyMargy Thu 17-Dec-15 08:39:50

Perhaps a better title might have been "AIBU to not understand my own emotional reaction to Christmas Day?"

Senpai Thu 17-Dec-15 08:41:08

MIL died a few days before Christmas, DH has to work on being happy for everyone.

Can you do a relaxing movie with popcorn or something after lunch so you have a chance to wind down or switch your brain off?

Clarella Thu 17-Dec-15 08:51:35

Yes I think a lot of people find it odd or awkward.

We are bombarded with visual images, hear what others are doing etc. Its a pretty full on thing and not always really done for the 'right' reasons imo.

I'm often over it by the time it's Xmas eve - teaching Sen children it's sometimes been fraught from the end of October due to the Xmas build up.

Clarella Thu 17-Dec-15 08:53:49

Certainly friends who have lost loved ones too soon find it painful.

Others I know who don't have family struggle as it's such a family orientated thing.

LarrytheCucumber Thu 17-Dec-15 08:54:19

Perhaps it is a question of falling for the hype around Christmas with everything having to be 'perfect' which, when accompanied by memories of family no longer with us, can easily lead to feelings of anticlimax.
My DMiL's funeral was 19th December (several years ago) and to start with Christmas was always a bit sad because she was the member of the family who loved Christmas traditions.
The media raise expectations to a ridiculous level. Most people have a Christmas as you describe OP probably followed by an evening watching TV.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 17-Dec-15 08:57:35

I think ArgyMargy has it.

It's an odd thread because for everyone it's an emotionally charged day in one way or another, isn't it? You aren't unique OP, it's not unusual.

80sMum Thu 17-Dec-15 08:58:51

Christmas is massively over-promoted and hyped up. Expectations are consequently often unrealistically high.

exWifebeginsat40 Thu 17-Dec-15 09:00:40

lots of empathy here then. lovely.

OP don't sit in boiling rooms - fresh air and maybe a bath early evening?

honeylulu Thu 17-Dec-15 09:03:43

I get you too OP, especially the twitchy claustrophobia by the afternoon. I love Christmas Eve - the traditions, the busy - ness, the anticipation. It seems magical to me. The first half of Christmas day is great too. Stockings, special breakfast, getting glammed up while quaffing bucks fizz and larking around with the kids, then the lovely lunch. We have an odd tradition that we open our main presents after lunch, which stretches the day out a bit more. But after that, I hate the slump as the booze wears off and cabin fever sets in (for kids as well as us). I think it's really that I hate being stuck in the house all day (any day of the year) and my children seem to take after me. They'll enjoy half an hour of telly, then be climbing the walls. When I lived at home we went to church in the morning and walked the dogs after lunch. Us children used to moan about it but I guess it did break the day up a bit.
I wonder if other families are having a perfect Christmas afternoon snuggled on the sofa enjoying films and hot chocolate like you think Christmas day "should" be ... But I bet a lot of them are in the same post climactic torpor and twitching away like OP and me!

ginorwine Thu 17-Dec-15 09:04:14

Through
I'm not saying I'm unusual .
I was just sharing thoughts - some of which I thought may help others if they expressed it .like you say in your post others may feel the same - exactly my point .

RamblingRedRose Thu 17-Dec-15 09:05:00

I think for me it's so crazy in the build up to Christmas, getting decorations up, buying and wrapping presents, organising stockings, sending Christmas cards etc I just relax on Christmas Day. I don't do a big dinner, instead I make a buffet which everyone can snack on throughout the day. It's rewarding seeing how happy the kids are after all my hard work (and money spent).

MerryMarigold Thu 17-Dec-15 09:06:48

I agree with the hype thing. Marketing uses Christmas to sell, sell, sell for months before the actual day. The actual day comes, mixed with memories from the past, missing loved ones, grief for lost childhoods and a massive come down as the hype is all over by the afternoon. No one has an expectation of Xmas eve so you can just enjoy it.

I think being aware of how you are feeling and why you are feeling it will really help the day to be better. Try to think of it just as a nice day not as a super, super, super special day.

ginorwine Thu 17-Dec-15 09:10:40

Honey that image made me laugh!
Yes I think fresh air !
It's very visual. And loud .i always feel better with a spot of nature and fresh air too .
I realise when I was little the day was broken up by doing lots of things including going to grandmas who lived on a farm with fab views.maybe memory has an influence here .
I am v jolly for my dc s as I kno it's important to mEmory mAke its just by 3 my inner harridan appears !!!!

ConesOfDunshire Thu 17-Dec-15 09:13:18

Christmas Eve is full of excitement and anticipation, meaning that Christmas Day can often feel a bit flat and anti-climactic. It's inevitable, really; it's why 1 January feels flat (to me at least) after the fizz and fireworks of the night before.

Traditionally, Dec 25 is the first day of Christmas, and I suspect the day was much more enjoyable in days when the tree went up on Christmas Eve. Now that Christmas starts in late November and there is so much hype during Advent, it's too much pressure to pile on one day. The answer, I think, is to get back to the idea of Christmas starting on Dec 25. Make lots of lovely plans for Boxing Day and beyond, and make new traditions to honour your Dad's memory. I'm sorry for your loss flowers.

I think it's knowing what to do with the afternoon and evening that can be tricky for people, as morning has a traditional pattern of stocking, pressies and then lunch, and I sometimes manage to get out for a short service/ Quaker Meeting between pressies and lunch as DH is very helpful with lunch preparations on Christmas day - he likes to do lots of roasties and parsnips to go with our traditional nut loaf

Afternoons we usually get out for a walk together or pop over to a friends house so DC can share their new gadgets with friends.
And in the evening I enjoy the Christmas telly with a glass of port or Baileys and some Christmassy nibbles.

I feel thinking through how the rest of the day is likely to pan out can be reassuring. Our afternoon traditions have taken a bit longer to establish themselves but now our DC are teens things seem to have settled into a nice pattern for now

I might phone family at some point too as I think it's especially a family day where people like to feel remembered and included in your celebrations in however small a way. We try to see a few folks at some point over the hols too, but we're keeping things fairly simple this year and trying to remember we can always meet up at some other time during 2016 fsmile

Dorsetmama Thu 17-Dec-15 09:14:21

Yep, every year. For some reason i expect my children to turn into picture perfect angels, who lovingly play with each present, taking care to place cards somewhere nice, and dutifully help with setting the table, and clearing the wrapping. I forget how harrowing it is to prise open packaging and find a screwdriver for even worse packaging. I forget how demanding the children become, when they all need help at once to set up presents. I forget how they discard presents of clothes aside. I forget how messy everything gets, and how fast the morning goes so lunch is always late.
Then the afternoon drags on, and there are usually tears from the younger ones. If family visits there is even more pressure.
On the christmasses they are with their dad, it is dead, and boring.

Clarella Thu 17-Dec-15 09:16:33

I loved teaching a very calm autistic class as they could't cope with the decorations. So we had none grin

It was bliss!

shebird Thu 17-Dec-15 09:17:30

I think I understand how you feel OP. It is a very odd day for many reasons. I find it odd because my parents and family live in another country and although being with them would probably drive me nuts being away from them also makes me sad.

There is this idea that you must be happy and joyful on this one particular day of the year, it's somehow forced upon us. There is huge pressure to be happy and perfect like tv and the movies. The whole build up to the event is enormous and the day itself is just another day really but with presents and nice food and might be a let down after all the hype.

Clarella Thu 17-Dec-15 09:17:31

Maybe pack a Christmas hamper and go and find a wilderness to hike in.

I will definitely do that one year!

laurierf Thu 17-Dec-15 09:21:31

Yes, I know what you mean.

How about Christmas dinner as opposed to late lunch? Get out in the air and walk whilst everyone else is having lunch - you just have something light and simple to eat - and it might be a bit quieter, or you'll have time to go further to a more secluded place. Then dinner in the evening… leaves a lot less time to feel twitchy and trapped and means you've made the most of the limited hours of daylight you get at this time of year.

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