annual holiday rant

I wrote this originally just before Christmas 2003 and bring it out just before Thanksgiving every year. It’s become tradition. If you’ve gotten this before, just skip it – unless you enjoy it for some bizarre reason.


2:25 pm – Christmas Rant

Okay, so I’m sitting here on AIM chatting with a friend of mine about a week before Christmas, and everything was trundling along fine and dandy until we actually started chatting about Christmas. And honestly, I don’t know why this has given me the anxiety that it has, but it has – even though it shouldn’t have. Maybe because I’ve had too many things going on in my life all at once again. Or something.

But anyway.

My friend was running around in circles getting presents together, making baked goods, trying to get her house, her things and her life in some kind of sensible order. They were packing up and going to see family over the weekend or something. She started going on and on about how “deprived” I was because I wasn’t baking tons of cookies nor going to visit family over the holiday.

I don’t know. Maybe she was joking, but I sure didn’t take it that way. Came across more like cutting down than anything. I didn’t say anything to her, just let her go on until she ran out of steam – or maybe it was she had to get offline or something. But regardless, it all ended peacefully enough.

But what is it with people?

Sure, Christmas and Thanksgiving are “family holidays”; I get that. What I don’t get are the people who don’t or can’t understand is that my blood family haven’t gotten together for “family holidays” since some time in the early 1980’s. Preston and I don’t get together with his family for holidays because of how everyone works – and we don’t get together with Kathy and Ralph because of other scheduling conflicts.

Preston usually works Thanksgiving and Christmas; he didn’t work Christmas this year, but was on call; and he actually got called-in early Christmas morning, so he’ll get holiday pay for that. His parents both have to work to keep their heads above water. The four of us get together when we can, as best we can.

Kathy and Ralph have two boys and six grandchildren to worry with on holidays, and they all get together according to the schedule that best suites them – which usually means the night before the actual holiday. Given the hours and days Preston works, that knocks us right out.

The rest of my family? Well, aside from my Sandhi in North Carolina and her girls, they’ve not spoken to me in almost twelve years. So why bother?

If your family hasn’t gotten together in twenty years and nobody is speaking to anybody else, then why bother? Why stress yourself out over it? I’ve not in many, many years. And I don’t intend to start today just because one of my friends thinks that our “apartness” is wrong.


Author: Mari Adkins

Appalachian gothic fiction writer - my works reflect a love of literature flavored by the darkness and magic residing in these ancient mountains. In my spare time, I'm a Simmer, I tumbl, I journal, but I always have a very strange sense of humor. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. I currently live in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and his cat. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my blood.