Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas No. Three

This the third Christmas I'm on my own, two as a "separated" person and now this is my first officially "divorced" Christmas. The first was tricky, the second was easier, this one is feeling pretty good. As much as I liked many of the rituals we participated in during my marriage, like driving from LA up to the San Francisco Bay Area for Christmas with my ex's family, there's something nice about NOT going anywhere for the holidays.

And as much as I miss many of his family members, there's also something pleasant about NOT having the pressures of a big family Christmas and everyone's wants, needs, desires, anxieties, dietary requirements, soap operas and all the rest flying in every direction. I think the "Hallmark-Card-ification" of holidays is a little too much. I don't have to have the perfect family acting out the perfect family rituals to feel like I'm a real person with a real life.

I like my own Christmas with my son, which is a lot more simple and pleasant and way less demanding. We get to eat what we want, when we want it, watch back-to-back James Bond movies, as we did today, and celebrate and goof off in a way that works for us. We have a big bunch of friends and family around town and we can visit some or none of them as we wish. It's been perfect. He'll get to go out to California next week to see the other side of the family which is great for him and for them.

It's really tough to be married and not have an avalanche of expectations come crashing down around you on the holidays. And all those wifely and husbandly expectations were a big drag half the time for me. And it's not necessarily your spouse who makes you feel like you have to do certain holiday things to please them -- it can come from peers, family, even strangers on TV can start to get to you. Who needs it?!