It's not always about being funny.

I think my holiday spirit is in my other pants.

Yesterday, I was reading a post about holiday Grinchiness and I realized that I was feeling the same way.  I really don’t want to have anything to do with the holidays this year.

My Thanksgiving will be spent with my family at my parents’ house in Ormond Beach.  I am usually accompanied by a few friends who don’t have families in the area, but this year, they’ve all got better things to do.

My Christmas will be spent with my parents and siblings in my parents’ condo in Park City, Utah.  I’m flying up on Christmas Eve and flying home two days later, because it is the minimal amount of time that I could spend there.

I usually love buying presents for everyone.  In past years, I’ve spent thousands on gifts for family and friends.  My shopping list sometimes had 30-40 names on it.  This year, I don’t think I’ll be buying a single gift.

My house was always decorated – either a fake or a real tree filled with ornaments that each had a story, wreath on the door, lights everywhere – but not this year.  I won’t even be opening the boxes in the garage that have all of the decorations.

I’ve tried to get excited about the season, but I just can’t bring myself to care.  My Christmas cards that I’ll send out are for the sake of humor, not for the season, and will represent the totality of effort that I’m willing to put forth this holiday.

I don’t know if it’s because this will be my first Christmas as a single man in 12 years, or just a feeling I have that everyone is too distracted, overwhelmed, or otherwise preoccupied to really participate in the holidays, but as much as I try to care, all I want to do is stay home, avoid the stores, and say “Bah, humbug.”

Next holiday season will be different, I’m sure, but this year?  I’m really feeling like a Grinch.

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90 Replies to “I think my holiday spirit is in my other pants.”

  1. Sybil Law

    A well HUNG Grinch.


    Seriously – I feel that way every year. I love to get stuff for my kid, but the commercial shit seriously sucks the fun out of it for me. I do love to decorate the tree and stuff, though. But again – mostly because my kid makes it fun. Last year wasn’t too bad, though.
    I think you should at least do a small tree. Christmas lights are pretty.

  2. Dre

    It’s also my first holiday season as a single (wo)man in 12 years, and I don’t feel like celebrating at ALL. Add to that, the fact that I decided to renounce Christianity this past year, and a lot of my family members aren’t aware of that, yet. I’ll probably end up having to tell them amidst their Jesus-loving celebrations, and that just doesn’t scream “JOY!” to me. I’ll get the damn tree because my kids will demand it, but I’ll probably just let them decorate it however they want while I guzzle wine straight from the bottle and call it good.

  3. Dave2

    I’ve been dropping Christmas for the past five years. I don’t miss it. With the exception of dinner with my family on Christmas Day to make my grandmother happy, I won’t be doing a dang thing. Except probably working. Ho ho ho.

  4. Employee No. 3699

    That’s how I felt last year. I didn’t put up one single decoration and only bought gifts for my grandkids. With Paul coming home from India for only two weeks I figured why bother. I knew he be jetlagged the week before Christmas and the week after I’d just be taking everything down anyway.

    BTW, is that picture cut off on the bottom on purpose? I mean did you maybe unpack just one box in the garage and hang some mistletoe where we can’t see it?

  5. J

    I agree. This will be my 3rd holiday season since my divorce. I don’t think I will ever get used to the idea of my kids not being with me part of the time over the holidays. Thanksgiving is only a week away and my ex and I are still “discussing” next weeks plans- It sucks!
    As far as dreading going to visit family… I can’t understand that. I have not been home (ABQ) for Christmas in more than 10 years. Last year was the year I was planning that- and then last summer my niece died. Since we went home for a funeral in June- I skipped going home for Christmas. Then horribly on Jan 2nd- my nephew died and I found myself home a week after Christmas. There is nothing worse then taking down the Christmas tree with your family the day after a funeral. 🙁 Enjoy your time with your family even if it is just for 3 days- they could be gone before you know it!

  6. Zoeyjane

    Well, Grinch. I can understand it. Personally, I’ve finished 99% of Christmas-related activities, so as to beat the mood switch that I ALWAYS go through around my birthday, that leads to Christmas sucking AND being half-done. I’m hopeful this year, just like every year, that it won’t happen. But for now, I’m preparing. Which means I need your address, please.

  7. yoshi

    I hear you. The past few years of Holidays just haven’t felt like the holidays. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been sick or what. But I say it has to stop. This year, I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and will probably end up cooking Christmas dinner too. Don’t take that the wrong way, I love to cook. It’s just that it doesn’t seem so joyous I suppose. It’s almost as if you want your friends and family to have no where to go, so they come spend it with you. Strange how that is.

    Man I just ramble like crazy. But as usual, you gave me some ideas to blog about, so you are doing something good.

    BTW I’m open for any gifts if you need someone to give gifts to. LOL

  8. Blondefabulous

    I have kids, so I do Christmas for them, but the stores putting stuff up earlier and earlier make me not want to get my boxes up out of storage. I would rather just get out my Charlie Brown tree and be done with it, but then my kids would hate me.

  9. Stacy

    I am kinda in the same place. My husband has to work on Thanksgiving and my family is all in Florida so my son and I will be spending Thanksgiving alone with my angsty teenage son.

    The Christmas spirit just isn’t there for me this year. The budget is so tight that I am stressed about the gift giving, and would rather just hide my head for the next six weeks 🙁

  10. muskrat

    The last couple years, it’s sneaked up on me and been more a source of stress than anything else, as I have to take a couple days off of work to make others happy. I do enjoy all the parties in December, though. Including mine!

    So, your folks have a place in Park City? Do they rent it out during ski season? Do they give military/friend/blogger discounts? I love that place, and flights to Salt Lake from here are cheap.

  11. B.E. Earl

    Christmas has never really floated my boat, in particular. It will be exceptionally hard o Gia this year since her entire family is now in SC, but she will be seeing them a few days after Christmas and staying for New Year’s. Which, in turn, will be difficult for me because I have work commitments during that time and I won’t be able to go with her. Le sigh.

    I do love me some Thanksgiving though. That’s always a great celebration in my family. And we recently got some extra joyous news that the one family member that we don’t get along with (a sister-in-law) won’t be coming this year as she is hosting her own dinner. Sweet!

  12. Grant

    I love the holidays. They’re exactly like every other day to me except the work commute is easier, there’s better parking at the office, and the bunny waitresses appreciate the bigger tips I give them for feeding me when the American restaurants are closed.

  13. Hallie

    For the shittiest of reasons, I feel exactly the same. We are not only doing nothing, we are pretending the holidays don’t exist this year. Reminds us too much of what we are missing.

    Actually, I may always avoid them. I refuse to ever sit around a table again where it’s horribly office how empty that 4th chair is.


  14. Grumble Girl

    I still try to love the holidays, but frankly, it’s more work than fun for me. I’m sick of work – it’s all I ever freaking do, it seems. I think we might even get a FAKE tree this year, which really puts some poo in my stocking. So bah, indeed, brother.

    I’ll still kiss you under the mistletoe though… *smooches you*

  15. Hockeymandad

    I’ve never been big on this time of year. Sure, I put on a happy face for the kids and I have moments of enjoyment through them, but beyond that, I am a total grinch. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am. So much of it feels forced.

    Except Santa with my girls. That part is fun.

  16. cagey

    I went through periods in my 20s when I just couldn’t muster up the holiday spirit. It was actually nice to take the year off and not decorate my place, etc. Now, I look forward to the holidays, but I have kids. It also helps that my family really downplays the gifts and focuses on the get-togethers and food. y shopping list is quite small. I may very well settle back to taking breaks from “the spirit” when they are grown.

    In short, nothing wrong with taking a break! Next year, you may be in the mood – no point forcing it. I have no regrets from the years in my 20s when I backed away from it, I suppose that is what I am getting at. No regrets.

  17. CharissaRenee

    This is the first year P.D. that I’m putting up a tree, decorating and sending out cards. It feels good to get back to feeling the spirit of it all, and I’m certain in another year or two, you’ll be back to your old self as well!
    Plus think of all the money you’ll save and that you won’t have to fight for parking spots and brave the Mobs at the Mall.

  18. Finn

    It takes time. Just let it be and don’t give it too much thought right now. We all go through this once in a while.

    Lil’ M was born (9 weeks early, via emergency C-section) just before Thanksgiving. He was in the NICU until almost New Years. That holiday season sucked balls. I was so depressed by Christmas I didn’t think I’d ever recover. But I did. And now I love the whole season again.

  19. Kim

    Been there. Done that. I understand. Just realize that you don’t always have to feel “like a kid with a new toy” kind of excitement this holiday season. Suck it up, go look at some pretty light displays, and be thankful for the blessings that you DO have instead of focusing on what you don’t have, wish you had, or think you want.

  20. Poppy

    I wasn’t divorced yet when Christmas rolled around and I was NUMB to it. I wanted nothing to do with it. I might be projecting, but I hope it’s just because this is your first Christmas not being married anymore and by next Christmas you’ll be back in the spirit.

    I’m just happy you’re doing a card. I really didn’t expect one!

  21. Issa

    Sigh. Hugs fellow Grinchy.

    I think, for me at least, it’s the reality that this really is different. That what I always knew and loved about the season, just doesn’t exist anymore. Just makes me depressed. I know over time, I’ll find my way, as will you. We’ll make new traditions. But this first year? May just suck. I will fake it for my kids, they deserve it. But it will still be very minimal.

    ps. Thanks for the link love Adam.

  22. J from Ireland

    Aw Adam I think its totally understandable that your feeling like that this year. Hopefully next year it will be different.
    I fecking LOVE Christmas, everything, decorating, baking, cooking, gift buying, it all. The only thing I don’t do is Christmas cards, a few years in a row I bought them, wrote them out and then never posted them, so now I don’t bother at all.

  23. Mrs RW

    For some reason I feel overwhelmed this year. Probably a combination of the uncertain future – will we have jobs next year, what to buy for adult daughters that they would actually like/use, what to buy a 7-year-old who could open her own branch of Toys R Us, and so forth.

    I am trying to get into the spirit by listening to holiday music on the radio (yes – one station here is already “all Christmas, all the time”). I LOVE Christmas music!

    Christmas means cold weather and snow -ugh…no wonder we’re not cheerful during the holidays. That seasonal affective disorder is no lie when you live in Chicago.

    Enjoy doing your Christmas cards – people will smile when they get them.

  24. jess; [the bottle chronicles]

    I sorta hear you, except I’m giddy for Christmas. I can’t wait to decorate (although I’m NOT looking forward to chasing a toddler away from the xmas tree) and all that jazz. What I’m NOT looking forward to (including chasing said toddler around), is spending money we don’t really have. No way to get around it either; xmas is expensive.

  25. Amanda

    I used to like decorating for Christmas, but working in retail where you make Christmas displays the first week of October can take a lot of the fun out of it. I feel like the season should be over because I did a ton of decorating 6 weeks ago.

  26. Kirsty

    This is my first Christmas as a “single mother” and I’m pretty much dreading it, too. I’m exhausted just at the thought of having to negotiate with my ex (and his dreadful mother) about who gets to be with the girls and when… And I can’t bear to think about spending time over the holidays on my own, without my daughters… Plus, the elder one turns 9 on 27/12 and that’s going to be another negotiation-fest with the ex… I’ll be putting up decorations for the girls’ sake, and that’s about it, I reckon. And whatever happens on Christmas Day, at best it’ll be the girls and me, on our own, so no different from any other day. Plus, money is more than tight this year so yeah, grouch, grumble, grinch, dread… Wish I could fast-forward to the first week of January!

  27. kateanon

    I need to email you, I’m feeling a bit of the grinchiness this year, because it’s my first year away from my family. Every other year, I lived close enough, or traveled home to celebrate. This year, it just ain’t happening.

  28. Shannon

    This is so weird in the timing.

    I don’t celebrate Christmas. I haven’t, in many years. I’m pagan with multiple partners, so I tend to spend holidays alone anyway (everyone else has family local or is far away as well.) Or throw a Thanksgiving dinner for all my friends who would otherwise be spending the holidays alone.

    Except this year I started dating someone who has small children. And I kinda think I wanna do something Christmassy. Not like baby Jesus Christmassy but like adopt a kid from the Salvation Army angel tree Christmassy. I used to do that all the time and I enjoyed it. Or like feed homeless people in the park Christmassy. OK and buy my boyfriend’s sons inappropriate presents with too many pieces and too much noise. *grin*

    Thanks for writing this!

    Oh – and I would totally smooch you under the mistletoe.

  29. Nadine the Minx

    I understand, Adam. For me, the de-evolution of my holiday spirit increased as the fatigue and pain of the fibromyalgia got worse. It sucks, really. I used to love decorating from when I was a kid. I’d clear off the top of my dresser, create a special little scene with whatever Mom would let me have and beg for a string of colored lights to put around my window.

    I don’t live my life according to the fibro, but there are times when it kicks you right in the ass. When you can’t clean your own place, let alone put up decorations, the proverbial ass has been kicked.

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