Happiness is Eves

Holidays actually leave me kind of cold; too many people, too much noise, too much exhaustion. But eves, the nights before? I love eves. So much potential. So much excitement. So much new coming around the corner. No surprise that Halloween is my favorite holiday (although a lot of that is the plethora of stuffed crows and marked down candy). And right now we’re in the Big Eve, the dark time before the new year, sitting in the shadows of the old, waiting for the sunrise of 2024. We’ve got a week left in this year to snuggle down in front of the embers of 2023, wrapped in the memories of everything that kept us warm all year. God knows what’s going to happen next year, the world kind of came apart at the seams this year, but it also darned up some holes: Covid is still out there but there are vaccines; the income gap is still kneecapping the US but we appear to have avoided a recession; and too many old white guys are still holding on to power with a death grip, but they’ll get theirs.

So happy 2024 eve; what are you hoping to happily unwrap in the fast approaching new year? (Yes, goals and expectations make for happiness, too. But no resolutions. Those suckers are just setting us up to fail.)

103 thoughts on “Happiness is Eves

  1. Happy Christmas Eve. I need to make sure my phone is charged up – the gothy dotter has finished the gothy Christmas decorating, so I’ll need pics for a new Woman at Work post on my blog. Nutcrackers have replaced the pumpkins, and other gothy touches.

    I love it!

        1. Gary, somewhere in the depths of YouTube is a mash up of Mariah Carey and My Chemical Romance called Welcome To The Christmas Parade. It seems like something your daughter would enjoy.

  2. My new year was the solstice, the calendar is a man construct so I go by celestial – oh how blah humbug am I!!

    Looking forward it looks like, after an 18 month wait (and being told I might have to wait another year), I could be getting my hip replaced in approx 12 weeks if I go to another county. There will be logistical stuff to work out but I feel that my life may get to move forward after being on hold since more or less the first lock-down (it took so long to get to see someone to actually examine me and diagnose). Hip replacement recovery is 6-12 weeks off work so I am looking forward to that too. I really want to be fully fit and healthy to retire in November 🙂 – REALLY looking forward to that bit.

    Also really looking forward to loads of new books being published – Rocky Start especially. I am also looking forward to making inroads into the now much larger TBR pile since I got all these recommendations from fabulous Arghers.

    What made me happy yesterday was the grocery delivery guy wore a Black Sabbath Christmas jumper (purple and black) and a Santa hat his Mum had knitted him “years ago, but I wear every year”. He brought my shopping into the kitchen, but he helped me unpack and not all of them do that. Utterly charming and fun and made my day.

  3. We are hosting Christmas dinner tonight which makes tomorrow much cozier!
    I’m getting a 2024 St. Belford Curating planner for Christmas (someone tried it for the 1st time in 2023 and loved it so much that she pre-ordered it, and to justify the cost her husband is wrapping it up for her), and I’m looking forward to spending the next few eves before the new year setting out my intentions and goals and self-care habits etc.
    2024 is going to be one year from 50, and I have so many plans to make it awesome, but not stressful.

  4. They may let me home from hospital for a few hours tomorrow so that would be wonderful. I was diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer by a fluke as they were actually looking for something else. Second brush with the Big C. Apparently they also take your Spleen out and as il allergic to penicillins they are looking for alternatives I’ll have to take forever. Had them both out 9 days ago. So looking forward to being back with my husband in our little home. Happy holidays everyone

    1. Hilary, you are doing very well, for someone who’s had such a shock to your body and mind the past 9 days. I hope that continues for you.

    2. Catching pancreatic cancer early is huge! And it’s out and you’re healing, and you’re home for a bit. Happy holidays to you.

    3. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad they caught it early and were able to remove it. Happy Holidays to you and your family and speedy healing to you!

    4. Oh, oh, that really is a handful to handle! So happy to hear you get to spend some time at home and away from the hospital. May 2024 bring you healing and strength and lots of joy once this stuff has all been weeded out. Sending lots of power and cheers your way!

  5. I’m experiencing bliss and intend to recreate it as often as possible in 2024.

    Husband, daughter, and I are in Warsaw, Poland, staying in an Airbnb 2 blocks from son & daughter-in-law. Instead of the tension of planning, buying, wrapping, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and coordinating back home (and never totally succeeding), I am all set. Enough food in the apartment for 2 days of closed stores. Daughter-in-law made dinner reservations for every night and son is cooking a Christmas feast at a friend’s apartment tomorrow.

    Although I’m recognizing more of Warsaw every time I visit, this time I had the opportunity to go to a supermarket. Amazing! While there are the same categories of things in markets around the world, specifics vary a lot. I bought small tomatoes that look like mini red bell peppers. There were beans in pods that looked like tropical fronds. And, for the only time ever, I bought all the sweets and cakes I wanted to try.

    My husband and kids (including dil, of course) are my nearest and dearest. I’m totally happy with them. Dil is comfortable and energetic in her second trimester. Baby is due in April.

    My plan is to make holidays in 2024 as joyful as this one. To do that, I’ll need to protect myself from all the expectations I have shackled myself with in the past.

    I will have to accept that the 5 of us (soon to be 6) won’t always be together on holidays. Not a preferred situation, but I can live with it.

    And the State-side family party we’re missing? It’s been canceled because of Covid. Perhaps the pandemic prepared me for looking for new ways to enjoy holidays.

  6. Having already celebrated on the Solstice, and at an early gift exchange the day after, at my son’s, I’m just relaxing and enjoying the peace of the season. I made a big pot of vegetable soup yesterday, and will subsist on it until it runs out. I have eaten too much sugary stuff since Halloween. That needs to stop.

    I like your summation, Jenny. It’s been a very bad year, in many ways, with fires, dumpster fires, and other signs of global warming and geo-political decay, but there’s hope that things will change for the better next year.

  7. We are having a wonderful quiet Christmas in Arizona after years of making myself crazy trying to do all the things. Our youngest son is coming to visit from South Africa for 10 whole days. It’s been several years since we’ve seen him so we’re excited to say the least. The only thing better would be if his wonderful wife could come along. Happy Holidays everyone.

  8. We are at the cottage and there is still a snake of snow on the ground and although there is also wet fog, we may have a white but soggy Christmas tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers. The short breads are done, pie crusts are baked, one apple pie is done, and the two sour cream, lemons (one vegan) will be finished today. I’m a last-minute wrapper because I hate it so that’s happening today too.

    Then my oldest friend and neighbour arrives tonight with her daughter and tomorrow my ex-boyfriend drives up with my mother who is released from her long-term care home for the day. Later this week my goddaughter and stepdaughter join us. It’s looking a lot like Christmas.

  9. Halloween is my absolute favorite too. It’s just joyful for me, without the trappings of family obligations.

    Christmas is my least favorite, but I am trying. By some strange twist of fate, I didn’t have to work yesterday. It’s the first time in years and it was a lovely day. I wrapped, I cooked, I cleaned. Just finished up the deviled eggs this morning to take to my family party later. My husband’s family is tomorrow. We had our Christmas yesterday with gnocchi and pink sauce, roasted beast. I’m happy. I hit all the points I really wanted to. Now the rest is gravy.

  10. In 2024 I look forward to using lots of new tools for creative joy! Got reminded this year that creativity is its own reward. Unwrapping potential, I suppose. There’s a beautiful winter sunrise happening out there and a lot of sparkle on the tree. Here’s to more light, sparkle, and creativity.

    1. DS arrives today, foster daughter probably Thursday (she is hoping to be well in time), brother in law plus new dog possibly by New Year’s Day (he once said he would arrive the Monday before thanksgiving and showed up Thursday morning so I don’t count on him except in emergencies when he’s great) and DD Jan 2. Mom is safely ensconced at my sister until Wednesday and I don’t have to worry about her safety from SDW for a few days. My blackmail worked and she changed the locks so I also don’t have to worry about the dog sitter’s safety.

      The shopping and wrapping are mostly done and today we put up the ornament tree (aka the coat hanger —it’s actually quite an nice ornate metal tree that doesn’t pretend to be an evergreen that we can put all our favorite ornaments on without killing a live tree. And we may decorate the 7 foot tall plant that DH gave me for my office over a decade ago too.)

      I’m looking forward to a year with a half time job, no known medical issues to address, and the ability to travel more. I’m also reaching out to a bunch of friends i haven’t seen much of in the last few few years, which is lovely.

      Happy holidays to all!

      1. I love the idea of your metal coathanger-ish tree! Evergreen cells everywhere are grateful to you, even though they might not realize it. They don’t think much during the winter. 🙂

  11. The Solstice was also mostly my holiday celebration, although a friend is coming over tonight for nosh-type dinner (shrimp, cheese dip, easy stuff) and watching Christmas movies. He just moved back from 8 years in NC last April, and doesn’t have many friends here anymore, so we usually get together once a week for dinner and a movie anyway. But I’m glad I could give him someplace to go and someone to celebrate with for Christmas.

    This year was a lot of struggle and just putting my head down and getting through. Hoping that next year is less challenges and more productivity. A little joy thrown in there would be nice too. Looking forward to another year of Argh and long-distance companionship.

    1. Happiness was a lovely evening with my friend (although we were both a little sniffly–the weather changed drastically, so hopefully that’s all it was for either of us, although I tested first just in case). The food was good, the gifts I got him went over well, and we watched a fabulous but bittersweet not-exactly-a-Christmas-movie movie (Last Christmas) followed by his suggestion of what turned out to be an absolutely hysterical Amazon Prime special called Flo and Joan Alive on Stage.

      Flo and Joan are British sisters who sing comedy songs they’ve written themselves–insanely clever, very talented (warning for language), completely original. I laughed so hard my face hurts. If you have Prime, I highly suggest this for holiday therapy. (If you don’t, I think they’re on YouTube and Instagram and places like that as well.

      1. I loved Last Christmas, though it is very bittersweet. And Flo and Joan have been quite big in UK for a while – they are just outstandingly talented and funny. Thanks for the reminder of them, going to look them up on YouTube.

        Wishing you better health, an easier time and lots of joy in 2024 Deborah.

  12. I have a lot of plans for the new year, but the one that I’m most looking forward to, and that I think will be the most beneficial for me, is that I’m going to take TWO days a week off from working (writing stuff with deadlines), a whole weekend! A few years ago, I started taking Sundays off, intending them to be replenish-the-well days, but they became housework and other non-writing work stuff instead of playing with fabric, etc. So it’s time to take two days — one to do the non-writing work, and one to play. Because writing, even though I love it, is still work.

    Meanwhile, this week’s big happy was deciding on the spur of the moment that OF COURSE I needed to make a Halloween/Thanksgiving quilt in the middle of Christmas/year-end chaos, so I dropped everything and pieced a lap quilt that I’ve wanted to make since sometime in September when I was pulling fabric for another quilt and found a long-forgotten fat quarter of Halloween fabric that doesn’t go with any of the other Halloween fabric in my stash, so it needed to star in its own quilt. https://www.instagram.com/p/C1PfTMgLMkK/

    More random quiltmaking (and some baking) today. Back to adulting on Tuesday. And then a long weekend, when I’ll be taking not just one, not just two, but three days off work!

  13. It’s so nice to read everyone’s replies!

    This year has been a trial. The last three falls have been sad for our family, bleeding into the winter holidays, and it appears we’re fully estranged from my sister at this point. Which is sad and weird but also kind of a relief—but mostly sad.

    On the bright side, one of my BFFs who is in the foreign service and has been abroad or across the country most of the time for the last decade+ is hopefully coming for one night on the 25th with her daughter— I can’t wait to see them! Her visits are always a whirlwind, but so, so special.

    We got to have a quick, impromptu visit with some local friends last night who came to help us flip our new dining-air hockey-ping pong table upright after it was assembled. The table is nothing special aesthetically, but we had a fun time trying it out last night. And it will be nice to have a big enough table to seat six.

    I’m planning to make gluten-free, vegan gingerbread today (hoping the recipe won’t be frustrating) and cleaning a bit before my parents and the friends visit. Otherwise, the next couple of days should be pretty relaxed… 🤞

    Hope everyone has a fantastic end of 2023!

    1. We were estranged from one sister for years — maybe 7. She’s now back in the fold, still difficult over small things.

  14. Current medical news: I’ve had my leave extended for a third week, which relieves and delights me no end, so I can get more medical care. I got signed up for another class and finally landed a psychiatrist officially in a few weeks. My caseworker is ON the paperwork stuff. So, that’s all to the good.

    The crappier news is being told I’m a complex case and therefore my diagnosis has to wait a few more weeks for an entire TEAM to decide. They keep indicating they don’t want to diagnose me. and they act like having depression/anxiety and ADHD just don’t go together, which is ridiculous. I note that every other medical professional I’ve talked to is all, “yeah, I think you have ADHD,” but…sigh.

    I’m also hanging out with friends a lot, which is good. Am at mom’s boyfriend’s house right now, which is chill.

    And…I have officially ended the friendship/burned that bridge to the ground with the crush. I just kept crying and crying and crying over the damn situation in all this therapy stuff, and finally I wrote him a snail mail letter saying that he really hurt my feelings back in the day and that’s why things have changed for me with regards to how the friendship has been, and I don’t think he’ll ever want to speak to me again after I told that truth. (Would you?) I figured that way he can just digest it alone and doesn’t feel like he’d have to say something like if it was sent over email, and he’s a guy, he won’t anyway. It’s a good timing to do it since I probably won’t run into him again for months and we can just avoid each other. I wish I hadn’t had to tell him the ugly truth and had gotten over it on my own and could have continued to have acquaintanceship level of cordiality, but clearly I did not, so it’s now burned like a Gavle goat.

    1. Good for you Jennifer! You are making such progress in so many areas! Finally, right? I hope this is all resolved well for you, soon.

    2. Good for you. Dumping the weight of that emotional situation will be good for your mental health in the long run. It can be hard telling someone that they hurt you but you it’s one less thing living rent free in your head and taking up space in your life. Now you can put that mental space to better use.

    3. Incredibly brave of you to take that step. That takes lots of strength and courage and you did it. You chose to take good care of yourself, and that’s not an easy one. In the long run, you will probably be happier, even if it feels like a real hell right now. Sending you lots of hugs! Also for the nightmare that is medical stuff.

    4. Progress is good, even when it’s baby steps. Maybe especially when it’s baby steps. Hoping the new year brings you much more progress and good news.

    5. I am so proud of you!!!!! I know that is easy for me to say when you are the one who has to do all the hard work of resetting all your hopes and expectations, but I think the love and energy that have been consumed by this can help you in other areas of your life. The main thing is that this is something you have been needing to do and dreading for a long time and this time you were able to do it. That is an enormous step forward.
      I also think that sending it in a more permanent format than email or text will help prevent misunderstanding by him and second thoughts by you. I hope you kept a copy for yourself so you can remind yourself how far you have come during this incredibly stressful time.
      When I doubt my ability to face present problems, I sometimes remind myself of past scary actions that I actually managed to survive. This is a big one that should give you a lot of fuel to face future challenges. It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t turn this corner in as graceful a fashion as you had hoped you would be able to do. Such niceties can only be measured after you have taken the big step. They are like artistic marks in figure skating. First you have to land the jump.

      1. Yes, I actually typed it so I still have it on file, as it were.

        I’m kinda sad about doing it and still kind of hope I hear from him, but that’ll be certain/confirming assholery that he doesn’t, and really, that’s the point. That’s how it always goes with men and there usually has to be some kind of thing like that for me, I guess. I was talking to my mom’s boyfriend about how hard it is to say something to someone when they hurt your feelings, and well, it gives someone something to think about when you say they hurt you like that, and either they deal or they don’t.

    6. If you’re crying in therapy over something, it’s time to cut that connection. So good for you. (And next time somebody says something like to you, say, “Why the hell would you say that to me?” Don’t repress. Repressing is bad.)
      As far ADHD and depression, the next time somebody tells you that, give them my number.
      Next year is going to be better because you’re doing all this work now. Good for you.

  15. Happiness IS looking forward to Christmas tomorrow. Was just going to be son #1 and beautiful wife and Marlowe, the wonder Aussie shepherd, who had cancer two years ago. The best “I am not a dog, I am a human.” Now son#2, beautiful wife, two amazing granddaughters and the newest puppy, Juno. And, Dil’s beautiful, youngest sister and terrific engineer husband. They are a lovely couple and their dog, Walnut. Will be noisy and food filled and joyful.

    All the stocking stuff for everyone is on the dining room table. It’s is my favourite part stuffing all the stockings with little treasures I found. Found treasures for K&K too. So much fun. I love watching their faces as they dig in. The dogs, cat and horse have presents too.

    2023, the world truly fell apart, horrifyingly evil. The Arctic trip revealed the painful affects of alcoholism and the torrents of fallout. Heavy, heavy heart. As a fixer, I am at a loss. What will the catalyst be to turn things right?

    Yes, Happiness is anticipating on the eve of Christmas and joy of tomorrow.

    So happy you get to go home for a visit, Hilary. So glad it was caught early.

  16. I’m having my usual hermit Christmas. Delivered my last cards this afternoon, so now it’s just me and my tree (https://www.instagram.com/p/C1H1z3rskrm/), good food, books and films – plus phone calls with friends. Then I’ve got a friend arriving on Friday for New Year.

    I’m really enjoying reconnecting with friends and family, and I’ve resolved to visit more of them this next year, and also have an exploring holiday (mostly gardens, probably) on my own, which is usually fun. Also determined to do more writing, photography and gardening, and keep the freelance work minimal. Looking forward to it.

    1. I love having Christmas solo. I’ll call my kid, but I survived enough horrible Christmases in the past that not going through that again is a gift every year. Plus Bob e-mailed me and told me since it was Christmas, I could take a couple of hours off on the book. Thinking of something annoying to tell him in return. That warms my heart all by itself.

      1. I totally get that, Jenny. I have someone who (affectionately) will say something fake insulting via email so then I have time to think of something crushing to say back. It’s so satisfying as long as the other person is on the same page as you.

  17. Visited MIL this morning and just have dinner with friends, that I ungratefully complained about earlier, and then all the stressful holiday things are over. New Year’s Eve at mine, but since we are ordering carry out it will hopefully be fairly easy and fun. I don’t even know what I want for 2024 except for everyone to be pleasantly surprised. All the happies, synchronicity for good things, and more great books!

  18. I’m spending Christmas walking on kunanyi/Mt Wellington with my niece. I’ve heard that the waratahs are blooming, so that will be extra nice. We walk, then we boil the billy, drink tea, eat strawberries, knit and chat. It’s a quietly joyous way to spend the day.

    As for next year, I have no idea. I’m just thankful for the fact that I have all of January off and only have to talk to people I love.

    1. Do you find the turning point of your year is the midwinter solstice in June? Or does the northern hemisphere influence dominate?

      1. It’s a bit of both, Jane. There’s definitely a turning point at the winter solstice in June, because of the days getting longer. But because we don’t usually have a severe winter, it’s not as major as the summer solstice, because that’s when we have our long holidays. So that feels like a major reset, and a launch into a whole new year.

        1. I guess like September here, for the same reason: it’s the start of the school year. I thought, when I expected to emigrate to Australia, that I’d have to have a midwinter celebration in June. I found the summer Christmas bizarre – all the colours were wrong for the time of year, for a start. Though Christmas Day on the beach was great.

          1. There’s a definite disjointedness about the northern hemisphere imagery that often accompanies our southern hemisphere festivals. We get all the snow + reindeer Christmas cards etc, while we’re sweltering in summer heat. But having grown up with it, Christmas to me is summer holidays and swimming and picnics.

  19. Happy everything, y’all! Funny you like eves the best, Jenny. In Sweden, we generally celebrate the eves where everyone else celebrates the days: Christmas eve, Easter Eve, Midsummer’s Eve, Halloween etc. I guess we’re just a weird people. So my family in Sweden celebrates Christmas today, and all the Dutchies are like: “IT’S NOT EVEN CHRISTMAS, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”
    This year sucked for the most part, there’s been far too much hurt, anxiety, trouble, crying and struggles in it. If it wasn’t for Triple and Matcha and Argh, I probably would’ve gone completely nuts by now. The Canada-trip and discovering loom-knitting definitely were highlights too. I also have the best MIL one could ever wish for. But I’d love to forget most of 2023.
    I wish for 2024 to be a better year, for the world and also for me. Please, no 2023-repeats. I will also keep dreaming of audiobook-versions of all the Jenny-books that don’t yet have one, including Liz Danger and later on Rocky Start. 2023 has made me very cautious/scared of getting my hopes up or planning too far ahead, so I’ll just settle for hoping it’ll be better than this year was.

    1. C.S. Lewis wrote an autobiography called, “Surprised By Joy”. Not being particularly interested in Christian theology, I’ve never read the book. But I think the title is a good reminder to not get so wrapped up in present frustrations that we can’t recognize future opportunities. So that is my wish for the coming year: May we leave at least a little piece of ourselves open so that we may be surprised by joy. And since you’ve been such a large source of openness and appreciation in this community, I think you deserve a double share.

      As for the holiday confusion, all Jewish holidays start at sundown on the previous day so perhaps I’d feel at home in Sweden if I visited at the right time of year.

      1. Thank you so much! I would love to be surprised by joy. It often feels like I’m being surprised by disaster more often than by joy, and I’ve even started feeling as if I start to relax and open up for the possibility of joy, disaster will take its chance and rush in and hit extra hard. A bit scary development now that I think about it, and I So Do Not Want Things To Be That Way!
        So yes, let’s aim for a 2024 full of joyful surprises, creative happiness and love. I wish for all of us to be pleasantly surprised by joy!

    2. Well, we have you covered on the Liz audio books, they’re coming in February.
      Rocky Start isn’t even finished yet, so that’ll be awhile, and we don’t know when the audios will be out, but there will be audios, I promise.

      And yes, 2024 better be a good one. We paid up front in 2023.

          1. Mostly a lurker here, but Kelly…YES. After an unhappy and surprising medical diagnosis a few weeks ago, literally the first thing I said to my politically-aligned sisters, “I just want to live long enough to vote.”

  20. The contractors finished our kitchen on Thursday. It looks great and so much more functional. Celebrated by baking some Christmas cookies. DS suggested we use red and green dye for our pinwheel cookies this year – they look very festive.

    On our way to my PIL for Christmas. Trying to keep an open mind but my MIL has no filter and will inevitably say something insulting to one of us (on one visit she told DS he had a Hitler moustache). I’ve decided to go alcohol-free in Jan but expect I’ll need an extra glass of wine (or two) to get through Christmas Day. Will see my nephew and his GF next week. I’m
    calling distant/elderly relatives over the next few days just to hear their voices. Hoping for snow to go cross-country skiing.

    Wishing the Argh community best wishes for 2024.

  21. I have a sick cat, who probably isn’t going to make it. So Christmas is going to be bittersweet. I will exchange stockings/gifts over the phone with my sister (a tradition we established several years ago), enjoy my Christmas dinner (leftover from the Thanksgiving meal and frozen specifically for tomorrow), and spend as much time as I can with Fergus, giving him all the love and attention he deserves. I won’t ignore the youngster, Pippin, but Fergus needs me more right now.

    1. I’m so sorry. I lost a cat at Christmas a couple years ago, and I was just thinking of her today, having a little cry. She was such a sweet cat, gone too soon. I hope your remaining time with Fergus is high quality for you both.

    2. I am so, so sorry. I hope you and Fergus get as good a time possible for the moments left together. Sending lots and lots of hugs.

    3. I am so sorry to hear about Fergus and his illness. If miracles are all spoken for, I hope his passing will be easy.

  22. It’s Christmas Day down here. I spent my shift looking forward to two sleep ins before I go north to see the family, and now my shift is over and I have a whole day to myself tomorrow where I don’t have to do anything but clean my apartment for the cat sitter. Bliss. Seeing the family will be great too, I look forward to that, but just knowing I don’t have to get up and go anywhere in the morning is making me outrageously happy right now.

  23. Being Polish/Ukrainian, Christmas Eve is when we celebrate. I had a small dinner with my cousins. Christmas will be quiet. Yay.

    It hasn’t been a bad year for me personally. Except where the ‘many old white guys’ intersect peoples’ lives.

    My goal (?) for 2024 is to foster a little more motivation. I’d like to do more crocheting and some clearing out of stuff. And, of course, joining with my friends who are working on the ‘old white guy’ problem.

    Happy Holidays to all.

  24. My husband and I flew from London to Vancouver to be with our daughters for the holiday. Today, Christmas Eve, I’ve tested positive for Covid. I’m still struggling with Long Covid, for 18 months now, but had just begun to think that I was nearly through it. Sigh. An unfortunate way to end the year. Best wishes everyone, and stay healthy.

    1. That is awful! But airports, plane flights, and all the chance encounters that flying can involve represent such a pile of risks — you were brave to take them. I hope your daughters and their families are okay. And may I also say that my belief is that falling ill in Canada is much less daunting than it would be fall ill in the U.S. Best of luck!!

  25. I really love Christmas, but not with my family. I’ve always secretly wanted to be one of those people who estrange themselves and maybe show up once in a blue moon. There’s nothing particularly wrong with them, I just get tired of all the old dynamics rearing their ugly heads.

    My Mom’s stocking is literally a meme right now. What’s in it is what I bought. My dad and brother bought nothing. Now my brother is scouring the house for random things to put in her stocking and asking me about each of them. Honestly, it’s exhausting. Luckily it’s only 24 hours.

    I feel a little guilty feeling this way—many of my friends have lost parents in the last couple of years—but nonetheless, it’s how I feel.

    1. We are the most opinionated people ever, and it is just exhausting to listen to people express their opinions over and over louder and louder.

      1. Do you have to do Christmas at their house? Would moving it help? Or some other change?

        My mom was so awful the year my son was 14 and my daughter was 20 that on the way home he made us promise to change our wills so that if we died he wouldn’t have to live with my mom. We made my daughter his guardian instead.

        And we decided we would never do a holiday at her house again because she gets particularly bad on holidays on her turf. Since we wanted to see my dad on holidays when he was still alive we did skiing vacations s near tbem and hosted chrismas in the rental house. After he died we just stopped going to Christmas and visit it at other times when my sisters are not there so it’s not so difficult .

        Would something like that work?

        1. Incidentally I actually think it’s better for my mom who lives alone with her nearest kid almost two hours away to have our visits divided up so she has more days with kids. She has a Norman Rockwell fantasy of us all being together but this works better.

        2. Eventually they will both be gone and I can exchange presents with my siblings through Amazon like civilized people while I spend my Christmas somewhere else. They aren’t awful, just exhausting.

    2. I feel your pain. This year is at my folks. 2.5 days of Hallmark movies and Fox News and hearing the same stories over and over. I’m an only child and have no kids. I should be trying to get closer as they won’t likely be here for more than a decade or so, but it’s difficult.

  26. I’ve been in health care so long that the actual holiday gets moved around. I actually planned 2 pregnancies so I would get Christmas off. I had visions of Martha Stewart homemade sugar plums dancing in my head. All I remember from my son’s first Christmas was nursing him and watching the Christmas tree fall over in slow motion onto a friend.

  27. Double time and a half – that’s what the holidays mean to me.

    I did have a nice Skype Christmas morning breakfast with me & 1 daughter here at home in Florida and 1 daughter in KY with her husband and my grandkids. Delicious and fun.

    I am working now. In 3 hours and 20 minutes I get off & I don’t back until Mon 1/1 @ 11pm.

    Now that is a holiday!

    And – my brother and his Wayne are coming on Wednesday 12/27 for an afternoon at my Aunts condo. So happy…

  28. My hopes for 2024 include my shoulder completely healing and traveling with my husband.

    I fear the election season. Here’s hoping for the best!

    I also need to get back into healthier eating and exercise as I’ve let that go over the past year plus.

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