Writing Memoir

‘Tis that depressing time of year again, the holidays.

For some reason, when I write about the holidays, my posts feel fairly melancholic (surprise). So, this year I’m attempting to not be so melancholic, although, last Christmas I was – depressed (surprised?). Even though my mom was here, I felt lonely, and normally I like to be alone so this was unusual. But there you have it, the holidays, a gold sparkly rush of glittery depression spanning from childhood to adulthood.

So what’s the deal, yo? Well, if we stretched out my holiday revelry timeline, you would see that I never seem to have a normal Hollywood Thanksgiving or Christmas. A couple of times drugs have been involved, me watching them, and feeling utterly saddened by the sight.

Then there was the time I barfed up Pua’s lovingly cooked Tofurky. Nothing says thank you for inviting me for Thanksgiving dinner like tossing up the meal in the toilet, in my friend’s modest apartment with her two children, and the sound of retching from mommy’s friend. Maybe I was a quiet barfer?

Let’s see, the abusive relationship Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fighting, silent treatments and feeling stupid and trapped are never good times any time of year. Ah, and the NYC Christmas where I flew out to be with my best friend then discovered how much we had grown apart. Or childhood when I lied about how many presents I got for Christmas because I was ashamed at how little I received in comparison to my friends.

Yeah, I don’t think I like the holidays. Nice idea and all. But travel is a terror, and there is all this expectation that isn’t met, and that’s the last thing I want to give or receive.

Then there was the green bean casserole incident. And frankly, too many moments like Bridget Jones’ Diary All By Myself scene too rehash and remember.Or the year this guy was so disappointed to be spending Christmas with just me when another friend cancelled. That was a bag of jolly jelly donuts.

In fact, I started my yearly reflection and goals journal writing habit during the holidays. During my freshman year in high school as a way to cope with the fact that I wasn’t out there having the kind of holiday that I was supposed to have via society/culture/whomever.

Of course, there were nice times, like the food poisoning in Laos and Vancouver BC Christmas. I feel more hopeful this year. Not because I’m lowing expectations, but because I feel like I’m coming into my own (as folks like to say). I’m getting into my writing skin. I like where I live. I have great friends. And perhaps even more surprising with age, I’ve gotten better at being myself.

Now that, seems like the best present of all. Awww. Barf.

That was last year, this is this year.
That was last year, this is this year.

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9 thoughts on “‘Tis that depressing time of year again, the holidays.

  1. I agree, holidays put too much pressure on children and adults.
    I have a friend that had terrible holiday experiences, especially Christmas. So much so that she takes off the week before Christmas to celebrate her own holiday for her pets. She has a cat, dog and bird that all get along famously. It is her way of changing the situation and being in control.
    Us on the other hand have made new memories by going to the movies, the beach (when we lived in California) or hiking on Thanksgiving. I have to curb my mouth during this “Holiday” or I might just pop out with, “Oh yea, let’s create a day to celebrate slaughtering the indigenous peoples of our land!”
    Christmas is and never has been a religious thing for us and find the way people carry on for two months just a bit much. Maybe we will go for a massage! Any thoughts for celebrating New Years in Chiang Mai?

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    1. Hi Lin, I really like your new ideas to old holiday traditions. It might be time for me to start new ones, as I’ve never really had any traditions. Yeah, Thanksgiving. I want to dress up as Sacagawea but it might be in bad taste. I’m not sure yet. 😛

      As far as NYE, I’d check out CityLife or CityNow magazine through Google or FB as they usually post events happening around the city. Tha Phae Gate also is brimming w/ entertainment and they have their own Countdown there as well. Fun, crowded, did it the year before last…or you could always go camping, away from all the craziness! It gets very loud here! Cheers!

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  2. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect holiday, so I sometimes feel bad when mine isn’t perfect. I think Christmas, New Years, and my birthday have the most pressure!

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    1. It’s so weird, huh? It’s like I think I’m smarter than this, to feel like I have to have a special time, just b/c it’s a holiday. I certainly don’t feel that way w/ Thai holidays. I’ll be better this year. Acknowledging I have a problem is the first step 😛

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  3. Lani– as always, I appreciate your honesty! I totally agree that the holidays can be rough because of (American) society’s expectations, but that’s why I really enjoyed living abroad and celebrating in my own special way. I don’t have any one way that I like to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas– each year it’s a little different. This year I’ve turned down multiple invitations to join Thanksgiving dinners because I just want to spend time with my brother and I hate how stressed out people (read: Americans) get about all of the preparation leading up to the big event. Most people strive for that Hollywood turkey dinner (In my experience) and it isn’t really worth the hassle. I try to keep things in perspective and realize that the most important thing during the holidays is just that I’m enjoying myself and enjoying my time with people who I may or may not see very often.

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    1. Thanks Kim. Very good points all around. For me I’ve always wanted to have something more, you know, to be normal, but rarely does it work out. I’ll just treat the day like any other and enjoy myself. Because I either make it a point to go see family or I don’t. And usually b/c of expenses, I don’t. But I don’t want to be whiny here, simply reflecting and trying to be less melancholic!!!

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    1. Sure, I found you through your Blog Expat interview. I like that site for it’s interviews and I’m looking forward to entering its latest contest. Cheers for stopping by yourself, 😉

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