Halloween is my favorite holiday. The first Halloween I remember was when I was five. My Mom made my costume from one of those pattern fabrics you could buy. It was a butterfly cape with a crown, paired with a purple shirt and pants. It was simple, but I LOVED it. The best part was my Mom painted my face which was super fun because my Mom was great at makeup.
As a kid, one of my favorite things was giving candy out before I went trick-or-treating. It is still my favorite. That year, I sat by the storm door anticipating the kids who’d come before my departure. As little kids often do when they slow down for five seconds, I fell asleep on the rug. I wasn’t asleep for long, but woke devastated. I’d missed some of the trick-or-treaters, but my face paint smeared while I was asleep! I was SO upset, which made me cry and smear the rest of my face. In the end, all was well. My Mom fixed me up I went trick-or-treating and loved every second.
The real reason Halloween remains my favorite…it’s easy, effortless and fun. For me, it’s the one holiday that’s kept its luster. The one downfall of my favorite holiday… it signals the other holidays are near. Before I tell you why this feels like doom for me, please know I don’t consider myself a miser, hermit, or fun-killer, though perhaps I am and this outs me. I kind of hate the holidays.
One reason, my husband and I have eight holiday celebrations across a 150 mile radius. Everyone wants to see us, which I am glad for, but I have a terrible time trying to please everyone because of a tremendous guilt complex. That translates to a huge chunk of time in the car and clockwatching at events to “keep” the schedule. Fortunately, some celebrations occur around the holiday instead of on it, which is easier, but it is still a lot. I am often told by our families, or those who hear about our insane holiday schedule, to just “pick one place”, or “do what WE want”. But that is hard to do, in part because I WANT to see everyone, and because of said guilt complex.
The second reason I hate the holidays, the spattering of drama. Maybe I read into this as my own personal guilt for not getting somewhere on time or having to leave early, or being too full to eat my second (or third meal), or perhaps it exists because of previous unforgiven or unvoiced feelings, circumstances or situations. Whatever the case, I feel it, and it plagues me.
The last reason…gifts. I am a grown ass woman and uncomfortable with the expectation people must spend money on me. I also never know what to buy people who tell me what I often tell them, “I don’t need anything”. We still buy because we fear someone will buy for us and we’ll be empty handed, or in fear because our lack of a gift that doesn’t stand up to what someone else brought. Exhausting.
So this year, in preparation of my favorite holiday passing and leaving me with my least favorite part, I give a gift to myself. The freedom to take what others say as truth, to be guiltless about my holiday plans, to release the circumstances that lead to drama, and let go of feeling the gifts I give must meet some criteria, or even be tangible at all. I release myself from my post-Halloween holiday doom…now there’s a treat.
There’s your piece of me,