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Do we place unreasonable expectations on ourselves and others at xmas?

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#1 blackbird

Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:06 AM

Ive just been reading all the venting and most of it seems to be about all the effort we put into xmas and how little it is appreciated.
I mentioned this to my aspy BF who dosent really get xmas and finds it confusing that we all gather around to show love to people we don't like and if we care about spending time with the others we should do it regardless of needing a special occasion.
He said maybe we aren't being appreciated in our efforts because we are actually imposing ourselves on others who did not ask for it despite our good intentions.

I think he has a point, so many people are working hard for nothing and feeling like crap and as if those around them should be grateful for the effort but maybe they just aren't that into it so its hard to pretend gratefulness when the effort to do so feels like an unwanted chore that wasn't wanted in the 1st place? It seems like xmas has gotten big and messy and in trying to "capture the spirit of xmas" we are actually taking the fun out of it. Making it hard work and painful.

Was just contemplating it all really..

#2 emma_jean

Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:24 AM

Yes I tend to agree.

#3 CupOfCoffee

Posted 25 December 2012 - 05:43 AM

I agree, I do think that we do put huge expectations on ourselves.  Trying to make everything perfect and putting so much pressure on ourselves (and ultimately we feel disappointed, and crap about ourselves if we fail).

But my husband is also Aspie, so our house is super relaxed at Christmas (because he also doesn't understand all the 'stuff' that happens).  So today for lunch we will probably have cheese grilled sandwiches, because that is what he loves to eat.

Or maybe we are just lazy... which is likely also true (I am NT so my only excuse is lazy) laugh.gif

#4 ACO

Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:04 AM

Yes I'd agree to an extent.

I've scaled down my Christmas this year considerably.

We're hosting lunch today and I've done no preparation for it yet (other than buying the food yesterday). This morning we've had some pannetone for breakfast. Soon we'll get dressed and go to church because for our family the meaning of Christmas is a religious one.

When we get back, I'll start getting lunch ready and we'll eat a simple but tasty meal with a few relatives.

That's it. I haven't hyped it up at all. I really hate all the consumerism. Somewhere between the presents, the preparation and the build up, the message of Christmas is lost.

#5 =R2=

Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:04 AM

QUOTE (Rawr @ 25/12/2012, 12:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I totally agree. I was tempted to post on fb tonight, 'yay, tomorrow this will finally all be over'.

The reason I didn't is because it's my man's bday and it'd be rude to him.

The reason I feel that way, is it's one bloody day. All this nonsense has been in our faces since October.

Since october, I've been hearing people say, 'have you started your xmas shopping?'  then it was, 'have you got much xmas shopping done?', then, 'have you finished your xmas shopping?' Argh! Is that ALL we're able to talk about for all these months? For one day?

Then, you have all the fighting about who does what and where for months before the event that is ONE DAY.

You have parents who've hyped their kids up on the santa thing, then wonder they won't sleep tonight. Not one parent I know who's whinging about it on the net has turned around and said, 'well, you know what? *I* did that, because I decided it was best.' And that's fine. It's a parent's choice and I respect that. But why be surprised at the extra stress it creates on a night when you have to get SO much done?

And on facebook, everyone's talking about how poor they are now, how they have too much food, not enough food for ONE DAY! How tired they are, how they still have wrapping to do, photos of the kids to do, photos of the tree, parents putting up the tree and hating the mess it makes, then not looking forward to taking the bloody thing down.

You've got people being ungrateful, people taking advantage of the goodwill of others. People getting sh*t presents they hate, bought by someone who probably couldn't afford, then they've given that person a sh*t present they can't afford too, and round and round it goes.

And then everyone is broke, and needs to declutter their houses of all the sh*t they have, which, depending on how motivated people are, may or may not end up in landfill.

I respect that people choose to celebrate xmas. I do. I just don't understand why people will go on and on about all this STRESS of xmas, then in the next breath, ask me why I don't celebrate, or think I'm somehow missing out on all this^^^^

Gosh you poor thing  sad.gif . Sucks to be you eh?

I have wonderful memories of Christmas growing up and now we're doing the same for our kids. It doesn't have to be stressful although a handful of people do make it that way. Our Christmases are all about food, drink and being with family (with presents on the side  wink.gif  ). We don't spend a lot of money on presents but teach the joy of giving to our children. Fancy that mine went to bed on time last night because they couldn't wait for Christmas Day to come. They have just woken up next door giggling to each other as they found their Santa sacks bulging.  original.gif

#6 Fenrir

Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:27 AM

What a bunch of Scrooges. If you only did things with the expectations of gratuitous thanks then no wonder you are let down.

#7 Holidayromp

Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:37 AM

QUOTE (Beautiful Warlock @ 25/12/2012, 07:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What a bunch of Scrooges. If you only did things with the expectations of gratuitous thanks then no wonder you are let down.

Bloody hear hear.  

If you don't want to do - don't.  It is simple as that.  Don't bring other people down with your attitudes.

#8 cinnabubble

Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:50 AM

I think, come 8pm, the Venting board will be littered with those whose family and friends failed to deliver the amount of enthusiasm commensurate with their expectations. Chances are, it won't be the family and friends' fault.

We are so going away next year.

#9 mummame

Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:05 AM

Christmas for us is wonderful as we do it simply with just immediate family. We don't join all the families together cousins, aunty's uncles. We also just buy gifts for kids. Christmas is for children anyway I see so many people making it about EVERYONE so I can see how it can blow out to be in the thousands of dollars. Christmas is always a relaxed and fun day.

My kids also went to bed early, the early start was a bit tiring but like you said PP its just ONE DAY!!! I am sure I can deal with it.

Merry Christmas

#10 Dionysus

Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

If people are banging on like pork chops (like Rawr's family and friends) then yes, they are missing something important in the whole picture.

Everyone I know, though, loves the fuss, is thankful to hang with family and friends, and enjoys putting some 'magic' in their kids' lives or enjoys doing the church and kids in nativity play type things.

I even enjoyed the IL's Christmas on Sunday, and would only have one small vent about one thing that happened

My family and friends are sensible and down-to-earth.

#11 snuffles

Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:34 AM

Perhaps some do have unreasonable expectations.  

I don't and I'm not interested in anyone who does.  We do Christmas, we do it the way we like it, and we have a great day!!!  I do not expect anything from anyone else (well ok, I expect DH to cook the turkey, as he insists that we have one), and if anyone is expecting anything from me that they haven't received, they certainly haven't mentioned it.

I love Christmas, for us it's not about going overboard on anything, just about having a nice day together.   xmas_cool.gif

#12 littleboysmum

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:00 AM

I agree with Mel. Christmas for our family is about putting some magic in our children's lives. Like a pp, I too have wonderful memories of Christmas growing up. I know it's only 1 day, but that one day holds some of my best childhood memories. I can only hope that my children feel that way when they grow up and in turn, create the same magic for their own children.

I seem to be the opposite of others on EB for I genuinely, whole heartedly, LOVE christmas- all of it! The shopping, crowds, carols, wrapping, strangers wishing me a merry christmas, church, Christmas plays, cooking, eating, family, in laws, cousins, decorating the tree, Christmas lights. The whole entire lot!

I have bought thoughtful gifts and so far received beautiful gifts from my gorgeous DH, kids and beautiful in laws. We've had a special, traditional family breakfast, DS is playing with his new toys and DD is sleeping. Then off to SIL's for way too much food, a nice glass of bubbly, cousins laughing and playing and general fun.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but my family really enjoy the day all round. My DS has probably been "spoiled" according to EB's exacting standards, but watching his little face light up as he opened his gifts and the joy he is having playing with things makes it all worth it. He keeps thanking everyone and has given me a zillion hugs and kisses.

I guess some people have unrealistic expectations and are disappointed. All I expect is family, laughter, a nice meal and giving gifts to those I love. Never been disappointed yet. Just supremely grateful for my DH, beautiful children and wonderful extended family.

Edited by littleboysmum, 25 December 2012 - 10:02 AM.

#13 Marchioness Flea

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

I don't believe Christmas is just for kids, or maybe I'm still a kid at heart, because I still like getting gifts at the grand age of 38.
Who doesn't like people giving them something they think the receiver will like? If you don't then that's pretty sad frankly.

I also like the idea of my Dd learning it's not just about getting, but giving as well, so she doesn't grow into  the kind of child who says MORE MORE MORE at Christmas like her cousins did.
I do think there can be high expectations though, people wanting the day to be PERFECT which is impossible to achieve.

I think the media has a bit to do with that. The pictures of the perfectly decorated trees, the food laden tables(of all the expensive foods and turkey which is never eaten at any other time of year really) and the happy smiley faces or everyone getting along. I don't see why we need to spend time with people we don't like, but most of us to it to not upset people we DO care about.

#14 Chchgirl

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

Yes I do think people have unreasonable expectations etc..They are lucky they have family and dh's to spend it with, my kids don't have their father this year and I have my first christmas in 21 years without him. But hey, it's not woe is me, we woke up happy and had lots of pressies and now will be having family for lunch that everyone has contributed to.

I know I am fortunate that neither family is like this.

wait for the post christmas vents now... happy.gif

#15 lizzzard

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

I have also noticed a lot of disappointment and resentment around events like Christmas and birthdays and always find it weird! I don't know whether I just have no expectations in general, or am not particularly critical but I'm surprised every time by how well everything turns out laughing2.gif. We certainly spoil the kids, and end up going overboard on everyting...but I never find myself disappointed at all!! This year is no exception - we're having a beautiful day today biggrin.gif

#16 CourtesanNewton

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

I like Christmas, but I like my extended family. If I didn't, we'd go and have it by ourselves somewhere, not that hard really.
I like thinking about presents and finding bargains over the course of a few months. I also like making presents which don't cost much but taste great!
I like Christmas lunch, everyone brings something so no-one finds it too hard.
I like playing cricket in the park after lunch and family games in the evening.
Last night I stayed at my parents' house with my two brothers there too and it was lovely to be under one roof with them again.
I liked putting out biscuits and juice with DS for Father Christmas and reindeer food on the front lawn.
I like the fact that when DH took DS for a walk to the firestation near the church we were at last night, the fireman saw them and invited them in for a chat. Owen got to sit in a firetruck and was just enraptured original.gif

The only thing I don't like is having to serve idiots in the weeks before Christmas who think their world will come crashing down if they don't find the perfect prawn ring.

#17 littleboysmum

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:57 AM

I'm sorry your DH can't be with you today Chchgirl. May you and your children have a day filled with love and a peaceful year ahead. Merry Christmas.

#18 JRA

Posted 25 December 2012 - 11:12 AM

ChcGirl: All the best to you and your children on this very difficult christmas.

I hope you have a good day with your family around you. I know it will never be the same without your DH.

#19 Freddie'sMum

Posted 25 December 2012 - 11:23 AM

xmas_cool.gif We have just had Christmas lunch - the 4 of us - and I didn't cook anything !!

Yah for salads and cold cuts and lots and lots of berries that are in season original.gif

The girls have had a wonderful time, DH is probably asleep on the sofa by now, and Miss-7-and-a-half along with Miss-5 are watching a Christmas DVD - it's all good.

I did take a step back this year and thought to myself - "it doesn't have to be perfect" - and that's the way it's rolling right now.

Merry Christmas everyone !!

#20 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 25 December 2012 - 11:29 AM

Our Xmas is low key.  One of the people with autism has been beside himself with excitement for weeks, my DH with autism has after years of social skills training learned to behave himself and keep his inner grinch to himself (FFS! dude?!! what's not to love about carefully chosen presents and food he likes) and the other person with autism is happy with food and presents.

Left to my own devices Xmas would be a much bigger deal and a lot more formal but it's about everyone including me--DH would cancel Xmas cheerfully but we compromise.

I don't get the imposing of ourselves on others and their expectations at all.  Just because nobody seems to meet anyone's expectations it is not about imposition to me.

#21 FiveAus

Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

I streamlined ours this year by going on strike in the kitchen. For me, the biggest bugbear on Christmas Day is the food. My kids are grown up but they want their mum to cook the meal. Unfortunately mum works full time.

I knew that I'd be working Xmas eve this year so booked a table at a local pub for lunch today, two of the kids, one partner and my 15mo granddaughter joined us, and it was absolutely lovely. A very stress free meal, and absolutely delicious.

My youngest daughter hosted for the present giving and that was fun. One other child and her  partner joined us there.

We're home now, just the two of us and we're playing with our new toys. I have ham, potato salad and pav for our evening meal then we'll settle down to watch some new DVD's  

A lovely day, no expectations, no work, the kids all loved their gifts and we are enjoying ours. It's turned out better than I ever imagined.

Edited by FiveAus, 25 December 2012 - 04:45 PM.

#22 FiveAus

Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:41 PM


Edited by FiveAus, 25 December 2012 - 04:42 PM.

#23 FiveAus

Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:41 PM


Edited by FiveAus, 25 December 2012 - 04:43 PM.

#24 FiveAus

Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:41 PM


Edited by FiveAus, 25 December 2012 - 04:43 PM.

#25 BadCat

Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

Yes, some people seem to have this vision of the perfect xmas scene and then get bent out of shape when their relatives don't follow the script.

And some people are grinches that could have the perfect christmas and wouldn't know it because they forgot to fold the napkins into swans.

But by and large I think most people try to make it nice and shrug off the bits that go wrong.  

We shunted the least favoured duties, like visiting relos, on to other days to leave today for what we wanted to do.  We had friends over for lunch.   One of the kids was surly but so what?  Someone spilt a glass of wine all over the table.  No biggie.  A massive christmas decoration fell off the ceiling and ended up covering half the table and dropping tinsel in the food.  We all just about fell off our chairs laughing.  That's what xmas is meant to be like.  Having a good laugh with friends and family.  It's not about getting the perfect photo of the perfect children in their perfect clothes with the perfect present in their perfectly presented house.

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