how do the holidays affect your self-esteem?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2006
how do the holidays affect your self-esteem?
Fri, 12-10-2010 - 8:05am

do you feel yourself trying to compete with family or others when the holidays roll around, or do you stress out over having the 'perfect' holiday?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Mon, 12-13-2010 - 11:05am
happy.pants wrote:

do you feel yourself trying to compete with family or others when the holidays roll around, or do you stress out over having the 'perfect' holiday?

I do find myself a bit competetive with regard to gift giving, but as for the "perfect" holiday - is there such a thing?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2001
Mon, 12-13-2010 - 11:30am

No, not really. I am happy for people that their lives are going well. My life isn't bad either. I mean, it isn't always easy, happy or smooth sailing, but when I start to count my blessings, the list goes on and on.

The holidays are never perfect, because we're not perfect and in the Northern Hemisphere, you also have to deal with winter weather conditions (we deal with rain.) I've learned to let go of the notion of perfect holidays because that really triggers the micro-manager in me, which only makes me tense and unhappy. When I am in this mode, if anything happens out of the script I've written, I become a monster.

But I don't settle, either. I just work within parameters that I'm comfortable with, which will allow me to spend a beautiful lunch or dinner with people I love. If the turkey doesn't look like the turkey on Epicurious, who cares. My family and friends still appreciate (and are quite in awe) that I cooked for them. If my hair is frizzy from all the heat, it doesn't matter, either because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the ones who behold me love me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2001
Mon, 12-13-2010 - 10:50pm

I know that my idea of the perfect holiday is not the same as other people including family.

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Tue, 12-14-2010 - 1:59am

oooh, see now that is my kind of a holiday! LOL, in fact - last year a neighbor was alone. Her younger son was with his dad and her older was not living at home & she didn't know if she'd see him. So when I asked the family if we should invite her over for a game my, then 7 year old, said fine, but tell her I'm not putting on clothes. I'm staying in my jammies all day !!! I've taught him well :)

Luckily my neighbor's older son came by & they spent the day together.

I do miss not having family around. My kids have never been around a big family over the holidays. That part makes me sad and a little down. But I think I can talk grandma into coming next year. She has told me she has not enjoyed Christmas in my birth state lately (where all my living siblings live).

Other wise - we're playing games, eating cinnamon rolls, drinking egg nog and not even getting dressed at my house ... lots of frizzes in my hair too - gotta love the rain.

"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2001
Tue, 12-14-2010 - 9:27pm
I love that line about I'm not putting on clothes, I'm staying in my jammies all day. My daughter loves days like that, but my husband just doesn't get it.
Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Tue, 12-14-2010 - 9:32pm

Mostly my ds and I have spent it quietly together...

In the past gifts were not really a priority.

My son is looking forward to our Christmas Dinner...;)

In the past we have had spaghetti and other things but mainly for us we don't really do the big family thing either.

Pretty low-key.

I have invited my dd but she might be spending it with her friends with whom she recently moved in with.

She was in a relationship but they broke up two years ago this upcoming February.

I am single so no plans with a SO.

My self-esteem is not as low because I was able to buy ds a lap-top (he's wanted one for a really long time) and give dd some money and buy her some things when I received some extra money.

I have a small tree and some Christmas lights in my bedroom and I bought my ds a mouse that lights up and changes colours, really cool.

He was open to me decorating his bedroom window if I wanted but since he's spends most of his time in our living room I thought I might decorate it.

Neither my dd or my ds expect that they will hear from their dad who I divorced from.

He blew off ds on his birthday and will probably do it to our dd to.

I wish I could do more but in our family being together is what's most important if we can.

I already told my dd it's okay whatever she decides.

It's hard for us to have a big celebration because of my ds and his "Social" Anxiety.

Just wishing everyone a very happy holiday no matter how you celebrate it.

Spending it at home is very appealing to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2006
Wed, 12-15-2010 - 8:19am

i think the media would like us to believe that there is a 'perfect' holiday, but, really, i'd like to meet the people behind that image :)

are you competitive in the sense that your gift has to be the best, or the most expensive, or something else?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Wed, 12-15-2010 - 9:35am
I guess, more that I want it to be the best, not necessarily most expensive, but the most well liked. Does that make sense?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Wed, 12-15-2010 - 2:47pm

We don't really do the gift-giving thing.

My dd and ds are older now and understand how tight money is.

They aren't in to that and are telling me not to worry about them, buy myself something that I really want/need.

I had one ex ask me what I wanted for Christmas and I said "Nothing".

It's the unexpected gift, the simple things that make ALL the difference.

I don't care if I get ANY presents, what I ALWAYS hoped for was the ability to have something for my kids.

Not being able to give gifts can sometimes make Christmas hard.

Little things that you make or even something used (New To Me) is fine and my kids are like that to.

My kids know I love tea or an ornament.

One of my favourites is from the "Dollar" store.

I like doing socks up for my kids.

One year I surprised my ds with powder blue pillow cases filled with clothing, treats, and a watch and a coat.

He LOVED it and was so surprized.

My ds expected nothing so I fooled him REAL good.

The LOOK on his face was priceless!

What he did for me this year was write an e-mail to one of my favourite authors and she wrote my ds back and enclosed a personalized photo.

He couldn't wait to give it to me, so he gave it to me the other day.

I burst into tears.

Happy, joyful tears because it was the most thoughtful and nicest gift I have ever received.

He felt bad he had no money an no way to get me something but then he hoped this would come in time but this made his day to!


Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Wed, 12-15-2010 - 2:53pm

My ds and dd are like that to.

Yesterday it was so cold I stayed in and my ds said no need to get dressed Mom just be warm and comfortable.

So until I checked our mail that's exactly what I did!