Holiday stressssssssssssss - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 12-14-2019, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Holiday stressssssssssssss

Hey friends, how are we all holding up?

Personally, I'm working absolutely every day of December, until Christmas, as I have a retail shop, and you make hay while the sun shines (though honestly I would prefer literally making hay). The weather has been lousy, and as we're in a remote area that mostly only tourists come to on nice days, it has not been a great season. The unrelenting snow and ice and crummy driving conditions have not been good to us. Nor has everyone buying their presents on Amazon instead of supporting small business. Yay. If I hear "I did all my gift shopping online, I just need one or two stocking stuffers" again...

I have none of my gifts sorted out for any of my family, and my motivation is in the gutter. My living space is a mess, as it's impossible to stay on top of housekeeping and meals while working this much. I'm riding three times a week, which is some kind of pre-Christmas miracle. But mostly that's because I've paid for a part board, and, dammit, I will GET my money's worth!!

As I type, a horse-drawn wagon is jingling past my door, hired for an event down the road to take party-goers out for a wintery spin around town. Think I can go incognito and hop aboard?

How is the holiday season treating you so far? Feel free to commiserate -- though I hope yours is a bit more positive! I'll be fine, but boy oh boy, do I need a BREAK!
SteadyOn is offline  
post #2 of 54 Old 12-14-2019, 10:46 PM
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Gosh, that sounds brutal. Can't say I understand because this time of year I get some time off work, but I always think I will have more time than I really do. There is always a million more things to be done than I thought there was so yeah... The 25th aways comes about a month sooner than I expected. Not to mention the fact that my parents are coming to judge how inadequate I am, and how old my kitchen is, and how I could have renovated my kitchen instead of building a barn... yes, that part is always fun :(

You raise an excellent point about supporting local businesses though! I admit, that some specialty items I get online because I can't buy them locally (like football gloves for my son). But this year I have made two commitments, ok three. 1 - only buy presents if you have to. Many are happier to get something you made! I give horse treats to my horsey friends, and some cookies we make. DD and I are trying biscotti for the first time! 2 - if you have to buy, especially if it's something vague for someone you barely know, buy local! I love a local goat's milk soap company. Since I started using their soap, I stopped having dry, itchy skin in the winter! So I order bulk direct from the goat keeper/ soap maker and she makes me a good deal because I am a repeat customer. Who doesn't need nice soap? Other ideas include locally made crafts and jewelry, a riding lesson, painting class, singing lesson, etc. I paint, so for years, I have traded a small painting for some nice earrings, a bottle of maple syrup or honey (we produce both) for some jams and jellys, etc. Finally, # 3 is not to use any commercial gift wrapping. They are not recyclable, so why are we still using them? I bought some plain brown paper that IS recyclable, and we'll decorate them using natural or pre-enjoyed cards as decorative touches.

I will say that my daughter has experienced Christmas stress this year and last. She's only 14 this year, but for the last two years, has sold animal-shaped wreaths at Christmas. Last year she made over 500$ and this year she's at 800$ so far! She works hard, but has already paid for one school trip, and has begun paying for the second one she wants to do in the spring. People love her wreaths, and often give her a tip over and above the asking price. However, she spends 4 hours on each wreath, and is very attentive to detail. It's a great life lesson, but she's exhausted. So I'm not stressed in my own work, but I worry about how hard my daughter pushes herself. Keep in mind we would never ask her to do these things - but she is determined and figures it's a lot more efficient to do this than sell chocolate bars door to door.

I hope for your sake that this is a generous season and that you get the time off you need and deserve!
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post #3 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 12:37 AM
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I am sorry you are stressed, and I am sorry @Acadianartist Ďs daughter is stressed (although I think thatís awesome of and for her).

Little girl and I made concrete bowls for the small gifts we needed. I just couldnít afford to keep buying so much! I think my holiday stress is more on the financial line of things. I love gifts, and I love that my husband enjoys buying them, but we do need to keep the budget in mind. Groceries are also very nice to have you must know.

I have been running around a lot lately it seems, but not really in comparison to most I donít think. I am used to being so isolated I guess, so going into social situations is stressful for me.

Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #4 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 12:37 AM
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Tonight is my last night to submit work for the semester. So as I sit in front of my computer the stress and caffeine coming off me is palatable.

I can't imagine having to work any kind of shop this time of year. That sounds awful. I try and shop local- generally better deals that way honestly and it has some local flavour to it you can't get from Amazon.

The kitchen thing- it's not what it looks like it's the meals and camaraderie that comes out of it. I've been in state of the art kitchens that don't have the love and joy that an outdated, shelves unfinished, with vynal for countertops kitchen that belongs to people who love to work together and eat together has.


This year we're celebrating Christmas late so my dad can join in since he now works some place quite remote and won't be home til after, but to me that just makes the season a little longer and leaves the possibility of last minute/after Christmas sales shopping that much more open.


My first "solo" Christmas tree ... If it counts. It was fun to decorate.
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post #5 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 08:18 AM
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@lostastirrup I love your tiny Christmas tree!

I am very sorry for everyone's stress, and I take this opportunity to throw myself a pity party. We (me, husband, daughter; and my brother, his wife, and their child) typically go to my parents' house for Christmas. They are getting older. My mother has finally admitted she has dementia. She just had a pacemaker put in a few days ago. Every one of us has suggested not doing Christmas there this year, but she insists. The last few years, we've spent Christmas trying to dig into their finances (not good) and create some reasonable expectations for them after my dad retires soon (they aren't into reality), and also try to get my dad to start taking charge of things like finances and day-to-day operation of their lives. He refuses, but having my mother in charge of finances is a really bad idea. It was a bad idea before she was in her current condition, and it's a terrible idea now. But every time you try to have a conversation with her about it she just starts crying.

So, we'll be trying to have heart-to-heart conversations with two people who refuse to accept reality, doing all the work for my mother (mind you, it all has to be up to HER standards) so she can feel like it's HER Christmas, and trying to put on happy faces the whole time. Any surprise that I tried to get our visit time cut down to just three days this time?

Typically I try to spend as much of my time up there out of the house as possible. IDK, maybe this year I need to start making an effort to be around, but my mother and I never got along, and while I feel very sorry for her now I still don't actually want to be anywhere near her.

So that's my Christmas plans.
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post #6 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 09:48 AM
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So sorry to hear that ACinATX. Sounds familiar though. In past years, we have suggested we do some take-out meals for the holidays, but my mother refuses to consider it and insists we must have big traditional meals which she can no longer prepare so yeah, we all have to do the cooking, but as you say, it has to be up to her standards. I cook the turkey for Thanksgiving every year for our entire family (we are the only ones with a big enough house for everyone to stay overnight) and I just kick her out of the kitchen now. I can't work with her.

Like you, I feel bad, and I try to remind myself of how it will feel when she is no longer with us... but gawhh, I can't take her presence very long. Even my daughter mentioned the other day that she feels judged by my mother. She's not going to change now, so I've just accepted it, but it doesn't do anything for our relationship. I worry about which one of my parents will go first because the other will be utterly unable to survive. My mother's name is not on any of the bills, she didn't even have a credit card in her name until about 5 years ago. She wouldn't even know HOW to pay a bill. I keep telling her she needs to be able to do these things in case my father can't anymore, but she refuses to think about it.

I just never want to be like her.
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post #7 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 01:37 PM
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@ACinATX that just is miserable; I am very sorry.

I am sorry to you too @Acadianartist .

Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #8 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 02:35 PM
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My stress is just beginning....I somehow got all my Christmas shopping done last month, first time ever Ive been early...but this coming week is going to be insane....I actually snapped at a friend last night, so I know its coming LOL

My daughter has been off school since this past Wednesday due to a water pipe busting at her school, just got the call today they fixed it, of course that meant her Christmas concert was rescheduled. So now, I work tonight and tomorrow, and have off Tuesday-Friday. My daughter has a hair appointment Tuesday, her Christmas concert is now Wednesday, my mom comes in on Thursday which I still have an insane amount of cleaning to do before she gets here as shes practically a germ-a phobe and no matter how clean my house is, its never good enough, so that will be fun. The plus about her visiting is that hubby and I are planning on going out for a few drinks Thursday evening. Friday, I have to run to town about 2hrs away to buy last minute food for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner, so that should be fun LOL

All in all, everything will be fine, just a lot to get done everyday....hope everyone's stress is short lived!
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post #9 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 02:36 PM
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For those who struggle with moms & dad's who are hard to deal with. Enjoy having them around even if they are difficult to be with. I say this because I no longer have my mom or dad around.

I was very close to my mom we did a lot of things together. She was an awesome grandma and the kids loved her very much.

My dad was an alcoholic so when he was drinking he was not a nice man. He was rather nasty an would say some pretty hurtful stuff. My kids learned to just stay away from him, when he was drunk.
I always kept my dad being an alcoholic quiet,so never disclosed it. Wasn't something I wanted to talk about. Was not easy telling this about my dad ,who I loved so dearly.

The last few years my mom and dad were alive,are now very treasured memories. For the last few years my dad was sober an had quit drinking ,so holidays were a bit less stressful.

Holidays are a tough time of year for me ,but have to try and be cheerful. Hard to do when you don't even want to get out of bed to face the day. I have no choice I have to get up I have kids that need there mom.

My husband and I do the Christmas dinner. Also do Christmas Eve like when my parents were alive. Have homemade pizza then a dessert that kids usually decide on. Then we all open one gift each.. then watch Xmas movies.

Christmas morning kids are up before daylight and ready to open gifts. I'll be glad when Xmas is over and done. Really not my favorite time of year.

Long dark nights an bitter cold nights and short daylight hours.

I still have some Christmas shopping to get done. So a busy week ahead hopefully the weather is good. Very stressful time of year for sure.

Out riding my horse.
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post #10 of 54 Old 12-15-2019, 03:12 PM
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@Acadianartist sorry to hear it's like that for you, too. But I feel a little better knowing I'm not the only one.

@rambo99 I know, and that's why I keep going up there, and I do try to see them whenever my can, and give my daughter every chance to see them as well. It is just not very easy.
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