I am angling to spend x-mas solo again.
Phase 1 was to break it to the large side of the fam, and get in a pre-holiday visit - check!
Phase 2 was to arrange a pre-holiday visit with grandma - check!
Phase 3 will be to ward off the many other attempts to socialize on x-mas - stay strong solider!
The first christmas I was in Seattle, was the nicest x-mas I can remember.
I watched an entire season of the L-word, The Terminator (Collectors edition...its a classic) and Nude on the Moon (a campy 1960's sort of soft porn...the premise being that when we finally land on the moon, we find topless female aliens on the shadow side....we clearly hadn't been there yet, and I wonder how disappointed the real astronauts were when we finally did walk on the moon).
I went for walks around my neighboorhood and could imagine in EVERY home was joy, expectation, family, a wood fire, gifts and food. It really felt like X-mas.
I would have cooked a yummy meal for myself too, except...as my exaspirated family keeps reminding me...I had the stomach flu which was the only reason I was actually alone. The volumes of vomit were impressive. And my abs were sore for a week. But that part seems so secondary....all I remember is the joy and peace. Maybe it was fatigue and low blood sugar...I can't be sure. But I am trying to find my way back to that x-mas.
Its not that my holidays were bad. We had a really nice x-mas holidays with food, family and traditions...it just got too complicated for me. Too many traditions that people were tied to, too many places to be and people to see (we were a divorced household), too much going on to be able to enjoy the quiet warmth of the holidays.
I don't think my folks understand why I am giddy at the prospect of not having to do anything for the holiday. I know their feelings are a little hurt because they think they ruined x-mas for us...and they didn't. My (step)sisters love the family get-togethers and traditions, and are excited to pass them along to their children. They had as much or more of the x-mas stress that went along with the x-mas joy and still look forward to being together for the holidays.
My suspicion is that being introverted in general (introverts can be social, loud and mischevious too, just require solo recharging more often) combined with having years 0-10 of development as an only child...I am not just wired to get through the hub-bub. My two (step)sisters are twins, they have always had someone, my two (half)siblings are close in age to each other and then there is me.
And its ok. I am coming to terms (finally) with not having the nature or nurture to love the enormous holidays together... the trick will be to getting the rest of the fam damily on board.