This year I decided to give my husband his greatest holiday wish, the wish he couldn’t help but gripe about each year. We hosted Thanksgiving AND Christmas at our home. That’s right folks, we cooked a turkey AND a ham in our very own oven with no help from the folks. They didn’t think we could do it, I knew we could.
Holidays were typically spent deciding whose family we’d dread less (typically mine), travelling to places we’d rather not go and eating food we’d rather not eat. He rarely, okay never, wanted to spend the holidays with his family (they are all little balls of hate and anger, Merry Fucking Christmas right?!) and I then felt an obligation to spend the holiday with my family if we weren’t spending it with his. It sounded crazy to not go to someone’s family’s house, who does that? Drug addicts, musicians, and people in prison must be the only ones who don’t go to the obligatory holiday dinner right? One Christmas we pulled out the big guns and lied (gasp) to each of our families saying we were with the other. That Christmas we enjoyed a great dinner at Sherri’s bar with our friends and few other secretly free souls. Each year he’d ask to just stay home, host dinner at our home, and each year I said no.
It’s not that I didn’t want to cook, we love cooking together. It’s not that I didn’t want to have people over, I love entertaining. Truthfully I’m not sure why I didn’t want to do it. Maybe I felt some pressure as to who to invite, no side of our families ever get together (his mom, my dad, my mom, three separate families). Maybe I didn’t feel grown up enough. Maybe I cared too much about what other people thought, I tend to do this. No matter the reason, I decided to give him his wish and we committed to hosting both big holidays. We invited all of our families to each event, went shopping for large hunks of meat to be put in the oven for an obnoxious amount of hours and then relaxed.
Hosting was less stressful and more fulfilling than I thought it would be. It was lovely to be in our home for the holidays, how comforting and enjoyable to no longer a guest in someone else’s house. It was even more lovely to eat deliciously prepared, real food instead of the frozen food my grandmother is akin to serving in her old age or the “ham” from the deli section of Walmart my mother says she enjoys. But what was most lovely was that I felt so much that I was celebrating with my family, my husband and myself and whoever else wanted to join. This was a great feeling and I’m glad I could feel this before we bring kiddos into this family. I’ve been becoming more and more of myself outside of my family (isn’t this one of the biggest achievements of your 20’s) and ripping off that holiday bandage was so freeing. I was reminded yet again, that I can do what I want, feel how I want, and enjoy life my way, no longer burdened by my past or family’s expectations.
It was also great to see the surprised look of relief on our families faces when they ate the food they had yet to believe we could actually cook well and although I learned lessons about independence, image of self, blah blah blah, the best part of hosting holidays is all the leftovers you get to keep and enjoy, haha!