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canidmajor's avatar

If you were relieved last year to not have to do the holidays with your difficult family because of the pandemic, are you hoping for the same this year?

Asked by canidmajor (18669points) 1 week ago

Last year, so many couldn’t gather with families for the holidays because of the pandemic, and, really, a lot of them were quite relieved. I have talked to a number who are citing the rising numbers as an excuse to miss again this year, and working on ways to avoid it altogether in the future.

If you were glad to avoid all that last year, are you able to skip again this year, or is the pressure too much?

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24 Answers

jca2's avatar

I was so happy last year to be able to stay home and not feel guilty or obligated to do anything else. This year, we (my daughter and I) are invited to a family get together at an exclusive club that someone in my family belongs to. She is going to introduce us to her boyfriend, who she has been dating since pre-pandemic. He’s rich, she’s rich, we’re not rich. The club has a very strict dress code (“Gentleman members and guests are required to wear jackets and dress shirts. Ties are recommended, but not required, except for dinner in the Main Dining Room. Jackets are not required on the 10th Floor Terrace. Ascots and cravats when worn as such are a suitable replacement for ties. Lady members and guests are required to wear clothing meeting similar standards; specifically, tailored clothing that otherwise conforms to this Rule, e.g. suits, dresses, or skirts and dress shirts or sweaters, or tailored pants with dress shirts and jackets, elegant sweaters or scarves of equivalent formality. Tailored pants paired with tailored/beaded tops may be worn without a jacket, sweater or scarf.” is just part of it). A friend told me it’s going to be an experience. It may be an experience, but I’d rather stay home and not stress about my clothes being perfect, etc.

rebbel's avatar

Yes, I do.
And since we’re in a two, or three, week lockdown again, I can see it getting postponed again anyway.
Plus, had it been all quiet and no restrictions in place, a part of the family is unvaccinated, so I would not have gone in the first place (the party would not have been held, I believe).

canidmajor's avatar

I may not have phrased it that well, my point was that it is a relief for so many to not have to do the family gathering that they don’t like.

@jca2 I grew up super snooty rich. It’s not an “experience” so much as it’s a pretentious bore. Really, cite the numbers and stay home, unless you really really want to see the people.

jca2's avatar

@canidmajor: I just reread your question and I see it includes the word “difficult.” My family isn’t difficult, theyre actually quite fun, but the whole “club thing” is what I’m dreading this year, with the dress code. If it weren’t a big occasion this year with meeting the new boyfriend, I would be happy to have made travel plans and told them we’re traveling to another state. Plus my relative the club member made reservations for us to stay overnight at the club, in one of their guest rooms, which my daughter is looking forward to – a night in NYC.

I’m guessing that on Thursday I’ll be happy and having fun, but right now it’s a lot of prep work, getting us all the proper clothes. I’m afraid it’s the kind of snooty place where if we don’t have the proper clothes, we won’t be allowed in the Dining Room and it would be terrible. No sneakers, etc. so I am going down with several pairs of shoes and dress pants, dress shirt, etc. – big pain in the ass.

rebbel's avatar

@canidmajor For me the Covid-19 pandemic could have been better happening from ‘94 to ‘19; that would have been quite the relief.
Those decades I hated social gatherings.
But these last (almost) two years I feel much better (regarding also social gatherings), but alas, Corona spoiled last, and future, Christmas…

cookieman's avatar

I was relieved not to do it last year because I’m exhausted, not because people are difficult. My family and friends (whom we have for holidays) are all lovely.

I’m just exhausted from 25-years of hosting four holidays a year, every year. It was a nice break last year.

I keep hoping someone else will pick up a holiday or two, but no one is interested. The one person who would like to host one is elderly, sick, and lives in a one bedroom shoebox. Meanwhile, the folks with a big enough house, who actually cook well, are like, “Oh, I don’t like to entertain”.

jca2's avatar

To me, the best holidays would be either traveling somewhere with my daughter and hanging out there, like another state, or staying home in my sweats and eating whatever we want. The third best would be as one of my friends is doing this year, which is “Pajama Thanksgiving” where she’s having a crowd of friends and family and telling everyone to feel free to wear their pajamas.

canidmajor's avatar

Yeah, I guess the phrase “difficult family” escaped the notice of most.

JLeslie's avatar

My dad really likes to come to my house for Thanksgiving (with my mom, but it’s important to him) and I prefer not having the pressure of a holiday, but I do like them to visit. It’s better when they visit and nothing special is going on. My dad is still too nervous to travel during covid so again they are not coming.

Sometimes we go to my husband’s parents for a holiday, and I still feel the same way, I like it better when there is no holiday.

We don’t need to use covid as an excuse, we can just say we aren’t going. Last year, for sure covid was the driver to not even consider getting together for Thanksgiving, but now with vaccinations and we did go to visit his family a few months ago, it’s not easy to use covid as an excuse, even though I think holiday time is increased risk. Moreover, FL has relatively low cases now. His sister can be trying, so how I usually feel is I wish it was different, but not so much that I need to avoid her.

We are going to have Thanksgiving with another couple at their house. She’s making it a bigger deal than it needs to be, which is mildly annoying, but we like spending time with them in general.

canidmajor's avatar

Giving up and going home. Have fun, guys, I don’t know what question you’re answering, but it’s not this one.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe I was too wordy. It’s a relief (to use your word, which is appropriate for my answer) not to have to bother with Thanksgiving pressures. Covid definitely has aided in the expectations around the holiday.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie “Relief” was not the core word “Difficult family” was the core idea. Which is why I kept repeating the words “difficult family” in my posts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I hate the money drain.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I see. Yeah, only my SIL is difficult in that context. I just need to stifle around her and let her be Queen of the May and then things are relatively smooth.

You mentioned not liking the pretentious atmosphere in one of your answers not so much difficult family, so I guess I interpreted the Q in a broader fashion. Maybe that was the case for other jellies too.

Jeruba's avatar

@canidmajor, I sympathize with your frustration. It’s a chronic problem here, people who don’t read. Can, but don’t. Typical: address a group (say, schoolteachers) and you’re sure to get responses that start “I’m not a schoolteacher, but.” Or ask what your favorite cake is, and the first reply is apt to say “I’m not a cake eater, but.”

As for me, I’m not getting any relief from my difficult family, so I can’t answer your Q; but last year there were several things I was grateful not to have to do on account of covid. Maybe I’ll never have to do them again. Covid has made a lot of people ask “If I hated this so much, why was I doing it?” One respect in which this presumably temporary social suppressant is having permanent effects.

canidmajor's avatar

@Jeruba, thank you, yes!!! I know how hard it is to stop the “have to do this thing for the holidays” and the nastiness that follows, but the incredible relief of not having to tolerate the criticism or grotesque behaviors of some (“But they’re family!!”) and the bigotry of some was so very worth it. The dealing-with-horrid-holidays thing has become almost an industry these days. Articles are trotted out, interviews with psychologists on talk shows, stuff like that. The choice to avoid the abuse must be a great boon to so many.

Come to my house where the biggest annoyance is the dog barking at the next door dog, We watch the parade and the dog show, and eat pie.

Champagne will be consumed, maybe pink!

King_Galaxius's avatar

I don’t care this year. I do my own thing now. :)

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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The days of a lovely family reunion and its traditions are long gone over the holidays. I never thought that I would say this, but spending a holiday with only my partner has become ideal.

I think that the separation has divided us even more, amongst other factors.

janbb's avatar

If you were relieved last year not to have to spend the holiday with difficult relatives, you can take a dispensation this year too, and have a Very Fauci Thanksgiving:

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