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SuperMouse's avatar

Would it be cathartic for you to share a miserable Christmas memory?

Asked by SuperMouse (30785points) December 24th, 2009

This is my first Christmas since I had the boys that I won’t open presents with them on Christmas morning. As I was contemplating it I realized I have more miserable Christmas memories. When I was a teenager my father used to toss my sisters in the car, drive cross country to celebrate with family, and leave me alone for the holidays. Now that was a rotten Christmas. Do you think it might be cathartic for you to share a not so happy holiday memory?

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28 Answers

LeotCol's avatar

<Looks up web definition for cathartic>

1. Yes it would probably be emotional purging if I did have a not so happy holiday memory. Though the only real one would be when I spent new years alone as my family went out. I had planned on going out to my friends but I missed the last available bus. It wasn’t good.

2. I do not think its/it would purgative: a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels

chyna's avatar

@LeotCol Thanks for that dictionary rendition of cathartic.~

Seek's avatar

The first Christmas after I moved out of my parents house was straight-up awful.

I was 20 years old, engaged to my now-husband, and wanted to know I could take care of myself on my own before I was married. When I moved out, my parents were incredibly angry (it’s a long story of emotional abuse and domineering control). Mitch and I decided we’d spend Christmas Eve with his family, and Christmas with mine.

Apparently, because I missed Thanksgiving (having to pay rent and work instead of traveling to Kentucky) and then the Christmas Eve party at my step-uncle’s house, I was not invited to the Christmas Day dinner at step-grandmother’s. Whatever. So we went to my parent’s house for Christmas morning.

I enjoy giving gifts to people, and try to make them as thoughtful as possible. I saved up for quite a while to give gifts to my family: My little brother and sister each got a book on subjects they are interested in (always promoting reading!) and a Visa gift card for $30 a piece. For my stepfather (whom I never got along with) a very nice holster for the pocketknife he carries everywhere, and the beginnings of an ornament collection for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, which is his favourite Christmas movie. My mother got satin sheets for her bed, some Very Nice Perfume Oils, and decorative crystal perfume bottles.

Mitch received a pocketknife (one that’s been in my stepfather’s closet for at least five years. I received a toy French Press coffee pot, with the $5.99 price tag still attached. Yes, a toy. I don’t know if they realised it was a toy, but it was.

After the present opening, we sat around awkwardly for a while, and then left when my parents decided it was time to go to his parents’ house for dinner.

I haven’t been to a family function since.

Val123's avatar

The word “cathartic” is very apropos. @Seek_Kolinahr Ah (((Hugs.))) that sucks. Just really sucks. You were right. Keep up the love work. They’re the losers, not your.

I suppose I could find a bad holiday memory but….it’s all good. I was so broke for so long….if I was going to splurge, it wasn’t going to be on BS. The kids got a sack of brand new socks in their stocking (along with good candy because I had food stamps.) They got a gift-wrapped box of what I considered junk, sugar cereal that I refused to let them eat during the rest of the year as a present (because I had food stamps). The second year after I became a single mom, we didn’t have $20 for a tree, so I hung lights on my poor, unsuspecting plants….I thought that would be a disappointment to the kids, but on the contrary, they loved it! Requested it year after year, but I declined (until this year) because it makes my plants kind of shocky. However, my plants are hung this year again. No tree (but no little kids, either) Want to see?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Well, I spent two Christmases in Vietnam. The only thing we did was get drunk.

I suppose the most unhappy Christmas of my life was the first Christmas I spent alone, without my ex-wife. I had just been operated on for cancer. I remember it being a rather sad Christmas.

Polly_Math's avatar

If I did, I would, but I don’t, so I can’t.

Val123's avatar

@CaptainHarley Where in Nam? I don’t know what else to say. I want to click Great Answer, but…that doesn’t seem appropriate.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Val123… Central Highlands, mostly: Song Be, Phouc Vinh, Phan Thiet.

Val123's avatar

How’d you wind up with two tours?

CaptainHarley's avatar


Val123's avatar

Harley there?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Seemed like a good idea at the time! : D

Seriously, I had been in counterinsurgency ops for the first year, and I wanted to get combat experience in my branch ( Infantry ), so I volunteered for the 173rd Airborne Brigade. I planned on making the Army a career.

Val123's avatar

Ush! Well, lots of free pot there! Seemed like a good idea at the time??!! Say Wha?! So, were you ground? No…airborne…parachutes and things?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

My best friend died on the 17th, and I’m thinking that I’m pretty much going to hate Christmas for the rest of my life, no matter what.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Airborne? Yes, you had to be qualified to get into the 173rd. Airborne, SpecOps, Jungle Warfare, Aircrew, etc.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@val123… take a good look at the left side of the picture I use as my avatar.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@val123… I mean left side of my vest… right of the photo

chyna's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Understandable. So sorry for your loss.

Rude_Bear's avatar

No. In my case it would just be beating a dead horse. My parents, for all their faults, wanted to do the right thing. They were just people, with all their imperfections.

Val123's avatar

@CaptainHarley Airborne…..but you used to be able buy knock offs from the Army Navy store. We need to take this to PM before…..we get…..bombed! You know…from the Mods!

My worst “Holiday” was. well, I had been divorced for two years. Taking care of everything by myself….being Mom, Dad, Housekeeper, Yardkeeper, you name it. Well, on a Satuday summer evening in July, about 8:00, I was edging the lawn when…I was suddenly disabled with severe lower abdomen pain. I had four kids in the house who I responsible for. My two at 4 and 6, and two others at 7 and 9, whom I had “adopted” out of one of my class rooms. I waited about an hour then called my “adopted” kid’s Aunt (Their Mom was dead) to come get the boys, and went to my neighbors to ask if they could watch my kids because I thought I was in an emergency situation with myself. The Aunt got the boys, the neighbors huffed and said, “Well, fine! Just be back by 8:00 a.m. because we’re Christians and we have CHURCH in the morning!” (We had been neighbors for two years…they knew I wasn’t a last minute party girl! I wasn’t a party girl at all!! WTH!!?? Anyway….)

So, I found emergency care for the kids, drove myself to the ER (fending off at least one drunk in down town who reached in through the car window begging for money—which said window was down because I had no AC, and this was summer in July in Kansas…) and…a few hours later I was diagnosed with an Ectopic pregnancy which had burst, was life threatening, and I was dying, and they scheduled emergency surgery for 7 a.m. the next day. My 33rd birthday. In a panic I called the guy who was the reason I was pregnant (whom I had broken up with the month before FOREVER! Again) and explained that my Christian Neighbors had to make it to church so could he please pick up the kids by 8 a.m. before I went into surgery???
He assured me this would be done so I fainted back into my pain and fear and confusion.

Then surgery came about, and as they were wheeling me in the nurses said, “OK! Who in the waiting room do we need to tell?”
Groggy, I said, “What?”
She said, “Who in the waiting room is waiting to hear?
I said, “Whaaa???.....Oh. No one.”
She said, “Are you serious?”
I was confused enough as it was, so I kind of frowned at her like she was hard of hearing and said, “Yes…..”
She said, like her heart was breaking, “Ohhhhhhh…...” La la land for me!

But…the next morning, as I was recovering, the nurses brought in a surgical glove that they’d inflated, and written “Happy Birthday!” on! I LOL’d! I said, “This is udderly redikkalus!”

And then Jerry (the SO who had impregnated me, and grabbed the kids) showed up with the kids…who had insisted that he had to stop at various and sundry garage sales because that’s what Mom would do…..and…. the kids had bought a “vase” and he made a point of buying flowers to fit…it was the most beautiful offering I guess I’ll ever get again in my life. And I still have the “vase.” And always will. Which is a mass-production ceramic teapot.

Oh, the times I dared to turn the kids loose in the neighborhood…and they just gravitated to the nearest garage sale!! LOL!! Boy, it paid off for me!!

We may never pass this way again….

strange1's avatar

yep the most miserable for me was spending it overseas ,completely broke ,by myself:(

CaptainHarley's avatar

@strange1… Ouch! What did you do to get out of that one?

HighShaman's avatar

Without my mother and /or my two best friends who have passed away within the last five years… Christmas just is not the same to me anymore….

I just feel like it is a numb period duing the holiday now…. and I go thru the motions , not feeling the actual Spirit if Christmas .

strange1's avatar

@CaptainHarley did the parent loan thing and paid them back lol

CaptainHarley's avatar

@strange1… lol. Well, at least you did pay them back. Most kids wouldn’t even try. : )

strange1's avatar

@CaptainHarley what else would i do ? i got a job and paid off the loan they got for me

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