BMH Online

20. Being a Grinch at Christmas...
A good few years ago now I found myself wanting to avoid Christmas. From what I can remember I felt like it was all a faff and materialistic nonsense; I didn't care for receiving presents and didn't want the chore and expectation of having to buy presents for others.

Eventually though I started to focus more on the aspects of Christmas I did like, or perhaps more accurately, those of the whole 'festive period' and looking forward to a fresh new year.

I'm starting to feel the burden of this year's Christmas Day though. The main gripe I have is of so many family members coming together to try and eat a meal around a table that is too small for their number, in a room and house that isn't big enough. It has crossed the line into the ridiculous. A further annoyance is with those that don't chip in with the food and/or are incapable of providing their own transport to get there.

Birthdays are the same; there are now too many of us with my siblings each having kids of their own (and sometimes partners). For me, there is just me, and I'm used to living quietly on my own (with my cat).

I've repeatedly suggested that we draw up some kind of roster whereby this year so-and-so get together at so-and-so's house, then next year it rotates with different people getting together somewhere else, and so on, so we all get chance to have Christmas (or a birthday) with everyone, and actually converse without being shoved in a corner with a plate of food. But it doesn't happen.

How do other families manage it?