I canceled Christmas. Well, only part of it.
I'm still cooking Christmas dinner, and there are decorations and carols and we are watching Christmas specials. I'm even sending a few Christmas cards. I'm not exchanging gifts.
We usually don't anyway, and I have liked that. We don't have any small children in the family. Birthdays start right after Christmas anyway, and we exchange birthday gifts. But people wanted to exchange gifts this year and I hadn't been expecting it. I initially agreed out of guilt because everyone else seemed to want to do it. I wasn't happy about it, but I was doing it. It started to really suck.
I really don't have any spare money. Could I make things? We're not really a family that enjoys homemade gifts. It's a low gift spending limit, fine, but then you are getting junk that people don't need. I had no enthusiasm for it.
I might still have gone with it, but then the questions started. Would you rather have practical or fun? Asking other people if they know what size I am. I know that some people are going to be nuisances no matter what, but that doesn't mean that they can't sometimes be worse. They can totally be worse. Nothing I was going to receive could possibly make this worthwhile. I rescinded my participation agreement and immediately felt much better.
It hasn't been too bad. I have only gotten one "You're spoiling Christmas for everyone!" and I don't think she really thinks that. It does make me the spoilsport, but I am amazed at how much I don't care.
One thing that I have been dealing with recently is that I always prioritize other people over myself. There is some deeper stuff on that that I will get into later, because I am still working on it, but it's bad. It affects my ability to accomplish my own goals and it also sends a message to other people about the priority level I deserve. I think it's largely subconscious, but the impact is still real. I am trying to push back against that.
Honestly, these attempts have been largely unsuccessful. It almost feels like I have had more of my time eaten up by other people while trying to prevent it than otherwise; but maybe I am just aware of it now. Regardless, it's important, and I'm trying. If the one blow I can strike successfully is that I'm not searching for $5 gifts for people who already have too many trinkets collecting dust I will take it.