Dear Husband, I’m Grumpy During The Holidays Because Of You
My husband has thousands of great qualities. It’s just that, unfortunately, this is not the time of year when any of those shine.
Snow is falling. Mariah Carey is playing nonstop on the radio. And my husband is tap dancing on my last nerve. It must be the holiday season!
Love, marriage, kids, and THEN holiday misery. I’m not sure if that is the exact trajectory most people follow in life, but I know that’s been mine. From the time my relationship with my husband started to get serious up until this current moment, the most wonderful time of the year has progressively deteriorated into anything but.
To be fair, I don’t think he woke up one day and thought, Hmmmm. How can I make things miserable for her? But he doesn’t try to change the things he does that drive me crazy, either.
It begins every year on the day after Thanksgiving. The deep sighs. The obvious groans and eye rolling. “Well,” he tells no one in particular. “I guess this is my cue to put up the lights. And outdoor decorations. You know, all that stuff.”
All what stuff, I always wonder. Two strings of lights and a blow-up Santa Claus? By how he acts, you’d think we asked him to build the Taj Mahal out of twinkle lights. My offers of help are always denied as he sighs and complains like it’s an integral part of the process. Never mind that I’m busy turning the inside of our home into a winter wonderland and usually singlehandedly decorating the tree after my son hangs an ornament or two and declares the process “boring” — my poor husband is being forced to surmount an insurmountable obstacle.
Eventually, after annoying the entire family for two full days, he finally goes outside for the 20 minutes it takes to put up the lights.
If you’re keeping track, that’s roughly 47 hours of complaining about the task and 1/3 of an hour doing the actual work. Followed by three to four days of moaning about how much his back and neck hurt from completing such an arduous chore.
Next, we deal with where we will go and when. His family — including a visit for each of his parents, who are divorced — his siblings, my parents. And it’s not just one day. It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and everything in between. He wants to allocate equal time among everyone, and I support that. What I can’t support is how he avoids deciding until the last possible moment because he doesn’t want to disappoint anyone.
He goes radio silent, and I’m inundated with calls, emails, and texts inquiring about our plans because everyone is trying to figure out food, lodging, and just knowing how many people will be in their homes. I ask, he tells me he doesn’t know yet, and we cycle through that until he finally feels like he’s scheduled our time equally and his spreadsheet has been perfected (I wish I were kidding; he does make a time spreadsheet for the holidays).
By the time he deems everyone worthy of knowing our plans, inevitably, something doesn’t work. Either someone assumed we weren’t joining them because they never heard an answer, or a guest room could no longer be held for us “just in case.” It then becomes a mad scramble to change, rearrange, and update the spreadsheet. I’m usually so irritated that I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m definitely approaching Grinch status by this point.
But the biggest joy sucker is when it comes time to tackle shopping for presents. Rather, I tackle shopping, ordering, wrapping, and mailing. Which wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t have an opinion about every present I buy. “Is that really what you bought?” or “Do you think they will even like that?” Does he honestly think I purposely seek out bad gifts? Can he give me a little credit? Apparently not.
Christmas morning is always the cherry atop the disgusting, rotting sundae that has become my holiday season. Our son won’t even be halfway through opening his presents when my husband starts talking about the playroom and wondering where all these new toys will fit. You know, because that’s what the Christmas spirit is all about: organization and space-saving hacks.
Bah humbug to everyone; it’s now time for me to head to Mount Crumpet.
I love my husband; he has thousands of great qualities. It’s just that, unfortunately, this is not the time of year when any of those shine. Valentine’s Day and our anniversary are more of his sweet spot.
Be sure to check back with me then; I’m sure I’ll be in a much better mood!
‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
I was a mad, grumpy b*tch
Because my husband was acting like a louse.
Becky Vieira been wearing mom jeans since 2016. She writes for a variety of parenting outlets, and can often be found oversharing intimate details of her life on Instagram. She's immensely proud of the time she thought to pee.