Bah, Humbug, All the Time

9 Dec

Letterbalm Grumpy Man in Santa HatDear LetterBalm: I’m seeing a guy who absolutely refuses to celebrate any holiday, let alone Christmas. He was raised in a family that observed only the religious aspects of any celebration – no tree, no egg hunts, no Valentines, nothing. Even getting him to open a present and blow out candles on a birthday cake is a major undertaking. I come from a family steeped in all the traditions and feasts. (My parents have a separate closet for seasonal decorations alone.) Everybody has always participated, and it’s been great fun over the years as we siblings have started our own traditions. My boyfriend now tells me he wants nothing to do with Christmas, birthdays or any holiday in the future, to please keep him out of it. This makes me very sad because we’re compatible in all other ways. How can I get him to compromise?

–Traditionalist

How can anyone go through life without holiday festivities and birthday cake? Your boyfriend has been brainwashed by his family. If you marry this man, your home will be devoid of even basic festivities marking life’s milestones – a very different state of affairs from what you know and love. Ms. L.B. advises you to reconsider your relationship because life with him will have a decided lack of cheer and laughter. You certainly can try to convince your boyfriend – sit down and have a quiet talk thusly, but be aware that he may be so adamantly against these traditions that he is incapable of compromise:

Kris, the fact that you don’t want anything to do with holidays and birthdays is something that makes me very sad. You know how much my whole family counts on celebrations – and my sibs and I have continued the tradition in our own lives. I feel awful that you won’t allow yourself to participate in even a small way. These celebrations and festivities are the glue that holds families together. It must be very lonely for you to be so against joy and fun. Can’t you compromise and open your heart just a little? You don’t even have to bring any traditions to the table – you’ve seen how my family welcomes everyone, and you know there is plenty of room for you.

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