Great article April. "Why keep operating as we once did, under differing circumstances?"
I made a conscious effort to stop this year. We are celebrating a simple Christmas and one that isn't focused on tons of fattenign food or visiting with estranged relatives that just drain your energy. I know my parents are not going to appreciate this but honestly don't we all just deserve to celebrate in a way that makes us happy?
My sister wanted to force a gift exchange so I politely declined and said I was doing my own thing. She insisted 3 more times via text, phone, in person. I just said I was sticking to my original plan.
Mom tried the guilt email two days ago, pushing for a weekend long visit so we can see my brother and his wife and two girls who only visit once a year. I simply said we would come mid week and possibly Sunday afternoon.
It's hard to say no and do what makes you and the people you live with happy but it does eliminate stress big time.