The Holiday Martyr

via Daily Prompt: Martyr

You know them, the ones driving themselves crazy trying to be perfect.  Driving you crazy too.  Ready to kill for a gift and die for their cause.  They will absolutely have “a happy holiday” like the song says, if it kills them.  They are busy setting up their holiday perfection with all the “right” things.  They have to have a feast at their house, they have to invite all the proper relatives, or people.  And everyone better be cheerful and get along.

The bonus from work is spent – and then some – on: a caterer, lights, the tree, wreaths, gifts for the family, gift for friends, gifts for the coworkers, cookies, cocoa, those new styling handcrafted mugs that went with the delicious cocoa, a new outfit – or six, and that vacation they will need once they have had their vacation.  You want to feel bad for them, but you don’t.  They got themselves into this mess after all, didn’t they?  I mean, what the heck is wrong with them anyway?!  Who wracks up all their credit card and blows their whole bonus in a week?!  And then you remember – uh, you do.  You, are the holiday martyr, cooking, cleaning, and working hard.  Going shopping, keeping up with the Jones’s, and for what?  For what?!  Is this what it’s all about?  Is this worth it?  Why are you doing this?  Why does anybody do this?  You ask yourself these questions, and a little part of you just dies.  You got sucked into the consumerism, you tell yourself.  You’re doing this for your family, your friends, and everyone has all these expectations of you, of your family.  This stuff only happens once a year, you tell yourself.  Or, you think, “Isn’t it just ok for once, for once, for you to indulge yourself a little?”  You’ve been good all year long!  If there really was a nice list, you would of course, be on it! And again, you just died a little more.

Yes, you absolutely have become the holiday martyr.  Transformation complete.  Not because you didn’t do enough, not because you didn’t care – but because, you lost the seasonal glow by getting “all caught up” in the other things.  Not the joy, the goodwill, the fun with family and friends, the laughter and merriment that you were trying to create for yourself and everyone else.  But because you thought it wasn’t there, or it wasn’t going to be there if you didn’t do all these things.  The thing is, at some point, at some time, we all become the holiday martyr, the good news is that we all eventually come back from it.  We eventually realize that the reason for the season, really is family, friends and love.  We see that now is just a brighter example of these qualities in human beings all around.  That no matter what other people practice, or not, we somehow all seem to be feeling this warm and fuzzy glow that for some reason, isn’t as warm and fuzzy at other times of the year.  Did you feel that?  Inside.  That was growth, your growth.  So it’s ok if you become the holiday martyr once in a while, it will still teach you something, and it will help you to grow your heart.

Copyright © 2016 Kim Orlowski. All Rights Reserved.