S4 E8 - 11:22:21, 12.34 PM
5:38PM Nov 22, 2021
Hey everyone, and welcome to another episode of the all the things ADHD podcast.
It's the all the things wonderful time of the year year.
I'm one of your co hosts Lee Skallerup Bessette.
And I'm one of your co hosts, Amy. Whoa, whoa, hope Morrison.
Nice. Thanks. Nice. Hey, have you been hearing the all the all the rage this year? Speaking of Christmas carols is people are starting to re record. And maybe they always have, but it's just now going viral. People are re recording less rapey versions of Baby it's cold outside?
Well, you know, this is more than meets the eye. There's a whole sort of side discussion on this. You might be familiar with about coded female sexuality with its plausible deniability. And it's no means yes, as as long as they were coded in a particular way, in as liberatory time, but this is what the holiday season brings us is the opportunity to argue about 100 year old songs entered here. Okay, maybe not 180.
See, like it was like, Okay, maybe it did come out in the 1920s. It's not unfathomable. I know, right? Like is that, you know, that's exactly it. Like it's the roaring 20s. So it wouldn't surprise me that a song like that, around the holidays would have would have come out right, where it's just like, go to a go to a nice little let it flappers. No, that was the 30s. Anyways, no top versus the 20s. So I know this is 20s. But like, whatever they were, whatever parties they were roaring to, in the 20s.
You know, I'm gonna look this up as soon as we get off this call, and then I'm gonna lose the rest of my day. To that, and then I will later complain about I didn't get all of my goals met
somebody in the 12 party or go or in the 20s.
Absolutely, very useful.
So we're gonna continue to our all holiday Survival Guide discussion, for lack of a better term. So we talked, we talked a little bit last week about those about the stresses that come with the holidays, and your new favorite thing, which is the Christmas learning outcome, or the Friday learning outcomes. So So, um, where where are we picking up then? How are we how are we picking this? Well, I want to think
about maybe solidarity with other groups, right for our, you know, nondenominational nominees, non denominational winter time, darkness, right. Like I think the winter time season in northern parts of the world has often had all kinds of like pagan traditions, and all kinds of different cultural traditions that are geared towards helping us feel connected to one another in the period when there's the least amount of daylight when resources are most scarce, when the weather is least hospitable to human movement in the environment, and people being social animals, and people also being a bit dependent on daylight for their mental health and well being always produced rituals of sort of light and togetherness and feasting to get through the longest parts of the winter. So I would say, you know, I talk a lot about Christmas that I was raised Catholic, but my Christmas, for the most part is a sort of secular nondenominational Charlie Brown type of Christmas. Yeah, I know, Charlie, is actually deeply Christian one. But I mean, some people also like, may celebrate different religious traditions. I know, you know, the African American tradition of Kwanzaa, which is tied to this time of year, that for Jewish people, Hanukkah is a completely different type of holiday, but often gets rolled into like, put up your Christmas tree or your menorah, but it is a fact that sort of across cultures, religious and otherwise, people need something in the darkest part, and the coldest part of the winter, right? To bring them together because it can be a difficult time. Right? And so like, we've sort of started last week thinking about how I mean it's a difficult time because we go to too many parties, but for some people, right where they're, their families of origin have produced some trauma in them. The fact that the holidays are effects. The first holiday season after a loss like I will say, you know, my mom died in January of 2020. And Christmas last year was really hard for me because was my first Christmas without my mom and I was like, I don't really like feel like I want to do this and I'm sad and I'm avoidant, and all these other things or, you know, families may be going through divorce and changing, holidays around. Changing traditions around those holidays are difficult. Some people may be like living in poverty, or they may, you know, come from traditions where Christmas has meant something completely different or the holidays have meant something completely different in they're not able to sort of celebrate or or People may have seasonal affective disorder, which is something that I am prone to myself. And there's a weird kind of dislocation and bad feeling that comes from it just being so dark, which makes the holidays extra weird. People who are not Christian and don't want to celebrate Christmas often also feel quite left out this time of year because they, they want to be with their friends, but they don't want to be like the one person that says like, Yeah, I'm not gonna do that tradition with you, or, Oh, I'm the vegetarian, or, you know, I'm the Muslim we like Don't, don't do this right, like so there are a lot of reasons that the holidays are really really difficult for a bunch of different groups.
Just just add as well, we were talking about feasting and that can also be very difficult and traumatic for people, depending on you know, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, just general trauma around body shaming and food culture. You know, we've talked about food culture in the past, but certainly the holidays. Are you know, again, it's it's and then we they feast as as the Grinch said, they feast they feast, the feast, feast, feast feast.
Yeah, so roast beast can be problematic there to a lot of people also who have like, dietary restrictions that are private. Right?
You know, are you really gluten intolerant? Or
is this just some hippy thing? And you're like, No, I will crap my pants if I eat wheat or what have you, right, like, so you can?
Are you sure you can eat dairy? Like,
I snuck it in and you didn't even notice it? Like, oh, my God, you did what now? Right? Yeah. Yeah. So like, there are ways I think in which we don't have to describe everybody's experience, but like, sort of say that the strategies that we're talking about are capacious enough, I think that we can learn from others and others can learn from us about how to navigate a difficult time, right? Yeah. Yeah. So. So what do we we like whatever. I know, you joked last week about, you know, the ideal holiday for you, which like produced a weird three seconds of silence on your part. Who'd like, I don't even know no one's ever asked me how I want to feel at the end of this. Right. You're like sleep? Yeah. So like, so what does the ideal holiday if you had to get a little bit more specific than sleep? What would this winter time darkness and food holiday produce for you? See, again,
I'd like it's, it's, it's a strange question. Because there's so many. There's, there's so many different things that I have done that the holidays have represented outside of Christmas. So I, when I grew up, I swam. And so that when you have two weeks off of school, and you're a swimmer, actually just about any athlete, but like, particularly swimmers, it's like, great, we get to go to the pool five hours a day. And we would literally go to the pool five hours a day, and we would dry. But it was also a time, again, of togetherness, where we hadn't spent enough time with each other at the pool that we also had to spend time with more time with each other every day outside of the pool. And so we would have bowling trips, and we'd invade my dad's apartment, you know, and watch movies, or we would go sledding or we you know, and so it was, so it was a lot of very much being together. Right and right and, and friendship. And I think that that's that, for me is the ideal holidays just like this, this ability to get together with friends with loved ones, but you know, but also just to a certain extent chill. I think I've told this story before on the podcast. I don't I don't really, I don't remember. But it was I was in a leadership.
Was this Thanksgiving because I was just thinking that too. Yeah.
I'll tell it again. So we were doing the personality test and I may ENFP. And the he was like all the way over here and everything else was pretty pronounced. And I don't remember what the the it was enter after P. But like, would they divided us up and put us on tables, and then asked us to describe our ideal Thanksgiving dinner? And we the three of us who are at the table we're talking about? Yeah, it's just be chill and we'll have some food was the people it'll be great and totally laid back and it'll just be like, whatever right? Come he hang out. It'll be awesome. And we're like yeah, that sounds great. Isn't that sound great? Yeah, friends really important it just like yeah, just a little did we know that they'd organized us according to how strongly we were on that spectrum. Right and everyone else in the room? What we were describing for our Thanksgiving was their nightmare. Because everybody else was like I need a menu I need arrival times I need I need personalized stationery what's our color story? Yeah, what's the color story? Like everything has like an and and and what are the what is it literally turned to me and said I no offense but I will never be coming to your place for Thanksgiving. Because like just the way I was like and that and that's it. I'm like yeah, no, that's it like just some food and some water. And we get and like that the look of horror on their faces. But on the on the flip side, their description of Thanksgiving was my nightmare because I'm like, Jesus, that's so stressful. That's so much pressure. But, you know, that's what they thought that the process was what they loved, right? They love that process. Right? I, I would walk into that and I'm like, I'm gonna fuck all of this up. Like this is like I'm gonna break shit. I'm gonna wear the wrong thing. at the wrong place.
I have shoes. The cashews lay there on the table now, but nobody eats the cashews until four. I can't. Exactly. I'm just It's okay. It's okay. I'm gonna take it back to the kitchen. I'm just gonna refill it. But maybe like, don't eat anything without asking.
Yeah. Oh, that that, that that wine was actually before during dinner. This is the before dinner wine like. And yeah, and that glass is not for that wine. And this is the beer doesn't come out until like, just like, it's a lot. It was a lot. And it was but it was just it was this is really funny moments, again, where I was just like, wow, like, because, you know, our holidays have always been fairly laid back in terms of there will be food, there will be people. And then And that's good. Right? Right. So you don't play games, we don't play, you know, we don't have organized schedules is sort of like, No, but seriously, like, I mean, some of these places, and some of these, they were like, we will have a menu and a schedule for the evening. And it's time for all the courses. And then we will retire for games and activities. And then I was just like, Oh, why?
Yeah, cuz it's too much. So you like a good unstructured Hangout, like that's kind of your vibe, it's more like a Christmas drop in, like, somebody might be wearing a cocktail dress because they're coming back coming by on their way from somewhere else, and they're just gonna kick off their shoes, and like, plop out on the couch and other people are in sweatpants, and your kids will wander in or wander out and some
baggage and your kids will wander in and wander out. And if you want to bring your dogs bring your dogs.
Yeah, it open. Yeah, you want to
bring random friends that we've never met, you know that there was plenty of food, you know, bring the random friends and we'll you know, we'll we'll make space we'll make space will bring up a chair, there'll be enough food and you know,
it sounds like for you your ideal holiday like even your your Christmas break when you were in high school was not about like, you know, not doing the activities that you had been doing. But having like, larger blocks of time to focus on like one thing, even if that one thing was like unstructured hang out that can be group of seven of us from swim team. And we're just like, maybe we'll go to the mall first. And then maybe like later, if my dad's home, like he's gonna let us into the apartment, we can rent a movie, but they didn't have the movie we wanted. So we just watched a TV show instead. And you're cool with that it's unstructured. And you're happy to go with the flow. And that that feels restful for you because it's full of people. But the activities are not formal. Or structured. Right. Yeah. And, and that,
yeah, and, and also, but also just like we what we've you know, and again, we sort of learned this about ourselves, too, is that there is, you know, the ADHD does have a propensity for me to like, over schedule things, right? Like, we have two weeks off, we're gonna do all the things, right. Because we should do all the things because I feel bad because we've been as we talked about last week, like, we haven't been doing anything as a family. So we got to go do something as a family and the father we want to we're not Yeah, exactly. Like the family is like cough mom, like just could we and but but now i i don't know maybe it's because I have like a hobby that is not actually work because my hobby used to be writing, which is also work also. But now that I'm sewing, you know, my I'm like, Oh, I would like just to spend two or three days just sewing. That'd be really nice. Like, if I could just like cuz I want to make a winter coat. I have this gorgeous wool, but I want to make a winter coat out of, except I've been looking at it and I'm like, holy shit. winter coats are complicated, like, there is interfacing and lining and the pieces and even the pattern gave me warnings like your water pattern pieces out, it's gonna take you a while now like, then you have to keep them all organized and labeled. And I'm like, Oh, this is who I don't know about this one. This is like my ADHD nightmare right now. Like,
you're looking to indulge hyper fixation to write to be able to lean into something that you really, really want to do. So for you, it seems like you your ideal holiday that would feel restful to you, right? And this is like tying back to some of our episodes about rest, right? What rest looks like, is like moving against your countervailing tendencies in some ways, but leaning into them and other so a lot of sort of unstructured social time with lots of different people coming and going but not a lot of like meal prep or decoration or any of that but also some big chunks of time where you can be alone and really dig into your hyper fixation on sewing right now. Right and I think like there There's different things that we need, like neurodivergent people, sometimes we fall apart when we're not scheduled anymore, right? Yeah, I think usually at the end of the two weeks for us, my kid is like, usually a hot mess, because it's been too much unstructured time, right? So we do like, like, we were talking last week about my family meetings that my family has about with what do we like? Are we gonna go see a movie together, like, let's plan some days where some things are going to happen, so that the whole thing is not completely up in the air. And so for us, it's less a matter of like, I want to see all the people and I don't really care how that happens in a little bit more, but we mostly want to be alone. But we don't want to have nothing to do. But we also don't want to, like, have to set reminders on our phones about what time we have to start things, right. Yeah. So we will do like every day, like our goal last year, I think was every day has one activity, right? One thing so that we're not just all on our phones, by ourselves all the time, it's like we are going to go to a movie together on this day. Or this is the day my kid and I are going to bake two batches of this specific Christmas cookie together or this is the day that we're all going to go to the sliding Hills together. It's just one activity. Yeah, right. But we need something to anchor us with a reason to brush our teeth and know what day it is. Because otherwise we just kind of retreat into this like, apathetic slot. That doesn't feel restful at the end of it. Yeah, I don't want to see a ton of people. I see enough people all the time. Go away, everybody.
You see, you see, I don't see anyone anymore. Like I do not see anyone anymore. Because I'm mostly again, I'm mostly still working from home. And when we go into the office, in order to be able to pick up our mass, everybody just hides out in their office with their door closed. So So yeah, so it's very, you know, it's, it's, it's nice to be able to, like, have, again, I said, See people right, because I'm and you know, we haven't gone to the movie theater in forever. So we'll probably end up going to see a movie like, you know, maybe we'll go see the matrix up on the big screen like Ash, you know,
I think like, one of the things that I've discovered is I, for many years, just like felt so overscheduled that I wanted to schedule absolutely nothing and just sort of let my body move through the world was going to move through the world. But what I found was I was staying up too late, and maybe drinking a bit too much, and then sleeping too late. And it really exacerbated my seasonal affective disorder, because I was minimizing the amount of daylight that I was getting, right. So I was like, are some of the things that I I need to maintain, like, I need to make sure I get out of the house first thing in the morning or I need to like get up as close to the sunrise time as possible, which like I don't do in the summer, because that would be like 430 in the morning. But right now the sun rose here at 712. So like it's not that hard. It's only going to get later for the next month. So I know it's almost 8am i right. So as I need to get up with the daylight, I know that and I can have some rituals that make that pleasant like I can knit in front of my like light therapy lamp and drink a cup of tea, right. But I can't let I can't take my hands and feet like off the steering wheel and the pedals of my car at the same time, right. So I have to think about ways in which I can maintain enough structure so that I don't accidentally slide into some dysfunctional behavior that's not like self indulgent way, like, oh, I shouldn't have eaten that chocolate. But for me, if I eat too many chocolates, I have to lie down because my heart starts racing and I start sweating. And I get exhausted, like I have this physical reaction to not eating properly. So I mean, if you like to eat a whole bag of lindora Lince at the same time, God bless you. Like if your stomach can handle that, do it like this is not about healthy living. This is about like, these are sort of indulgences that you know, my poor impulse control ADHD brain sometimes it's like, wow, it's party time mom and dad are gone forever, right? Like there's no responsibility. And I make a bunch of choices that feel like I'm choosing the things that I want, but that just make me like tireder and more depressed and with like a worse. Stomach. Right. So like, I think ADHD people struggle with that as well. Like, what is an indulgence? Yeah, versus what is like accidentally sliding into dysfunction that you tried so hard to get yourself out of in the rest of the year?
Yeah, well, then there's also the the idea of like, there's something around the holidays, that it's like you treat, you should be able to treat yourself, right. And there's that level of acceptance that like as much as I would love to eat all of that chocolate, right? It's gonna make me sick. And maybe that's something I could tolerate in my early 20s. Right. But it there's also this kind of acceptance, and there's there's wrestling this internal wrestling is not just the ADHD and the impulsive, and but it's it's sort of this, you know, I can't get everything that I want. Right. And there's and that's the impulse control. But I think it's also that, you know, we know from the research that people that ADHD brains mature more slowly, right. And I think that there is an element of that too, that comes around in the holidays, where I don't want to say it's a regression but It's almost like the immaturity but also that that kind of immaturity asserts itself more in a way because, you know, it's the holidays, and it's Christmas that it's, you know, fun times, and it's the most
I mean, there's, there's a reason that all of our kids at some point, like become monsters during the holiday, right? Like, because they're asleep, you know, especially like, it's sort of the toddler and early childhood years, like up to about nine or 10. Like, you know, your kid is burning at both ends three, like their Advent chocolate, like before breakfast in the morning, and then they had like, you know, no curriculum at school and everybody like dressed up like Santa his elves, and then they have like three parties to go to from their various activities, and they stayed up too late. And then you woke them up to like, watch a Christmas movie at a certain time. And like, then we're like, God, why are you like, so awful kids, like, you're not grateful for your presence, and you're being mean to all the relatives, and you're running around like a crazy person, because you broke all the routines. So and I think, like, we very much have a tendency to suffer in those ways to win, you break all of our routines right there, and with our issues with impulse control, and also our greater sensitivity to changes in the structures of the supports, we put up in our lives to keep us from like, you know, putting a lampshade on our head and dancing around on top of the table at 11pm on a Thursday. Right? Because we can, but like we're not even thinking at this point. What do I want to Braden? Is that? Is that gonna feel great tomorrow? And maybe it doesn't, that's a decision we have to make. But I think the whole thing about the holidays is it makes everyone a little bit ADHD because there's too much food and haul too many opportunities to spend your money on.
projections. Yeah, every I mean, everything is a bright and shiny thing, literally. Right? Like it is so bright and shiny. And, you know, we used to is, is funny when, when we were living in, we lived in Tallahassee for one hot year, and I was very pregnant. My son is born in early January. So I was very pregnant around the holidays, and was ready big enough at the very least to give birth at Thanksgiving. And so that like there was a long stretch. And you know, it's northern Florida. And so while winters aren't completely unpleasant, it's not like, it's not like, oh, we can still go outside and play at the park in the evenings. Right? Like it's so we would go every night, every evening to Costco.
Oh my gosh, I love it. Because there was
it was brand new, it had just open. And like, on a weeknight, nobody would be there. When it's air conditioned. And it's air conditioned. And it's huge aisles and nobody's there. And she could just but then there's like the four aisles of Christmas twice. Right? Oh, that all had stuff out that you could, like demonstrate. Yeah. And in so we would just we would, we would always be like, Oh, I guess we need some more butter or we go into Costco or let's just go like the Costco. Yeah. And I don't mean my husband was really because this is when I was working. But my husband was writing his dissertation. And so he was primary caregiver to my daughter, and not getting out of the house a lot. Right? Right. So this was like, Okay, let's get out of the house and go to Costco. And we would just we would spend like, two hours in the evening, you know? Yeah. So we have pictures of her version. Yeah. And it was it was just it was fabulous. Because she finally got out of the house and she would have and we knew exactly what we would get her for Christmas now because we
played with Yeah, yeah. I mean, I love that. That's really weird. And that's what's great about Yeah, right. But it met all your needs, like you are humongous. And your feet hurt. And you're too hot all the time. Yeah. And Marie is stir crazy. And Cassie needs to run around. And the the climate is not really conducive to doing that outdoors most of the time and you like need to get some butter. So like Costco checks all of those boxes. And if everybody in the family is going to Costco and it's meeting all of their individual needs, then great. We talked last time about our Christmas fondues that we used to have in my family right so my mom didn't have to spend the whole day cooking and it actually turned out to be more fun for me and my sister and I what we do at my house now is we have a Christmas President's Choice veggie lasagna because I don't want to cook all day. Right? So this is a we've had it every year since Tom and I moved to Ontario we pop this like giant like you know, 10 pound President's Choice, veggie cook all day, all day and somebody cooking Alright, and then it leaves enough leftovers that we have lunches planned for the next five days. And so I don't cook right. But we have like a Christmas brunch because I like to make brunch and so we we we do that all together every year but it meets everybody's needs because like my kids not super fond of Turkey either. And I don't want to spend the whole day cooking while my family's lounging around eating entire bags of lindora Lince you know, relaxing and I'm like sleeping in the kitchen. I don't want to do that. Right so We found something that works there. But I love your Costco example. I think that's like, that's really, really great. Yeah, why not?
Yeah, you Oh, and I was at a certain point, because if we would be just after we'd eat because of course, we're eating like super early because she's a I'm hungry all the time. And B, she's very small. But she said the door gorgeous. Don't regret Koco Kasi. Oh, I want to see this sample lady. See what did she tries? Oh, she wants to go to Costco. That's up there. I just go to Costco that.
So I think another thing that maybe we might struggle with, over the holidays, like in addition to the disruption of the routine and the too many things, and the impulse control, and the spending, all the money is like, is linked maybe to some of our social dysfunctions. Right? So like you've mentioned your battle with rejection sensitive dysphoria. And you know, I have an autistic person social skills, which means limited and usually only in one on one situations, right. So so and it's really easy to bring some of our issues from childhood with us into the holiday seasons, right? Because I think one of the reasons the holidays are so vexing for us emotionally is that it's one of those like Christmas of Christmases today that you celebrate like that. It's there's only one per year. And it's a very special day. So you tend to be forming memories on those days. And so like when you get to like this year, it'll be I don't know my 48 or 49 Christmas, there's only been like, it's like a month worth a month and a half worth of Christmases, but they're all immediately present in my mind's what it produces is kind of compression of memory where, you know, you don't think like, oh, this is this is Tuesday, right? Like, this Tuesday's different than what I was expecting with basically Christmas where was I last heard this time, my Christmas, remember that Christmas when I was a kid and how different that is, we're always like, engage in this comparison. Or this memory or like those times that your parents dragged you to things that you were not equipped to go to, and then you were a pest about it, or like you did something wrong, and you were trying to do something right, or, like all these difficulties that that the season can produce for us and
you're overwhelmingly aware of it of in your own children as well, right? Where you have like, now I'm going to put extra pressure on myself Yes to like, make sure my kids yeah, to do better on my kids or make the perfect Christmas or like
it just really amplify those emotional reactions we have and the traumas that of our own childhood about like we didn't fit in or other people didn't get us Christmas cards or like, whatever it happens to be if we did not fit into roles the problem child and our families you get together like a big thing. And it's like all the cousins and all the cousins get along except for you. Right like and I don't want to bring that into my adult life with me. But it's really hard not to get drawn back into that place when you know it's the the lights are out and the invitations are coming and the food is the same way like bra draws you right back into every other Christmas you've ever had in your life. And and I think sometimes with our emotional volatility or or liability that comes with our, with our neurological differences is that we may feel those feelings maybe more forcefully and be less equipped to deal with them. Right? We may feel rejected, we may be making extra efforts to to show love and to receive love, we may be still under the tree counting the presence that our parents are giving us versus the presence that they're giving to our siblings, even though we are growing as people and we're actually we're in our 40s or in our 40s like but I do really think that that's a that that's a thing that sometimes you're like, I have failed at every Christmas in my life at being the kind of like daughter or aunt or cousin or granddaughter you know, and I'm going to be perfect this year, which like we were never going to be but also we're we're coming at that from a place of lack. Right? Like we're making up for something and I think it's really hard to go through this season. Like that, too. Like are you at Costco thinking like, Are people gonna judge me because I should be, you know, taking a horse drawn carriage ride with my kid and looking at historically appropriately, you know, Tallahassee holiday traditions or like whatever it is like, like, do you ever like feel this sort of invisible Christmas normative ghosts hovering over your shoulder saying you're not doing it? Right? Again? You loser.
I'm actually interestingly enough around Christmas. No. Oh, yeah. No, I mean, that that for me, though. The most dramatic part about Christmas was always the food. Where there was always you know, are you sure you want seconds? Oh, are you you know, are you sure you want some more?
Would you have a healthy appetite? Don't you? Oh, yeah.
I always ate more than my brother. That was not. He was he was he was being shamed because he didn't eat enough, right. And like, didn't like anything and was too picky and eater. And I was I was eating too much and too fast. And, and all and all of that. And, you know, it's, it's it is what it is so, but for us, I mean, it's actually kind of interesting in it because, you know, my parents were divorced. And you know, we actually had a fair Good Christmas tradition? Oh, yeah, no. I mean, there's a whole, there's a whole other part of that we were like, we're like the the small, like the small waspy, Protestant, white Anglo Protestant family, where it was like, my grandparents had two daughters. And those two daughters had two children. And when we do Christmas, we get together, just this, you know, my, my grandmother's, my grandmother's two brothers lived really close by, but they didn't come for Christmas. Like they only like they had their own Christmas with their kids. They haven't raised our kids, right? No. And so our Christmases were always was actually kind of weird, because it was like, I kind of have the opposite approach. Because it was it felt very closed, where it was kind of like, you know, even when my my both my aunt my mom got like boyfriends. Like, it was a huge deal that they came to Christmas, and it was like, uncomfortable for five years sort of die. Or it's like, oh, yeah,
I'm gonna have to change the table settings. Yes.
Like how? Yeah, this is are we sure about this? So, you know, you'd be invited, just like having you know, I have boyfriends in high school, you could come to our place for Christmas. I'd be like, yes. Don't expect me to invite you to mind. Yeah, sorry. Yeah. You know, and, and my, you know, my dad pretty much, you know, never talks to his family. And so our Christmases like we'd go to, he worked shift work as well. And so there was always this idea that like, because A, we were a little older, but be divorced, it was sort of, like, sometimes we do Christmas on the 23rd because he had to work over Christmas, because he didn't have the kids. So he was given those shifts, or we would do it on the 26th or we would spend New Year's with him instead. Right? So it was sort
of, like, sounds like part of your family is modeling a very, like, this is our tradition, and it's not going to change, right? Yeah. And another part of your family is modeling like what really matters is we get to spend time together right? Like we can have these rituals, we don't have to have it in the same three hour time span as everybody else. Yes. Right. And that's probably really useful to have experience of of both a kind of tradition bound this is what happens and what happens and also like what is our Christmas learning objectives
around that and it's and and and I think that the that idea of Christmas learning objectives are really like carry through because you know, my husband is from a huge huge family like French Catholic on one side Irish and Ukrainian Catholic on the other good lord, like Yeah, and this is this was also precarious.
But I mean, but this was also a culture shock when I went to Sherbrooke. And so I grew up again Protestant, I may have gone to a Catholic High School, but it was still sort of anglo-catholic were still fairly limited. But I went to I was I would get invited to like this a this was shocking to me, because it was like, ya know, I've I've known you for two weeks, come to our family Christmas party. And I was like, what, what? And then, or where is it? It's like, oh, it's in the basement of a church. We have to rent out a whole family Christmas parties.
And I'm like to those those are French Catholic party. Oh, yeah, no, those
are everybody comes with the two four of the bat. And
like it is just Beaumaris smoke into the kitchen. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
It's don't tell anyone. Don't tell anyone your your Protestants. But if you're English, but just don't tell your product. Oh my gosh, like grandma's not gonna like it. I'm like, All right, whatever. I don't really. But it was so like, I was so you know, again, I'm an extrovert, but it was so unfamiliar to me to go to these huge, huge parties, right?
You're like, I found my people
there. But also just like, but, but like that, but it was a cultural thing to where, you know, we English people. It's stereotypical, but it is so true. You go to a party, and it's like, Hello, it is nice to meet you. Would you like a drink? Like even a big party? They're like, chill, right like it maybe it unless it's like people my own age and then maybe we're a little bit more rockets but like the grown ups are grownups are French Catholic Christmas party. Everyone's fucking drunk. Sure. They everyone's goddamn like, just what? Grandma's wasn't it upgrade on that? Is the swearing
swearing and hugging you and yes, he knew me. Like yes, yeah. And once I got used to it, I was fine. But at first I was just like, What the fuck is just, he's like, are you okay? And I'm like, I don't know. I just this is what Christmas can be like I don't. So I'm trying to like kind of split the difference between that because I really got that that warmth, that welcoming. But at the same time, it was like, wow,
like maybe maybe like it's good to look at the holidays through a diversity lens because I like because, you know, I like a good old fashioned I mean, it's not my my people good old fashioned Like waspy cocktails and you know, the shoes that you wear on the house because it's unseemly to appear in your stocking feet good. Yeah, you know, but I, you know, that's maybe my preferred mode. But but sometimes I like to just hang out with my friends and watch grumpy cats worst Christmas ever, which my kid and I just managed to order off Amazon, Lifetime movie 2014. And do that. And, you know, there's 1000 different ways of celebrating your holidays, right? Like, maybe you go to the big party once and like, maybe it doesn't have to be my preferences that get met all the time. Maybe I can be open to other people's cultural traditions that are not an indictment of the way that I prefer to do things always like it's not just used
to. Yeah, just used to right. Yeah, cuz this is just especially growing up right, Christmas, you, you go along with Christmas, because that's what we do. Right? Get up, we open our presents, my grandfather calls angry that we're not at their house yet, because they've been up for hours waiting for us. You go to the grandparents house, open the presence, he makes a big breakfast, you go home, sort of be in a present coma for a while, and then go to whoever's houses hosting Christmas Day or that night. And that's, you know,
I mean, but we French Canadians actually do the big celebration. I know. Right? I didn't know. And then midnight. Yes. And that's like the sort of culmination of Christmas you open your presence before everybody gets to sleep in, which is great. Like if you have blended families, because then you don't have to fight about who gets Christmas morning. Only one family wants it. Which is great, right? But people have all different kinds of ways and like that's like a benefit of growing up and seeing other people's traditions as you can pick and choose among their traditions to like the the way that you've always done it, what you may have grown up thinking is the only way that we can do it is not know, right? And I think that's, that's good. It's hard for me like as an autistic person, sometimes to accept that there is more than one right way to do things like that's the growth there for me, right. But to sort of say like, I don't have to do it exactly the way that I did it growing up. And I don't want to do it exactly the opposite way of that I can pick and choose. And maybe even this year doesn't have to be the same as last year, and next year could be completely different from from everything else. Like that's another thing we get stuck on is like, we've done it this way for a number of years. And now nobody wants to change, right? Because if you figure it out once, then you have to figure it out forever. And that's how that that works. But I just think the whole time is a minefield for people whose brains get overexcited and very bored simultaneously and who both need and hate routines, who have impulse control issues, social difficulties in their own families, and experience a lot of shame about their own desire to avoid overwhelm, right? And perhaps our episodes of this have been overwhelming in a different way. But maybe it's just helpful to say probably all of us struggle with this. And yeah, I think we offered a diversity, if you will of, of different experiences and different traditions and our own sort of experiences of going through different types of holiday seasons and choices that we've made. Like it may it's okay everyone like it's what is it like the line from Christmas vacation when, like the teenage daughter Audrey has complained your mom like, oh, I have to sleep with my brother. It's gross. And then she's like, Oh, Audrey, don't be so dramatic.
It's the holidays. We're
all miserable. The mommies Oh, Beverly
D'Angelo. Right? Like, oh my god. So I have to tell like, again. And also I think it's because I've moved around so much that like, when we were in California, we had completely different Christmas traditions, right? Like, we would go to the beach. Why? Because we could write like, we would go to the beach on Christmas, because you're skating breakin, we'll could write like that was and we're going to take pictures and we're going to be the insane Canadians where everybody else is in a parka, right? Because God forbid at 65 degree Yes. But we're like on the beach waiting around in the water. You know, and then and but so this I have to tell just one story and then we'll call it because it's it was the funniest thing it has. And we were I was doing my PhD I was in Edmonton. I just because of cost and timing and all that kind of stuff. It was I was I didn't fly back to Montreal for the holidays. I just I stayed in Edmonton because I was like this is I just can't this year.
Sounds like the premise of a Hallmark movie. That's gonna start right now.
Yeah, so So my roommates always living in then with my now husband, but also my roommate who my who I'd moved out with and he was having a Christmas party and wanted us to clear out. But, yeah, no, it's fine. It's fine. And so we decided so we did, and it was fine. So we decided to go see bad Santa. This was the year the bad Santa came out there. Oh, wow. So it's Christmas Eve, right. We're gonna see bad Santa. The whole theater is empty. Fine. Nobody Wow, we're all excited. We're like, Alright, let's go. We're theater by themselves. Like two minutes before the movie starts. A family walks in. Mom and dad and their two sons I swear to god they've got to be like eight and 11 Oh, sit directly in front of us cuz Well,
I mean sure they do an empty theater. Yeah, of course. Yeah. But but it's
the best seats right in the middle is in the back, whatever. They're not blocking your view. You know, we're in a new theaters. Yeah. Ideally meeting like, that's fine. But we will look at each other and are like, really,
really judging you. Yeah.
We weren't even judging. You're like, Are you sure? Like did you not read a review? This movie must have been so awkward
15 minutes and they walked out
we've made a huge mistake
so every year now this is our tradition. Every year we we watch
that I love that. It's amazing.
It was just it was so we were like because like they walked into were like, are they in the right place? Like they know. Like, did they not read like okay, this is like early internet I get it but like, they're still newspapers that you are a movie review, sir. Do not say our
rating. See, but you made a memory that's part of your
main memory and family will live on forever
in your family's expensive Christmas. Yeah, right.
Because, you know, our children maybe are no, maybe maybe this year will show my I don't think my daughter will be interested. But maybe this year will show so
you should show them grumpy cats worst
Christmas ever? Okay, well, I
will do that. It's really quite something. But that's probably a great spot to get
for today. So, you know, if
your traditions include raunchy, are rated?
Yeah. Because this comedies and if all bags of romance, do it, just do it? Do it.
It's live your true good. Yeah, it's all good. And who knows? Maybe, maybe you're making memories for other people. You're that person. I mean, who knows? Maybe I'm that weird Anglo French Canadian.
side character and someone else like crazy Christmas stories. I love that. I'm bringing that forward with me into the future. Thank you for that.
Well, I'm so I am as always Lee Skallerup Bessette. And I am on ready writing on Twitter.
And I am Amy Morrison and I am Did you want
And you can always email us at all the things email@example.com It's still cut out on you. That's amazing. And and yeah, we'll be back. Probably next week. It's Thanksgiving here but it's not like I go anywhere because if I went back up to Canada, people will be like, Why are you here on a random Thursday. Back to regular programming. Yeah, we'll be back with the regular scheduled programming. So thanks, everyone for listening and we'll see you next time. Ah,