Dear Wayne and Wanda,
This is my first Christmas season with my girlfriend, it’s barely December, and I’m already fed up. She had warned me she was “really into Christmas.” But that doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
It’s like she’s obsessed. Here is some of what I am dealing with. The television is only on the Hallmark movie channel unless some other Christmas movie is on. And I didn’t know this before, but Hallmark literally plays movies 24 hours a day. It is always on! I can’t even watch football games. We are only allowed to listen to the classic holiday music Pandora channel, including in the car. She has lined up “dates” for us to go to bazaars, craft shows and other holiday performances every single weekend. She has not one, but three holiday advent calendars and every morning, while drinking coffee from our “special holiday mugs,” she makes me watch her open them.
Our apartment looks like Christmas exploded. I seriously don’t know where she was keeping all these decorations, but she has decorated everything — even the bathroom! She has already wrapped a ton of Christmas presents for me and I know she is short on money right now so I have no idea how she’s paying for this stuff. She’s also planning to host a huge gathering with our friends on Christmas Eve complete with a fancy home-cooked dinner and gift exchange.
I like the holidays as much as the regular guy, but this is just so over the top. I about lost it last night when she told me she made an appointment for us to get photos taken with Santa. I don’t know how I can deal with three more weeks of this. Help?
I like Hallmark movies as much as the next gal, but everything has its limits. And that’s the motto for you to fall back on here: Everything is best in moderation, even the holidays, and you’re willing to ride along on her Christmas crazy train, as long as you can hop off at the depot every now and then and stretch your legs.
Relationships are about compromise, and almost anyone will reach his boiling point when he feels like his partner is calling all the shots and ignoring his desires or wishes. There’s that saying that Christmas comes but once a year, and that’s true enough, but amid the holiday season, there’s no rule that it has to be the only thing going on. Explain to your gal that you adore her energy and commitment to holiday cheer, but there needs to be some breathing room or you’ll turn full Scrooge on her.
There are a ton of examples of compromise and boundaries you could agree upon without taking away her freedom to merrily celebrate. Set a limit on what you’ll spend for each other on gifts to help curb excessive spending and indulging. Agree on alternatives to Hallmark movies, such as establishing a mutual understanding that you will be watching your sports shows, or whatever else it is that you’re into. Instead of traditional holiday tunes on endless repeat, dial into the Hipster Holiday channel on Pandora or something else more modern to mix it up a little.
This is your time as a couple to start planning your own traditions. Holidays can be incredibly pressure-filled and stressful. To navigate that, it’s important you two find your own ways to celebrate, survive, and hopefully enjoy the season.
Ho ho hold up a second — you can’t even watch football? What a Grinch!
As far as moving the needle anywhere near “moderation” with your Christmas-crazed cohabitant, you’ll have better luck convincing her that “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. In fact, the woman you know as your girlfriend is gone for December; her body is simply a host for the Christmas spirit and there’s no cure, there’s no changing her, and there’s no going back until the calendar turns to January.
So, what to do? If you love this woman and plan on being with her for the rest of your life, take a big snowball on the chin and accept that you two are going to go walking in this wacky winter wonderland every holiday season. And then try your very best to be a good boy and go with it.
Buy yourself an early Christmas gift — the Sunday Ticket to watch football on your phone or laptop with headphones, or start going to a sports bar when there’s a big game. Encourage her to take friends, co-workers or relatives to some of those events instead of just you all the time. And sure, try your best to convince her to occasionally watch and listen to something with a little more edge than the Hallmark Channel or Pandora’s Christmas Classics. Good luck with that.
And promise to be the jolliest co-host of your Christmas Eve party, celebrating your girlfriend’s passion for the season and the fact that you’re just a few days from the finish line. Add as much spiked eggnog as needed …