It’s that time of the year when I get asked the most, “Who do you spend Christmas with?” To which my answer is always, “My J O B.” Traditionally it is understood that the holidays are supposed to be spent with the ones you love, which I completely agree. For a lot of people I believe the word “holidays” is lost and they solely are thinking of Dec 25th. Something I learned a couple years ago is that Christmas is not just a day on the calendar. Switching my mindset has been so helpful with making this time of year enjoyable instead of stressful.
When speaking to people who are monogamous about my relationship style I’m used to 20 questions, especially those who think it is a flawed style. Their eyes light up when it occurs to them that I have to “choose” who I spend Christmas with. They think they’ve stumped me and whoever I choose will be the ultimate grand supreme and anyone else isn’t as important to me.
I’ll be honest, I definitely had this mind set when I first heard of polyamory. It’s hard not to when you grow up your whole life where that is the norm. When my first polyamorous partner Big Hairy Monster, BHM, and I were in the first years of our relationship it was very hard on me. I was dating someone who had a partner who got to spend holidays, go to weddings, and share a bed every night with. I adored, and still do to this day, him and the time we spent together. It wasn’t until I started thinking about those little things that society told me “you HAVE to do these things with your partner or you’re not really dating ” that I began to have doubts about our relationship.
It didn’t happen over night. It took at least 7 or 8 months of continuous conversations, tears, and reassurance to understand that these things were not what made a relationship. What made our relationship was love, not going to Trader Joe’s with him. There is no official definition of what a relationship is and no high judge saying you HAVE to do certain things to get in the dating club.
Getting back to the topic of the holidays. What a crazy time of the year. It’s filled with shopping, decorating, giving, singing (if you’re me it’s very bad signing), joy, stress, baking, and Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You. It is a time to spend with the ones you love. The best thing about love is that it comes in all shapes and sizes. You have your immediate family, your extended family, your chosen family, your best friends, and those friends you see at trivia night but don’t hang out anywhere else. During this time of the year it feels as though we make time for all of these people at some point or another. When you wake up on Dec 25th the people who surround you do not dictate who is the most important in your life. The holidays are not a date on the calendar, it’s just the day the banks are closed.
When I moved to NYC I got my first non 9-5 job. I absolutely love it but it does present it’s own drawbacks, the main one being that I don’t get guaranteed off on holidays. Personally I’m usually waking up on Dec 25th alone. Some of you may think that sounds sad or lonely. To me it’s just Tuesday. I had to choose to not think of Christmas as a fixed point in time, because it’s not.
Christmas is when I go ice skating and watch Polar Express with Hunter. Christmas is when Steve lays out sweats and a video game for me to enjoy while he is away. Christmas is when BHM flies across the country in the new year to stay with me. Christmas is when I go home late January to see my family. Christmas is getting drunk with my friends and Facetiming those we miss. Christmas is sitting alone in my apartment using Amazon Prime to send gifts to people because they gift wrap for me.
The factual answer is I spend December 25th with my job. Who do I spend Christmas with? I spend Christmas with everyone. I get to enjoy the holidays with all of the people I love. Even if you’re alone on Tuesday this year, you’re never alone for the holidays. Don’t let the calendar tell you when you’re supposed to celebrate.
Wishing everyone lots of love, joy, and Mariah Carey this holiday season,