Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

Home for the Holidays

Posted By on Friday, October 30th, 2020

Dear Lola,

Every year, we travel close to a 1,000 miles round trip to visit family for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. And it’s great to see all the parents, cousins, and grandparents! We eat and talk and exchange gifts. We argue too, but I’ve always just chalked that up to being part of a big, boisterous clan.

This year, both trips are off because of Covid, so we’ll be doing a small, family celebration. This is the time of year when I would normally be gearing up for the travel, shopping, and endless phone calls with my family. This morning I realized that the ginormous to-do list that I’ve had to complete every year for the last decade doesn’t exist. And I cried in the bathroom. Like really cried — not at the thought of missing my family, but from relief. I literally wept with joy at the thought of being spared that three-ring circus.

Where do I go from here? My mother talks about how sad she is that our celebrations will be curtailed this year, and I have to bite my tongue. How did I never realize how much I hated all this?

–Nothing to Miss Here


Dear Nothing,

While I think we can agree that Covid has been horrible and devastating for us all, it has also given us some gifts. They may not be worth the price we’ve paid, but they are gifts nonetheless. Old friends have connected with each other! Parents and children have been able to spend more time with each other! Some people no longer have to endure punishing commutes!

Realizing that family traditions are not set in stone and that the world will not in fact end if you don’t perform to the expectations of others is your gift.

You are doing the right thing by biting your tongue with your mother. It’s hard to see what would be gained by telling her about your unexpected joy. It’ also possible, of course, that you might miss your usual holiday celebrations when Thanksgiving and Christmas actually do roll around.

My advice is to enjoy your serene, low-pressure season. Then you can decide what, if any, changes you want to make to your holiday traditions. Maybe you will want to continue have the giant, crowded celebrations, but not every year. Or maybe you will decide to abandon them all together and find other ways to connect with your family. You get to have options and try new things!

Happy Holidays!



Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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