Every year I say I am not going to family's houses for the coming holidays. Every year I let them talk me out of it. Last Christmas I stayed home and I had a marvelous time with a couple of friends from the building. I will be doing the same this year.
They don't have anyone to cook for them and I love to cook. Even if I go to somebody's house I generally cook a full dinner because I like leftovers.
The main reason I am not going is that it has become too hard to socialize anymore. By the time I drive there I am usually tired and then I have to sit around and have polite conversation with people I care about but I don't normally spend any time with. This wears me out. I see signs of it wearing them out as well.
By the time I drive back home I am dead on my feet. I guess it has something to do with my heart and oxygen levels but I don't really know. It seems I have about a 4 hour window to do anything anymore and lots of times it is just about 2 hours.
So I'll call my aunt and uncle and wish them a happy holiday. I'll do the same thing for my mom. I quit going to my mom's a couple of years ago (on the actual holi-DAY) because of the game she and my sister play. My sister doesn't speak to me. I have to tolerate her grunting and glaring and snorting and generally showing her contempt for me. My mom likes to pretend that nothing is wrong as she goes from room to room taking turns talking to each of us. The whole situation is laughable.
I have tried to bridge the gap with my sister. I have spoken to my mom about it. I can guarantee you if I would treat someone in her home the way my sister treats me I would hear about it for hours. But that's the way it is and I gave up worrying about it years ago.
So I will spend a peaceful, happy Thanksgiving and Christmas at home.