Author Topic: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?  (Read 6209 times)

EscapeVelocity2020

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What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« on: November 24, 2015, 11:06:25 PM »
I have to admit, I have a special place in my heart for winter holidays.  We were never extravagant as a family growing up, and get probably too excited as a well-to-do family now - maybe live more 'large' than we should, but still modest by the inflated standards around us.  My company throws a lavish theme party and my wife seems to enjoy seeing me in a suit and tie as opposed to my preferred baggy shorts and faded tee shirt (or long sleeve tee, if it's below 65).  ((And if Houston gets down near freezing, I'll bust out my jeans from college - but you'll be subject to hearing the history of every blemish and hole)).

Most of all, like the majority, I appreciate the time off and being paid for it.  I've worked hard all year and it's like businesses feel obligated to turn around and give something back at the end of the year now that things are coming in better than expected.  Call it the 'Scrooge-effect', if you will.  Being ER during this time of year seems a little weird actually, so I humbly ask what FIRE'ees think?  Is this a better than average time of year, the same as usual, or a little annoying?  Don't get me wrong, I still look forward to FIRE since I don't need active income or 'paid time off' to cover our 'lavish' Thanksgiving and Christmas lifestyle.  I'm just interested in digging in to the details and this is one that I'm wondering about. 

For example, my retired Dad will be in Antarctica this year and my older sister in Cancun, so maybe there is less 'magic' for retirees?  I'll admit, I was a little wrapped up in our own family holiday experiences in Dubai and Norway in the past...

arebelspy

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 01:46:34 AM »
It's in how you approach life. That doesn't change in FIRE.

Holidays can be magical, or times of where you have to deal with family you'd rather not.

Luckily, being ER'd, there's less stress and aggravation in your life overall, so it may be easier to "deal with" the holidays, if that's how you approach them.

But otherwise it's just a wonderful time to spend time with family and enjoy the season and traditions.

You can chuckle at the people rushing around to get things done, as you take your time and enjoy.  And you don't have to dread the time off ending, and going back.

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deborah

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2015, 03:39:10 AM »
I was recently in Ecuador. It was magical to be there for the Day of the Dead and for Flag Day, both important Ecuadorian holidays. However, getting back to Australia this week, through the US Thanksgiving week, was horrible. The 49 hour trip was made worse by planes that were completely full, and sitting in a centre of the row seat next to someone who was broad shouldered, and overflowed into my seat, for several hours, gave me a very sore shoulder!

lizzzi

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 06:43:27 AM »
+1 to what Spartana said...the quiet simple things. I'm in a four-season climate (fall, winter, spring, construction), so love the autumn colors and then the segue into frost and snow...while drinking hot cinnamon spice tea, walking in the woods, having reasonable, non-inflated holidays with friends and/or family, watching deer from my windows...and playing the music of the season on my piano and/or harp..from "The Addams Family" to "Over the River and Through the Woods" to all the fabulous Christmas music. I am doing a new song (to me) that dates back to 1381 or so. It's a St. Stephen's Day (Dec. 26) song with a pagan background..."The Cutty Wren." Weird song--adds a refreshing bizarre note to the usual holiday fare of angels and shepherds.

Jon_Snow

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2015, 11:23:09 AM »
I've only had one post-FIRE holiday season...if anything it was BETTER. Expect much the same this year.

Ah heck...EVERYTHING post-FIRE is better.

Hank Sinatra

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2015, 12:43:17 PM »
I actually enjoy this time of year. Since I retired 20 yrs ago I put up a small  tree and a wreath on the door. 

I never identified with the whole commercialism stuff. Too much  of the Holidays reeks of that American tendency towards wretched excess. Frosty the Snowman? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? What's that about? Even though I went to Catholic schools growing up I am not all that religious or "Churchy".

My emotional reaction to The Holidays is:

Some warm memories of extreme early childhood at Christmas time when all the Old World relatives were still alive.

The rest of the country seems quite a bit happier this time of year. I don't know or care what their reasons are. Buying crap? Jesus? Christmas bonus time?   Hey, when other people are happy... I'M HAPPY TOO!

Jon_Snow

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2015, 01:14:11 PM »
I've only had one post-FIRE holiday season...if anything it was BETTER. Expect much the same this year.

Ah heck...EVERYTHING post-FIRE is better.
AMEN brother :-)!!

Actually, I threw that statement out there without much thought...it makes wonder if anything in my life is actually WORSE post-FIRE. Will ponder...maybe there is a thread addressing this.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2015, 07:35:13 PM »
I feel very fortunate to get these responses to silly ER fears from you folks!  I have a hard time thinking that there is anything better in life than paid time off, but I agree that many of the things that pack the holidays overly-full would go away without a full time job.  Ultimately, the best thing in life is to have something to look forward to, and I'm really looking forward to FIRE (although already having the FI, RE is only going to be a 50% improvement :) 

And Happy Holidays!

soccerluvof4

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2015, 07:47:49 AM »
Growing up I never liked the Holidays as it was always full of my parents yelling and complaining. I feel we have done a good job of changing that. My DW and I get the music going early, tree up and decorate . I love the season, smells and don't feel the stress i use too. Like someone else said up higher its all in how you approach it.

flyingaway

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2015, 11:56:13 AM »
I do not feel anything different, holidays or not. I buy anything I need, not because it is Black Friday.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2015, 09:18:12 PM »
This was my first Thanksgiving post-FIRE and it was so nice. I did the shopping during less busy days/times, and even when there were lines it was ok because I wasn't in a hurry, I have plenty of time! And I didn't have to rush to do all the ahead-of-time cooking between working hours, I cooked when I felt like it and had plenty of time. And I know I'll have time to make my turkey-carcass soup whenever I feel like it (it takes several hours) so the carcass won't sit in the freezer for half a year.

I suspect I'll feel the same about Christmas - having plenty of time to send cards, make gifts, shop for things, and so on just takes away so much stress. In fact I've already started on making a few gifts for people and I'm not at all worried about finishing them in time.

DragonSlayer

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2015, 10:41:55 AM »
I have loved not having holiday work-related obligations. No crappy office parties with people you don't like, no get-togethers at a coworkers house where you're expected to attend (with people you don't like AND their spouses that you don't like), no constant badgering/pressure to donate to whatever charity is suddenly favored by the office/corporation at Christmas (or by your co-workers), no badgering to buy the wrapping paper, fruit cakes and other crap being sold by your co-workers kids. All in all, I don't miss a dang thing about work and Christmas.

Miss Prim

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2015, 03:03:25 PM »
Well I loved every minute of it!  I worked in the healthcare field and I would have to work holidays every other year, so I usually would work Thanksgiving and take Christmas off, and then the next year reverse it, so I was always working either Thanksgiving or Christmas every year.  And I usually had to work the day after Thanksgiving so no shopping for me!  (Not really a bad thing, but no options)

Most times on the Thanksgivings that I worked, I would come home to an empty house because my family would be at my nieces 2 hours away!  That really sucked!  But, I chose to go into the field, so I knew I would have to work holidays.  Now I am happily not working them.

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RetiredAt63

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Re: What do ER's think of the Holiday Season?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2015, 02:00:18 PM »
I liked the people I worked with, so work holiday get-togethers were fine.  But now my holiday get-togethers are with the people I hang out with, which is even better.

Since DD is now working full-time, I can adjust my holiday schedule to hers - if she gets here early (like the 22nd) or late (the 28th), it is no big deal.

I have loved not having holiday work-related obligations. No crappy office parties with people you don't like, no get-togethers at a coworkers house where you're expected to attend (with people you don't like AND their spouses that you don't like), no constant badgering/pressure to donate to whatever charity is suddenly favored by the office/corporation at Christmas (or by your co-workers), no badgering to buy the wrapping paper, fruit cakes and other crap being sold by your co-workers kids. All in all, I don't miss a dang thing about work and Christmas.