Letter to the Editor

Christmas magic: A burden best shared

Regarding Brigid Schulte’s Dec. 22 Outlook commentary, “Why women get stuck making spirits bright”:

I feel bad for women who feel burdened by societal pressures that say Mom is responsible for creating the magic of Christmas. Ladies, let the gays set an example.

We have a wonderful Christmas at our house, without any wife or mom to shoulder the burden. The duties of Christmas are shared, even if they are somewhat guided by our own talents. While my partner, Dinh, is rather inept in the kitchen, he has more than carried his share of responsibilities. He has decorated both the inside and outside of the house. He has cleaned everything in sight. He has shared in buying and wrapping gifts for our kids. We sent 80 Christmas cards. With Dinh’s help, I made, bottled and labeled 60 gifts of homemade liqueur for friends, neighbors and co-workers. On Christmas Eve, we will eat my family’s traditional French meat pies. In the final days leading up to the holiday, I have a long list of things to cook, and I’m desperately searching store to store for rhubarb so I can make chutney for the ham.

I love Christmas, and if Dinh and I can make it magical without a woman’s touch, then maybe creating that magic is a burden best shared. Christmas is a time of peace, love, goodwill and family. We should not exhaust ourselves to the point that we miss out on the most important moments of being together. Our kids are teenagers and my mom is 84; these moments are fleeting. I want these memories to be special, but they will be less so if I am too stressed to enjoy them.

Ms. Schulte’s piece ended on the right note: Make the holidays special, but strike the proper balance and share the burden. Don’t let society expect more of you than you can reasonably expect of yourself. Merry Christmas, and pass the pie.

Jeff Dion, Lake Ridge

 
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