Holidays can be wonderful family events filled with fun and entertainment. There is so much excitement and anticipation going into the holidays. There is also a lot of work – the planning, buying, cooking, cleaning. And when the day finally arrives, there are the traditions to follow, family to relate to and even more cooking and cleaning. While I enjoy holidays, I have a hard time with the cooking, cleaning and socializing. For one, I am not that good of a cook – I don’t enjoy it and always feel like I cannot measure up to other people’s ideas of what the food should look like or taste like. I hate to clean – we’ll just say my house is “well-lived in.” So I dread the idea of other people actually coming to visit. And then there’s the social part. I can be shy even with family members if I don’t have much contact with them on a regular basis. Social events are always nerve-wracking – I don’t do well with small talk. I feel awkward and uncertain. So a lot of our holidays are spent at home – just me and my kids. I like it that way. Cooking may consist of microwaving everything – cleaning may be clearing all the papers, books and toys off the table so we can eat together – and socializing is playing video games together and talking to family on the phone. I am sure that a lot of people may frown upon how I manage the holidays because it does not fit into the typical traditions – but I don’t really care. I need to do what works for me and not worry about everyone else. And after the holiday is over, I can lay back and relax – and not have to worry about what to do with 10 pounds of leftover ham.