Let's face it. Christmas (or any holiday) is lots of work. It sneaks up quickly and is over even faster.
Mine was like that, but I had fun and the family helped me with dinner and clean up. They did the dishes, took their presents when they left, and contributed to a quiet, happy day.
My family isn't perfect or unusual. It's just that when we get together, we usually get along. We are not in power struggles, there isn't a "boss," and usually, we have fun. At a larger family gathering Christmas Eve day, we had three new nephews that livened everything up. It's great to see "kids" grown up, having their families, and enjoying the process, except maybe for the sleep deprivation.
One thing about living in a violent home is that you can't count on having a happy holiday. You've probably experienced happy holidays, but if many were full of the batterer's control games, cruelty, or abuse you can't count on enjoying the one coming up. Every holiday is new, unknown, and likely to be threatening for those reasons.
Too bad there isn't a way to keep the batterer's control out of the holiday. To allow everyone to enjoy it their way, to experience freedom of speech, the right to spend time with any family member you choose, to not worry what consequences await you when you're back home and you've made a mistake the batterer is angry about.
Most of all, wouldn't it be wonderful for kids to experience a fun, happy day with no "boss" over Mom, no one who rates mistakes and punishes her afterward. I don't think batterers consider how much they hurt the children when they hurt their mother. Obsession doesn't allow the batterer to truly think of others, but only how others fit into their plan. And it's not a nice one.
I hope 2012 is a year when victims of batterers figure out how next Christmas will be different--especially for their children.