Author Topic: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions  (Read 10234 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2012, 10:23:52 AM »
Try to think differently about the "performances."

They aren't performances. They're "sharings." They're "show and tell." They're an opportunity to see how well (or how badly) Jimmy is doing.

They not about the music at all. They're about *Jimmy.* They're about the shared experience of all of you listening to Jimmy together.


You say the family tie together is much more important than your extreme dislike of the performances. So don't focus on the performances. Focus on the people.

That doesn't help you with disliking it--and I do think multihour can be a bit much.

O'Dell

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2012, 12:45:42 PM »
Hey maybe you can take a note from another EHellions MIL and start bringing handouts and pontificating for an hour or so as your performance. Be obnoxious enough that auntie let's you off the hook! (Extra points if your topic is a Deconstructionist reading of a popular xmas carol! Of course you'll want to give a short lesson on Deconstructionism first.) >:D
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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gramma dishes

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2012, 03:52:21 PM »
Have you ever said privately to your Mother that you really have an intense and increasingly nostalgic longing for the way Christmas's used to be before the holiday turned into a recital fest?

Iris

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2012, 05:06:48 PM »
GoodIris says: So each family is *required* to put on a performance and everyone has to watch and in between 'acts' you are all expected to sing carols and harassed if you don't? Ugh, sounds like a nightmare beyond nightmares. I'm perfectly happy for children who are learning something to put on a little performance (5 minutes or so) and any adults who have an interest/hobby likewise, that's part of family. So for example with my ILs my niece might show me the new dance she is learning, MIL might show us the new artwork she made and my daughter will fire up her laptop to show her Grandparents her latest project for Art. To me, that's all perfectly acceptable and happens organically, not in 'concert format' and certainly not compulsory.

Also, your parents are treating you like a recalcitrant child and you need to get them onside before Christmas. It is not acceptable for your Dad to chastise you in public like that, nor is it okay for your mother to expect you to be a performing seal just to keep the peace. YOU aren't the one ruining the peace. Aunt is ruining the peace with her Gulag mentality. I would have a talk with your parents before Christmas. Your father could just as easily have said "Oh, Aunt [laugh], we need an audience. Ayla is our audience. Now, let's sing Silent Night again, I felt a bit weak on those high notes." They should have your back.

EvilIris says: Use guerrilla warfare. Sing the carols, REALLY LOUDLY and as off key as you can manage. You'd be amazed how fast they'd be happy for you to be 'audience'.

Plus; please, please do a performance. Choose something so cringe-awfully bad that everyone wants to leave the room immediately. Have you thought about taking up pole dancing? Then stand there, tassels drooping and sadly say "What? You didn't like the act? Where did everybody go?"
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

gramma dishes

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2012, 05:10:56 PM »
...   Plus; please, please do a performance. Choose something so cringe-awfully bad that everyone wants to leave the room immediately. Have you thought about taking up pole dancing? Then stand there, tassels drooping and sadly say "What? You didn't like the act? Where did everybody go?"

LOL!   ;D ;D ;D  Now THAT would be a real Christmas treat for the record books!  I can see a new Rankin Bass special in the works right now!   "The Tickly Tassles"

chibichan

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2012, 07:56:40 PM »
AylaM - I feel your pain .

Next week is my English student's Christmas party and in Japan that means only one thing - KARAOKE .

Sigh .

For me , this means an unbroken string of requests ( politely worded ) demands that I perform every Carpenters song ever written .
I do not sing well , and I do not particularly like the Carpenters .

Yet , with the help of several glasses of Holiday Cheer , I will soldier on . The only upside is the fact that even if one's singing resembles the sound of five cats in a blender , they will all applaude and tell you how wonderful you are .

You know they're lying . They know they're lying . Thus , a good time is had by all .
The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

FoxPaws

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2012, 08:23:05 PM »
Plus; please, please do a performance. Choose something so cringe-awfully bad that everyone wants to leave the room immediately. Have you thought about taking up pole dancing? Then stand there, tassels drooping and sadly say "What? You didn't like the act? Where did everybody go?"
Extra points if the pole looks like a giant peppermint stick.  ;D >:D 8)
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2012, 08:47:37 PM »
I Think I'd strongly resent being forced to perform.

Two of my cousins, let's call them Dennis and Daniel, play, respectively, the bagpipes and snare drum.  And somehow the pipes and drum always come out at family functions.  My two aunts, Sherri and Nora, LOVE the pipes and drums.  I HATE the pipes and drums.  My ex was also a snare drummer and I was constantly subjected to hours of rattatatttatattatatta while he practiced. 

If I try to leave the room so I don't have to listen (as much...to not hear the pipes I'd probably have to leave TOWN) my aunt Nora will screech, "WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING?  GET BACK HERE AND LISTEN TO DENNIS PLAY THE PIPES!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW RUDE YOU ARE, WALKING OUT LIKE THAT!  GET BACK IN HERE AND STAND WITH RESPECT FOR THE PIPER!!!!"

Even if Dennis and Daniel don't want to play, because they're in the same pipe band and go to frequent performances and practise, their instruments are usually in their vehicles, so there's really no escape from Sherri and Nora, who just won't leave it alone til we're all subjected to several tunes' worth of caterwauling.  (Sorry to those who do enjoy the pipes, but for me and my damaged ears, it's torture).  I've heard Dennis and Daniel try repeatedly to say they do not want to perform, they just want to enjoy dinner with relatives, etc, but the aunts will NOT leave it alone until they give in.  I sure hope this isn't the tack your aunt is taking, OP.

I'm a musician myself; I play the guitar.  However, as someone above mentioned (sorry, I forget who) I play only for myself.  In the year we've lived together, I think Anthony may have heard me play only once or twice.  I do not perform for other people.  When Sherri and Nora tried to push me into performing for everyone one time (I had my guitar with me as I'd come straight from a lesson to a family bbq) I gave them a polite refusal.  When they wouldn't take that, I gave them a flat, un-JADEed "No." 

I don't have much in the way of advice, but I definitely feel your pain.  It's irritating too that your family won't let you enjoy the whole thing the way you want to.
"After all this time?"
"Always."

Venus193

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2012, 10:40:48 PM »
Bagpipes indoors?  Yikes!

Regarding Christmas filk songs, here are some good ones (as recorded by the Cryptkeeper):

http://www.chileblogs.com/a-halloween-christmas

sourwolf

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2012, 10:48:29 PM »
I would not enjoy being forced to perform on cue, and I can't blame you for not enjoying it either.


My suggestion for "your" activity - a trivia game with questions about the different family members, you could either have it Jeopardy style with a host asking the questions or have all the questions typed up and the first team to answer them correctly wins.

Shopaholic

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2012, 01:41:32 AM »


The carols are something I am expected to participate in.  I tried to just listen but aunt called me on it "Why aren't you singing? Sing!  Everybody sing!  It's fun".  Dad told me to stop being grouchy and just join in.  Mom later said I should just continue faking it.

When I first read this thread, I thought the performance hour was no big deal and that now your family is aunt's family too, and she can bring her own traditions to your holidays as well.

The bolded however would really get to me. I would say "Singing is not my idea of fun. I am respecting your tradition, please resepct my decision not to sing."
And I would also have a conversation with your parents about chiding you like a child in public. If  my dad had told me to stop being grouchy I would have left the room, preferably with the dog for a nice ling walk.

At Passover it is customary to sing some parts of the Haggadah, and my mom insists on singing ALL the parts that can be sung. And they are ALL very long, repetitive, canon-style songs. Talk about a captive audience - we're all sitting around a table waiting for dinner! So the first sone we sing completely, the second we sing half of and gradually less and less until Mom and Dad are singing by themselves. The 4 glasses of wine help...

RooRoo

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2012, 04:24:39 AM »
I'm actually in agreement with EvilIris.

Not that I recommend actual rudeness. But I was trying to think what would put me off; I love Christmas carols, and music in general. That's music, not command performances demanded of the 8 year old who is just learning viola.

Off-key music bothers me. Bad singing bothers me. If you are a bad singer, and I was your pushy aunt, then you singing badly and enthusiastically would certainly make me stop asking you to.  ;)  ;D  >:D
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Fleur

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2012, 04:37:58 AM »


OP, you have my sympathy. This tradition sounds quite ghastly. I love music but hate children's voices (please don't jump on me for this, they just sound so high and reedy) and an amateur choral recital sounds pretty grim. I would just go into another room, I wouldn't compromise. I think your aunt is being very rude.

Venus193

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2012, 07:08:05 AM »


OP, you have my sympathy. This tradition sounds quite ghastly. I love music but hate children's voices (please don't jump on me for this, they just sound so high and reedy) and an amateur choral recital sounds pretty grim. I would just go into another room, I wouldn't compromise. I think your aunt is being very rude.

I agree with you here.  You may have more company in this that you know.

Fleur

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Re: No, I don't want to sing - getting out of holiday traditions
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2012, 07:45:21 AM »


OP, you have my sympathy. This tradition sounds quite ghastly. I love music but hate children's voices (please don't jump on me for this, they just sound so high and reedy) and an amateur choral recital sounds pretty grim. I would just go into another room, I wouldn't compromise. I think your aunt is being very rude.

I agree with you here.  You may have more company in this that you know.

Ah, thank you. I know quite a lot of people of the same opinion, it is an aesthetic preference rather than a value judgement. I just feel the need to tread carefully around Christmastime when invited to kids' carol concerts.