Relative to how there’s either snow on the ground or there’s not, I like to break everything down into simple binary parts sometimes: “The world is made of TWO types of people: people who do THIS ____ action, and people who do THAT ____ action.” And I do it to be facetious and comedic, but at times it really does answer a lot of questions and sums up the vast majority of people’s behavior.
Of course, I know that there are exceptions to every rule, and that counts double if not triple in polyamory, but for the most part, you CAN reduce damn near everyone in the world to being either monogamous or polyamorous. But there are a lot more nuanced categories that this binary approach applies to, and I wanted to explore some of the various other realms that this perspective may apply, during this festive time of year!
Analyzing the Christmas season through the lens of either/or that I just described, I smile as I break everyone down into two groups for the holidays: there are people who celebrate Christmas, and there are people who do not. Furthermore, there are people who celebrate Christmas with their lovers and poly partners, and those who only spend the holiday with their close family and other relatives. An exception to the rule is people who do mix it up!
Holidays with Parallel Polyamorous Partners
I have a couple of polyamorous partners who unfortunately do not see eye to eye, or heart to heart, on a number of important issues, so they never share the same space and time with me, yet they do know about each other. Most of the year is not much of a problem to navigate between these two relationships—I hold them high, as well as apart, and do my best to balance between my time between them.
But when it comes to the holidays, it’s always rough. One of my partners wants Christmas all to herself (my blood relatives and family mostly live in another province.) That leaves my partners here with me in my hometown, all (or some) wondering what I am doing on Christmas, and with whom?
Me not wanting to do hierarchy polyamory makes this a challenge. One of them is more tradition oriented, and the other is less about the festivities, but I sincerely want to see if I can accomplish something special this year by spending a few hours with one lover in the afternoon on Christmas, and a few hours with another in the evening.
Sharing the day with both partners will hopefully NOT cause any jealousy from either lover. I want them both to feel comfortable with sharing food, gifts, music, traditions, time and space with me.
Some lovers will be open to negotiation for sharing holidays with other lovers, and some will definitely not. Some lovers are the type who you will bring home to meet your family, and others may never get the invitation. Some lovers will even feel like family when they are with your blood relatives, and others will never get that close to you.
I can’t call it all, but I know that I’ve experienced a variety of situations where I share Christmas with my lovers or my girlfriend at the time. It’s always a true test of the depth of a relationship, which holidays you spend together.
And even though I don’t rate Christmas as “the most wonderful time of the year,” I do respect and recognize that sharing Christmas with a lover is meaningful, regardless of any Grinchy refusal to participate in holidays that inspire hierarchy, selectivity, special treatment, or favortism, much less not wanting to partake in hollow capitalism.
Choose your holiday hangouts wisely, and follow your heart as much as you can. Share as much as possible, and hopefully your family, friends and individual polyamorous lovers can also share time and space together on Christmas day, even if they can’t share any other day of the year. Tis the season! Feliz Navidad!
Happiest of holidays, whatever you celebrate,
Adhimu “Malcolm Lovejoy” Stewart
Do the holidays pose scheduling challenges with your poly partners? Please share!