Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you’re batshit crazy! I mean, really, it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for all those people. You know, relative people and pretty much everybody who wants something from you (I’m looking at you Salvation Army ringer guy).
If Christmas were only about the Things, my Things, then I’d love it. I love giving them presents, because even though they are 9 and 13, we are at about the same maturity level. Some day I hope to be as mature as they are. Anyway, I love buying them dolls because I love dolls and if I’m really good, they let me play with them. They have the best games, the Things. The other day they made up a Sleeping Beauty play with Barbies playing the roles. The evil fairy said “I curse you with eternal dumbness! And puberty!” Yikes, that is harsh.
Yet Christmas is about more than my Things; it is about The Things – the things you have to buy people you don’t know and don’t necessarily like. My in-laws are not bad people, but I really don’t get them. It’s like I married into an alien family – a space one, not a Hispanic one, although some of them should be illegal.
They are conservative, which is not all that surprising since we’re in Bible Belt, Texas. Yet my husband’s latest stepfather is Fox News Ca-razy conservative. As long as he’s not talking that crap, he’s just mildly irritating while he and my husband talk endlessly about guns and cars and other things that go vroom and boom. But then the politics come up.
Did you realize that the whole reason the Salvation Army was not allowed to ring their bells at Target that one year was not a stupid decision of management but in fact because of the gayz? I sure didn’t, but the reasoning is totally sound. I mean, the gayz are ruining the sanctity of marriage. The fact that both he and my MIL are on their third spouse makes no difference. The only thing you can conclude is that gayz want to destroy marriage by first destroying the Salvation Army. I’m not sure how. Maybe they are stealing their bells for their dreaded gayz pride parades.
Did you also know that going to a fast food chicken place earns you a place in Heaven? Or that Obama sucks? I mean, really sucks? Did you realize Obama is black? I learn so much from family get togethers. Honestly, I’m not sure how my husband came from these people, because he’s one of the nicest, least prejudiced people I know. I mean, I’m much, much nastier than he is. He’s not adopted, so I guess occasionally you get a mutant.
Anyway, looking forward to all of this joy and festiveness made me slightly stressed. I had gifts I had thoughtfully chosen the Christmas before at 50 percent off – half-price bubble bath, lotion, and perfume gift sets from Wal-Mart! Who doesn’t like this stuff? Possibly they don’t, but they get it every year anyway because I have no idea what they do like, and I don’t ask them and they don’t ask us. It’s like every Christmas is one giant white elephant fest.
My husband’s sisters had babies early, and now all my nieces and nephews have started having babies early, as in high school in one case, and so I became a great-aunt at 28 and now have six of the little darlings running around. If there is one thing my husband’s family does well, it’s breed. I didn’t even like my own toddlers all the time, and it’s safe to say I do not like other people’s toddlers.
His family is also incredibly unpredictable. One year we might get awful gifts, another no gifts, and another fabulous gifts (which is the year I gave them crap of course). Nothing is ever planned early, you never know which family members will be there, no one who comes is on time, and everything is chaos because we’re dealing with free spirits here! I can’t express how much I love free spirits!
So looking forward to not knowing when or where these spirits might pop up, I started to worry about the three Christmases coming up. (His parents are divorced. Mine are still together, mostly out of spite.) I’m very good at worrying. Also dreading. And then all of this stuph started making me sick. Which I was slightly hoping for, because as it turned out, I managed to get out of both in-law celebrations! Unfortunately, I have mucous coming out of every pore. Snot funny. Hahahahaha sob.
I did make it to my family’s. There was a meltdown, because no family get together is ever complete until somebody screams or cries. They moved their evening celebration up to lunch, which stressed my mom out although she wouldn’t say so. But it was for a good cause because my MIL was having hers in the evening. Except she wasn’t. Cause half the people came and went by 3 pm. And we had just finished eating lunch at like 2 pm. And it was time for dinner again, because they run on Wonderland time. I opted out. I’m glad I did, as my children’s Christmas presents might have sent me over the edge. They got – lawn ornaments. That say “Ya’ll Come back now” with a big Texas and a frog done in wire. As my friend Ravin said, “Tacky, yet Tasteless.”
Not that I can really be a snob, what with car parts in my front yard due to my mechanic husband. But really, would it have killed them to get us pink flamingos instead? I found out later she did give us some cash too, and really, it’s not that my spoiled children needed more things. It’s just – I can’t imagine the thought process that goes into “What would 9 and 13-year-old girls like? I know! Lawn ornaments!”
As I write, the Things and my husband are at my FIL’s celebration. I am getting to miss it on account of my snot. Maybe next year I should just grin and bear it and not make myself so sick. On the other hand, I have plenty of kleenex and I’m nice and comfy in my fuzzy socks and I can watch the Daily Show and laugh. Tough to decide!
So how did your family celebrations go?