Only, not just for the holidays. I'm in 365 days a year.
Remember last year, when The Big Boy's mom gave my middle kid TWENTY-EIGHT wrapped presents? Six identical lunchboxes? Four identical Disney necklaces? Remember the totally sheer SEE-THROUGH babydoll she gave MY saggy ass?
The Family and I had discussed this for much of the year and finally, two weeks ago, they suggested it was time I Make My Stand. I did, quietly and calmly and with no malice. A simple explanation of how out-of-control things had gotten, and how lucky I am that my children honestly do prefer the season over the presents, and how this year we were going to calm down and get back to the spirit of things.
Well, just one guess whose in-laws are going to Hawaii for Christmas. Hawaii. HAWAII. These are the people who have been to the Biltmore four times and Branson once in 22 years. All of a sudden, out of the blue, they're going to Hawaii for Christmas. I'll lay money they don't even know where Hawaii IS and when they get there and can't find Andy Williams or the Oak Ridge Boys, they're gonna be PISSED.
I feel like someone has lifted a trailer truck off my shoulders. Long about, oh say OCTOBER FIRST, I start getting testy because here I sit with three kids and a husband who doesn't participate and...I'M THE ONE doing Christmas for that family. Which consists of two retired grandparents and a childless stay-at-home sister. Who, in my estimation, have THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FOUR days to get ready for Christmas.
What's wrong with this picture?
What's wrong is ME. What's wrong is...walk around with a "Kick Me" sign on your back? Don't be surprised if someone kicks you. Don't be surprised if EVERYONE kicks you. So this year? I'm off the hook. Christmas is about MY family and oh, people...this feels so good.
Having said that, tomorrow is that side of the family's Thanksgiving. Which involves the COC family (COC do not believe in music in the church because it is not mentioned in the New Testament) with the music-teacher/ordained minister father, the pregnant-before-married daughter-in-law (which isn't a crime unless after the wedding you get all holier-than-thou and cop an attitude every time I let slip a mild profanity. Or a not-so-mild profanity but SHIT, BITCH), and the daughter who got married IN ANOTHER DENOMINATION so that she could have music at her wedding. (Like God wasn't looking.) They don't believe in alcoholic beverages either, so the wine bottles they bring don't count.
The bourbon I have in my bag, however, DOES count which is why I have a decoy bottle in another bag. That'll teach 'em.
There's also the aunt and uncle...TBB's mom's brother. He used to show up occasionally until he realized that my Flower Friend? From first grade? Who helped at the wedding? He's been asking her out for the last ten years. When she found out he was married, she ripped him a new one in the parking lot of the QuikMart. That sort of cramps the conversation concerning "Hi! How have you been?" now, doesn't it?
But finally, there's the lovely nearly-90 year old uncle who makes me a real black walnut cake every Christmas. I don't like black walnut cake but he doesn't know that and this one is luscious and I eat a hearty slice every year. While he sits and beams. And reminds me about that "silver lining" shit and all.