That was seriously the best Christmas day I remember. And I know that sounds stupid, because regular readers know I don’t remember Christmas days since childhood – but I really do mean it!

M&K came over last night for a few hours and spent some quality time with us. I haven’t seen (one of, the other in longer) them since Thanksgiving (that’s October, not November).
My mother gave me the gift she had for me today: it was the book “Big girl knits”, it’s a series of patterns and theory about knitting clothes for women with larger busts, waists or butts. I’ve been eying it for months. Tempest got to open all her gifts. She got a few big ones but mostly little things. I didn’t have big Christmas’ as a child, but I refuse to overcompensate on my children. I don’t want to be the kind of parent that showers them in useless crap that will only sit in a pile on a shelf in a few weeks. Every year I got a “big gift” and then several “Small gifts” and that was awesome. I so anticipated the ‘big gift’, the one I knew I’d love.
I still have some of these ‘big gifts’ today, and will pass them onto my children.

Tempest got more Disney Princess crap from the in-laws. That was their theme for the year. Xan got a lot of stuff he’s not going to need, want or care about in probably about a year. I don’t understand why people give little babies gifts (aside from clothing, which is obviously of some use). At this stage of life he can barely focus his eyes a few feet in front of him – what could he possibly want other than a bountiful bosom?

V&L, my brother and his wife, got Tempest this ginormous play-doh set. It had about four colours (which became one colour in record time!) and a bunch of stamps, shapers, cutters and other things to make it more interesting. The adults played with the Play-Doh for a good three hours. The children played with the box it came in.
Curtis made a wonderful ham, green bean casserole (at my insistence) and maple-glazed carrots; V&L made yams (great) and mashed potatoes (in desperate need of butter) and brought a salad that I never did get the chance to try.
Amount of dinner consumed by Tempest: none. As always. She eats five breakfasts, sometimes a lunch and never dinner. I’ve tried just only feeding her one breakfast and cutting her off: she’ll begin a hunger strike and won’t eat for 20+ hours if necessary. I might as well feed her when she’ll actually eat. I assume this stage will end someday… right?

Much hilarity was had by all, mostly from watching Tao and Tempest play.

Tomorrow my father is picking me up at 11am to catch a ferry to see my aunt and uncle. They are the kind of people who colour-coordinate their Christmas dinner to match their dining set de jour. The “Kids” are home. The older cousin works for companies I probably boycott. The younger one is a world traveler. I have had nothing in common with them since Stu and I played Ghostbusters together and hid his toddler sister’s dummy to make her cry.
My nana has slipped so far into dementia that she has not opened up her eyes in weeks, yet somehow has enough consciousness to react when food is given to her. I am afraid my father will ask me to go see her. I have successfully avoided her for over two years. I cannot sit and spend time with her; she scares me.
My sister will be there, too. As I write this I realize I have not wrapped her gift. I should do that before I go.
It feels weird to see my cousins again, but I want to. Like my brother, they have very different ideas of what constitutes a good life. One attended ivy league schools and walks the streets of New York and another has seen Italy and Amsterdam, but all I wanted was a family – and I have that. I feel I’d be nothing without them – what was I before them? My aunt and uncle always seemed to be comparing me somehow, even when I was little. It was good grades this and better behaved that. When it wasn’t tantrums and telling others about the non-existence of Santa Claus it was behavior in private schools and applications to Harvard. They poured their life into the first born to ensure he was the pride, and the second got the short end of the stick – although seems to be doing alright now.
I think I’ll warn my sister this year of this inedible behavior that she’ll eventually endure, particularly once she reaches high school age. If she doesn’t apply to Harvard at 16 we all know who the ‘better child’ was.

I wrote most of this last night and I read back over it this morning thinking, “And I begged my father to bring me with him to this dinner because…?”. Family politics. Despite all this I still want to see them.
Despite Uncle’s annoying sarcasm. Despite Aunt’s Martha Stewart inclinations. Despite BoyCousin and his preposterous cigar and attitude. Despite catatonic grandparent. It’s still the holidays; we did this every year before and I didn’t think I’d miss it, but I did.

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13 Comments

  • jeca777 says:

    This journal entry was just so refreshing to read, if only because you said “One attended ivy league schools and walks the streets of New York and another has seen Italy and Amsterdam, but all I wanted was a family – and I have that. ” No one EVER understands me when I try to explain to them that being successful in my life is going to be having a family. Everyone thinks I should want to make ridiculous amounts of money or anything of the sort, but all I want is to watch my children grow. Thanks for helping me realize I’m not alone. πŸ˜‰

  • haha, the way I read this it sounded like Curtis made all that food out of play-doh. I was like, “What? They ate the fake play-doh food?!?” Then I figured it out. πŸ˜›

  • oopidsnot says:

    (you don’t have to come pick us up on Thursday, three of us arrive pretty close together at the terminal so we’ll probably show up around 9AM?)

  • altarflame says:

    I’m SO HAPPY, reading these entries of yours! πŸ˜€ Really really. For the past couple of years, I’ve felt guilty writing out the word “Christmas” in my lj at all, knowing how it’s been a trigger for you. I take pains to phrase things so as to mention the actual word as infrequently as possible. I wonder what in the world happened to you, and when you’ll know, and why it’s like this.

    Anyway, yeah, I’m glad you’re doing well with it πŸ™‚

    And I have a hatred of Disney Princess crap that borders on irrational. Argh. Anytime people get that crap for Annie I want to throttle them – it might be different if she had any personal interest or enthusiasm for D.P.s, but…she doesn’t. It’s just “what people get for little girls”. I better stop.

    I think that you are more successful than most – you’ve achieved your highest goals! That is better than striving your whole life for unattainables or continuously maintaining a facade at all costs.

  • timmytm says:

    At this stage of life he can barely focus his eyes a few feet in front of him – what could he possibly want other than a bountiful bosom?

    I still feel that way.

  • dutchess36 says:

    I’m glad you had a great christmas babs.

    I understand completely what you say about your nana. My grandmother is the same. Very late stages of dementia, living in a nursing home. My mother goes regularly to feed her (usually one meal a day she goes) and my sister (she’s the good one) goes to visit. Personally I am going on 6 years I believe this christmas since I have seen her. My mother has just stopped asking if I want to go with her …

    Hope your dinner at your aunt and uncle’s is bareable …

  • have a good time with your family despite all that. Things like that just make families interesting.
    we didnt have a christmas dinner. My parents went up island and Rick’s dad forgot about christmas. we sat at home and ate chicken strips. My first christmas not going up island with my parents was very depressing.

  • miz_kitty says:

    I’m so glad you had a great Christmas. It seems like so often holidays are just stressul and neurotic. Mine was great as well. I just ignored the neurotic ones.

  • kandi_bomber says:

    what could he possibly want other than a bountiful bosom?

    what a great line.

    We were the same as kids, with the one BIG gift that was probably the one thing I coveted all year…and we do the same with our children.
    Except Gage (almost 6mo’s) he just got a few more small toys and clothes.
    but as there are tags for him to chew and some boobs when he is done with that…he is content πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas.

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