When I think of the holidays I picture the commercials on TV. Everyone sitting around a beautiful tree, wearing holiday sweaters, happy smiles on their faces exchanging perfectly wrapped gifts. No tears, no angry words, no fighting…
When in reality, the weather is bitter, everyone is pissed off and taking it out on those closest to them. Family. The real tree has holes in it that seem to stick out, lights that don’t work, tinsel that’s been mauled by the family pet (dog or cat). The turkey is dry, there are more gift bags than wrapped gifts. Families are so extended that you aren’t going to one house on a holiday you’re going to several so therefore your time at each location grows shorter as your extended family extends.
Let’s not forget the big helping of guilt that gets heaped on us by various family members who are bound and determined to make this holiday as good as those we see on TV.
On the one hand I love my family, that’s not to say I don’t like some of them sometimes, but for the most part I love them. I spent the first 42 years of my life with them on holidays. The last few years it’s been a little more difficult. Since I got divorced my kids were split between me and my ex on the holidays. Then about 10 years ago my aunt moved back into town after being in the Navy for 25 years. She was going to have her family home for Christmas and that’s the way it’s been since she’s been back. It was nice at first then her alcoholism took over and pushed me and mine away. Now she’s off the sauce (thankfully) but insults and hurts run deep. So I’m still dancing between everyone’s vision of a perfect holiday and it makes me depressed. These last few years I feel like I’m turning into the Grinch. I don’t want to bounce around on the holidays, I don’t want to be forced into dividing my time between family members. But because so many of my family don’t get along with someone else in my family, I’m left to feel like a ping pong ball let loose.
So while I enjoy playing Santa, I’m curious as to who I am going to piss off this year, by not being somewhere someone thinks I should be?