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Merry Christmas, Darling

...Happy New Year, too.

Actually, there is no darling in my life unless you count this laptop, but that's my favorite pop Christmas song (Karen Carpenter had an amazing voice), and it sprang to mind, ironically, this crack-o-dawn Christmas Eve as I find myself in the unexpected position of juggling the family.



It was bound to blow up sometime, I guess, this move towards Not Doing Christmas Anymore. I started it, oh, years ago, mostly because as the single and childless member of the clan, I was pretty tired of playing Bountiful Auntie Dark Em and buying presents for a whole boatload of folks and only needing, you know, one in return.

Not that I'm all that mercenary or present-hungry. I'm not--and in fact gifts received were as much of a problem for me as gifts bought, because it was all beginning to seem like a lot of stuff--but the financial and emotional burden of Christmas shopping was never really offset by any sense of satisfaction.

So I quit doing it. I begged my family not to buy me presents. It was hard, but eventually it caught on, and for the last few Christmases, we've had a dinner together, and not a lot of other fuss.

But here's the thing: one sister has been chafing against this trend the whole time. She loves Christmas, in the tinsel-lights-and-presents sense of the holiday. Meanwhile, the other sister, whose craptastic job gives her Christmas Day, and Christmas Day only, as a holiday, has opted out entirely, even from the dinner.

Our mother, meanwhile, has expressed the wish, at 80, to be excused from hosting a dinner. I'm not doing a family dinner--I started this whole thing, remember? I live in a 600 square foot house, and I own four plates and four forks. Xmas Sister would probably like to host a big dinner, but in the face of increasing family indifference, hasn't offered to do so. In short, No Plans Of Any Kind Have Been Made.

So. Email late yesterday from Xmas Sister: What time are you going to Mom's on Christmas?
Me: Mom's not doing a formal thing. Thought I'd drop in mid-morning-ish.
Xmas Sister: I know she's not doing anything formal. Just wondered about your plans
Me: What are your plans?
Xmas Sister: Oh, nothing.

Text from No-Xmas Sister: Wanna come over for hamburgers on Saturday night? [Note that she's not evening calling it Christmas.]
Me: Um...is Mom coming? I'm not comfortable leaving her alone for Christmas dinner.
No Xmas Sister: She can come too if she wants.
Me: What about Xmas Sister?
No Xmas Sister: I can't deal with her. It's my only day off.
Me: *sigh*

The upshot of all this is that I offer to go visit Xmas sister across town (her "oh, nothing," it turns out, is a little prime rib dinner). Now I have two dinners (one ground beef, one slabs of beef) to attend and must also figure out how to fit my mother into all this.

You would think that after fifty-odd years of playing the mediator, I'd have learned better. And I tried, I really did. I started the no-Christmas thing, remember?


Damn it.

Merry Christmas, darling. Happy New Year too.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. | Comment at Dreamwidth.

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