Or maybe this post should be subtitled, "When People Go Out of Their Way to Make Each Other Miserable During the Holidays."
I erased what I'd originally wrote for today's post. I was angry. I was super tired since I'd been up hours early the last two mornings. And the post sounded pretty ugly.
And nearly twenty hours later, I still feel just as mean and ugly.
Christmas for me has become an extended period of emotional blackmail and manipulation. There's no kindness, no thoughtfulness, no thinking of the needs of others.
This is the first Christmas without DH's mother. And like Thanksgiving, it's become a huge fuckfest of hurt feelings because no one is getting their way. And no one is getting their way because none of them can admit to hurt feelings.
DH's father is already upset and hurt because only one out of five children even bothered to extend him an invitation for Thanksgiving. (You can guess who.) Originally, Sister #4, her husband and daughter were going out of town for Thanksgiving. Her husband broke his leg the week before Thanksgiving and had to have surgery. She extended a half-assed invitation to FIL the day before Thanksgiving only to rescind it the very next day.
So, December rolls around, and since nothing had been said to DH, he asked his dad if he had plans. No, none of the sisters have said anything to FIL. DH offered to bring dinner over to FIL's place on Christmas Day like we did at Thanksgiving. FIL said no.
Yeah, you can see what's coming.
First of all, FIL refuses to tell any of the daughters how much they hurt him over Thanksgiving. Then, he's waiting on them to tell him what to do about Christmas. And he's pissed off because we live on the second floor of our building, but he can't get up and down the stairs anymore. (For Thanksgiving, I cooked at our place, then took the dinner and dessert to his.)
So, FIL calls Sister #4 and tells her to put something together (no, he didn't ask nicely). Her hubby's in a walking boot by now, but she whines because her house isn't showcase perfect because of (yet, more) remodeling being done.
(Sister #4's hubby makes serious bank compared to the rest of the family. I'm not jealous, really I'm not because he's a sweetheart, but their house is on its third makeover in ten years. She has a real problem with letting money sit in the bank. Actually, DH is kind of the same way. I chalk it up to the fact that FIL was pretty effing frugal when they were growing up, but then, he was raising five kids on one salary. So, all the kids go overboard on extraneous spending in one area or another.)
Anyway, back to the current drama. Sister #4 tries to bully Sister #1 into hosting Christmas. Mind you, Sister #1 hosted last year. And they are the only two in town with homes big enough to handle the extended family. Add on Sister #1's kids and spouses won't be in town (eldest works in the medical profession and is on duty, youngest is spending her first Christmas with brand new MIL who is widowed), so Sister #1 wants to delay the celebration to the following weekend when her kids can be there.
Then both Sister #1 and Sister #4 get into a snit fit about Sister #3's kids coming at all. (One of which was the niece who stayed with us two years ago, and got busted for dealing pot last year.)
Sister #3 can't host because of issues between her family, her second husband, and the pot-dealing daughter.
Sister #2 lives three hours away in another state, and given FIL's anxiety issues, it would be a nightmare for everyone to go there.
(A side note: DH and I offered to buy his parents' house four years ago while they looked for a condo. Sister #4 threw a major hissy fit to the effect that we were taking advantage of the parents. Parents told DH we could still buy it as long as Sister #4 essentially became our landlady. We said no, thanks, okay, my answer was more colorful, which is why we're currently in the apartment. We decided to stay here until Genius Kid graduates before we made our next move. Needless to say, what is now FIL's house, that he still owns but no longer lives in, would be big enough to host Christmas, too.)
By now, FIL is pissed at both Sister #4 for not hosting at all and Sister #1 for not stepping up. Add in that he made a nasty comment to DH that Sister #1 was the oldest and she should step up. When DH relayed that to me, I commented by that standard, I have to host because I'm the oldest in my family. *eyeroll*
So, we're at the point where everyone's doing their own thing on Christmas Day, and Sister #2 is driving to Ohio and taking FIL out to dinner in order to spend some quality time alone with her dad.
Sister #4 got pissed that she wouldn't see Sister #2 and wanted to join #2 and FIL for dinner on Christmas Day. Sister #2 suggested they pick up food and have the dinner at Sister #4's house. Nope, can't do that because house is torn up.
Then, FIL complains nothing is open on Christmas Day (not true) and if Sister #4 is that adamant about being with him and Sister #2, then they were going to Sister #4's house anyway. Oh, and if they're there already, then the rest of the family should be there, too.
I went to the grocery store yesterday (aka Tuesday morning) and bought stuff to make our dinner before most of this went down.
Now, everyone's meeting at Sister #4's house on Christmas Eve.
Except...wait for it...FIL called two hours ago wanting to know if we're coming to his apartment Christmas Day, which was our original fucking plan. I told DH I wasn't going and he could do whatever he wanted.
I'm so, SO tired of manufactured drama. Especially manufactured drama over lack of honesty and communication.
You know what? I've given up on everyone else's bullshit.
I'm watching It's a Wonderful Life like I have for the last ten Christmas Eves with a good stiff drink. I'm having my cinnamon buns and cinnamon coffee for Christmas breakfast. I'm going to see The Last Jedi. I'm making my chicken phyllo and pumpkin pie. I'll watch the Steelers and Texans game on TV. (I'd actually looked into making the trip to Houston to see the game in person, but it was a little out of my price range.) And I'm damn well going to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special INSTEAD OF TAPING IT LIKE I HAVE THE LAST THREE FUCKING CHRISTMASES BECAUSE I WAS TRYING TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY, AND YOU ALL DECIDED TO BE FUCKING MISERABLE ANYWAY.
And believe or not, but this a way more polite post than the original, so DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE GET ON MY CASE ABOUT MY LACK OF CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.
I didn't start this, but I'm damn well going to finish it.
Assuming DH and I find a house before next Christmas, the holiday will be there on the 25th. Dinner will be served at 1:00 PM. And if you don't want to come, that's perfectly fine.
But any other arrangements are totally on you.
[Edit to Add: I'm at the point where I can laugh about this again. Literally five minute after I posted my rant, Sister #4 texted DH to say the family is meeting on Christmas Eve at a restaurant.]
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