December 24th, 2004

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Grrrrrrrrry Xmas

So I book myself plane tickets so I can stay up here for five days and I tell allllll my siblings the dates so they can be sure to be here and we can spend time together. I mean, they're normally here for Christmas Eve at least, but I figured I'd clue them in that they could come early or whatever. Meanwhile my parents expect them to visit too, so they buy food, clean the house, and endlessly fuss.

Well, as of now the only "party" we have coming is Betty and her family, who aren't even staying overnight, and Tom and family, who will leave tomorrow morning. My sister Nancy and family were going to come yesterday but didn't, and now my nephew Sean is throwing up; they "may" come tomorrow. Meanwhile Carolyn isn't coming 'til Sunday, for some reason, and since I'm leaving on an 11 a.m. flight, I won't see her.

Not only am I annoyed I won't be seeing half my family, but now presents are all screwed up. Carolyn drove up and left everybody's presents with Nancy, so now we won't get those presents and Nancy can't give us hers. I will just leave my carefully bought presents here and let them pick them up at their leisure, while meanwhile they'll have to ship theirs to me.

I'm attemting to hold on to the Chirstmas spirit here -- after all, I will see Betty and Tom and family, plus more food for us all -- but this sort of thing seems to happen every year. I'm sorry, but if I can make the effort to fly 1100 miles and stay for 5 days (last year it was 10!), surely people can BE here. But no, they always seem to come for one night and somehow think that qualifies as "seeing" me -- and my parents. Ugh! I guess they are unclear on the concept? Maybe next year I should send Christmas cards that say "P.S. If you don't show up at Mom & Dad's, no presents!"

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Christmas Eve

Emotional familial drama at Christmastime... Won't even get into it in detail, but let me note that lowlights included my dad arguing with my brother over the Gandhi, Dad cornering himself into saying Gandhi was a stupid jerk, and later Tom erupting and saying the entire holiday had been "horrible" and his mother-in-law (his wife's mom, not mine) was a "bitter old bitch." Lovely!

Despite the drama, we did in fact get through church, the after-church dinner and the present exchange. I got some good gifts, some odd ones:

- Pickle in a bag (Mom)
- Chocolate covered espresso beans (Tom & Cathy)
- The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman (Betty & Bruce)
- Bridge to Terabithia (Mom)
- A Complete Catechism of the Catholic Religion, 1908 edition (Tom & Cathy)
- Magnetix magnet building toy (Mom)
- New York: The Photo Atlas (Mom)

The one thing I feel really bad about is the NY book, since although it was on my wish list recently, I took it off after Caleb actually bought it. I may ask her if she can return it, since I don't think *both* Caleb and I need/want a huge aerial photo atlas of all five boroughs! Plus it was expensive.

*Sigh* I swear I'm almost giving up hope on ever having a decent Christmas again. My siblings just seem to act so crazy and disrespectfully.
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