A Christmas Parody

Everywhere I go it’s all about Christmas. But really, I can take only so much and I am over it. It becomes a Christmas parody of sorts. I get a tad burned out by all the glittery crafts and decked out trees.
Am I alone? 

We never celebrated when I was a child. Maybe that’s why I have this affinity to be overwhelmed by it all. 

I know many families are expecting to have a wonderful time tomorrow. But for many that will not happen unless some sort of intervention is put into place. 

Families will get together and everything they don’t like about one another will be evident. And relations will be strained to the limit. 

The Typical Offenders:

Aunt So&So will bitch at her husband the whole time. And he will be so snockered that eventually he doesn’t even hear her. (He probably started before they even arrived to get a head start.)

Great-grandma So&So will tsk-tsk at the dozens of presents for the children. Because this elaborate display of gifts was not done in her day.

It is over the top. Tsk-tsk. She just knows that it will be the ruination of this younger generation. 

Grandpa So&So, soon after his last bite of pumpkin pie, will be snoring in the recliner. He’s heard it all dozens of times before. And learned from experience that it’s just safer to bow out early during holiday gatherings.

The Teenagers are surly:

Teen-aged children will frown upon the whole thing. They were told they had to be part of the events if they wanted any presents.

So they’re trying their best to smile and be gracious. Their mother is giving them the evil eye every time she sees them roll their eyes.

Merely having to smile makes them grit their teeth, because hormone-filled adolescent teenagers are just flat truculent and ornery.

They just want to go to their rooms with their many electronic presents. There they will zone out and see who can kill the most people with their new video games. 

And for the love of Pete they’re SO tired of being kissed by Great-grandma, who always smells like Bengay. 

Why Can’t Mom Just Chill?

Mom will have done her best. She will be stressed out and faintly tipsy by the time the whole meal is presented. She tells herself that this Christmas will be different and there will be smiles of happiness and gratitude all around.

To bolster this hope, she sips from the glass of wine she has told herself is necessary to steady her nerves.

Unfortunately these long planned events typically don’t go at all as planned. Instead they’re likely to turn into bickering and jealousy and mayhem.

She knows when everyone leaves the house will be in total disarray. And she alone will be responsible for the clean up.

Tomorrow. She will think about that tomorrow.

Dad will wear his Santa cap and do his best to tell jokes that always fall flat. He will ho-ho-ho and try to bring cheer until nearly everyone in the house wants to throttle him. 

The Usual Suspects:

Cousin Ben, recently out on parole for something or other, will be eyeing all the expensive electronic equipment in the house. While at the same time trying to act like he’s having a good time. And telling everyone who will listen that he is totally rehabilitated this time. 

Great-grandpa will sit and try to figure out whose children belong to who. Who is divorced? And so are those stepchildren? What do all of the confusing relationships mean? It’s like a Twister game.

But one thing he knows from experience, the whole thing is a land mind. Someone could say something that could set off fireworks at any given moment.

He wonders if all the sharp knives and hand guns are locked away.

When It’s All Over:

And when it’s all over, there will have been some good moments that will be relived over and over. But there will also have been some taut-as-a-wire moments that bordered on disaster. 

Most will mumble under their breath as they leave that this will be the last time. The. Very. Last. Time.

There might or might not have been a few scuffles between parties who do not get along on a good day. A few Christmas decorations may have gotten broken in the melee.

But thank goodness no one had to go to the emergency room. And no one was arrested.

The hostess, usually Mom, will be on her way to her own form of nirvana in a Calgone-take-me-away bubble bath. Her glass of wine, which is teetering dangerously on the edge of the tub, is beginning to dim her disappointment. 

Yes, this is just a parody of what some families will experience. Some will actually have a wonderful time and watch Christmas movies and be thankful and happy. 

But what kind of blockbuster movie would that make?


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  1. This post makes me so sad and, at the same time, so thankful for my family. We don't really need glitter but rather should keep Christmas is our hearts every day, all year long. I haven't read your blog for long but have picked up on the fact that you enjoy reading. The Christmas story in the book of Luke is so beautiful.
    I admire the way that you are making your life work and love seeing photos of your colorful home. It always looks so happy. I often have wondered if I would be as successful in paring my kitchen down the way you have. Since I love to bake, it would be really, really difficult for me to make it without a range!
    I pray that 2015 will be a year rich in blessings for you.

  2. This level of bitterness made me sad reading it. I love all the glitter and decorations and do it in our house because to me it's fun. Dh and I make a point to go out twice a week during December to look at lights; it's one of our favorite things to do. My family certainly is far from Donna Reed perfect and everyone can be exasperating once in a while, but we don't see each other often and enjoy catching up when we do get together.
    Being really connected to the Advent season through church makes the whole season meaningful. I am so sorry you don't have anything that does that for you.

  3. Sad….. I'm so glad my Christmas is not spent like that. I've played some great games with my grandkids, we've made cinnamon rolls together, so many terrific hugs all around. My biggest complaint – I overate again!
    My oldest grandson had asked for some shoes, very specific shoes, and when he took the paper off the box, BEFORE he looked inside the box, he just leaned over and gave me a really tight hug and said "thank you Mimi"…. He immediately put them on and said they were his best present…. made me feel good that I was able to give him those shoes. Not a toy or a game, but shoes (he's 12 by the way)…

  4. I totally understand where you are coming from Brenda..been onboth sides of the Christmas get together thing…told myself no more! now for the last 7 years we have just celebrated with our only f=daughter and our 5 grandchildren…every year with them it gets only better and better…no fighting no back stabbing and no gossiping…Merry Christmas! xoxo Carol

  5. A few years ago I got emotionally healthy and stopped being with the people I didn't want to be with anymore…it has been so healing for my family of four…just us and the dogs…:) I felt so sad reading that one line about how you didn't have Christmas as a child…..wow! Just one line…..how that must feel inside…..
    I hope you have a calm, quiet day with whoever you love and care for….that is what we will be doing….Life is too short to spend it with people you don't like let alone love because they have the same DNA ….it is hard enough to get with the folks you do love….

  6. Hilarious! Some elements of your story (minus the round of fisticuffs and trips to the ER) remind me of Christmases past with my husband's family. Now I refuse to do it any more. I get sad a little when I see some of the neighbors having their big Christmas get-togethers, but since I a not in insider, who knows? Theirs might be more like your parody that I would ever guess.

  7. I hate every stinking minute of December until the 31st. I was forced to suffer through 20 years of humiliation and insults by my evil sister in law and her horrible redneck drunken loud family. I dif it for my Mom who insisted we were together to the degree where it was harmful to me. Nothing good comes from Christmas. It's a terrible time for many. SInce Mom died I traveled and had the best Christmas of my life ignoring the stupid people while enjoying a swim. A walk and a nice restaurant. The . Commercialism and greed turn my stomach.. Now I am ill and have to stay home but I love ignoring the holiday reading and enjoying what I choose. The Christmas on the ads does not exist and people just need to get over the false family theories that we are bombarded with .

  8. Christmas is what you make it!!! I decorate with repurposed items and have enjoyed it immensely. No big tree! Not this year and for about 10 years! I do little vignettes. We don't exchange gifts! We make donations in children's names and they do the same for us! I do understand your senario, though. We ended a family relationship after a Christmas from hell two years ago. What a relief to have calm, quiet, the fireplace and the doggies. Merry Christmas to you!!

  9. Oh Brenda…your Christmas parody reads like my life! That is, up until about 10 years ago, when I said, NO MORE! I had tried everything I could to try to keep the peace with my family…but it didn't work. I couldn't take the strain anymore…so I just refused to go any longer. When your family has sharp knives on the table and they try to use them for more than eating utensils and people end up sick or going to the ER…that's it!

    I would see my oldest son for Holidays and special occasions, if I could get back to Wisconsin more often than I do. It's about 6 hours away. And he has never travelled here to Michigan in the 10 years I've been here. We do keep in touch – not as often as I would like – but he does surprise me.

    I am so blessed to have my 3 PuppyKids…I don't know what I'd do without them.

    Merry Christmas…
    Jan ♥

  10. Hi Brenda. Oh, honey, this is a very sad post to me. I know families aren't perfect but I've just never experienced anything like this. I'm so thrilled this year to be able to watch my little grandchildren open their gifts and spend time with my daughter and son in law. I feel your sadness and it makes me sad. You know I always wish you the best.
    Shelia 😉

  11. There's a sad sort of cynicism that comes from being obligated, for whatever reason, to take part in holiday traditions that no longer feel authentic or meaningful.
    The only comfort for those caught in the web of holiday expectations is that it will all be a distant memory by the weekend….

  12. This is a lonely Christmas this year but that is okay, I will be glad when it is Friday back to normal. I am going to have my wine, watch movies (currently watching Meet Me in St. Louis) then "The Bishop's Wife. I am also going to do some stitching and finish my book "The Miniaturist". Merry Christmas.

    1. I just had some eggnog. And later I will have a piece of pumpkin pie. I may pay for it all night with reflux, but I have to have a piece of pumpkin pie! I don't really get lonely. I am content alone. In fact I prefer it. Reading and good movies and some stitching sounds grand to me. Merry Christmas to you to, Gisela.

  13. I never had Christmas with my cousins or extended family members. It was just us 6. I made sure my kids had the whole grandparents, aunts, and uncles and cousins experience. We have great memories and not so great memories but it always comes down to laughter and love. Here's wishing you a loving Christmas with laughter!

  14. Too funny Brenda. Yes, I am over it. I am ready rip all my crap down and shove it away until next year.
    It wasn't crap when I put it up and it won't be crap when I take it all out again in a year! But, I am over it.

    1. Which I suppose is why we move our furniture around. We just get tired looking at it. I can't move much here due to space limitations. But now I'm fixated on having a boho fabric tapestry! That would definitely be different!

  15. My childhood holidays were not that great (but better than your example thank God) so I made sure my children
    had better ones. Life is a series of choices. You can always chose better. Merry Christmas everyone.

  16. I wish for you dear friend that you had had at least one happy Christmas – full of love and joy and fun. We have always had such a wonderful time during the holidays that I wish I could have shared one with you. My family lived in a small home and didn't have riches galore but we had so much fun in all of the hustle and bustle of it.

    Merry Christmas!


  17. Brilliant Brenda! This is exactly how I feel during the day 🙂 Especially having two teenagers who will just want to go to their rooms with a plate of food and their gadgets instead of frowning at me whispering 'how much longer do I have to sit here?!'. I hope all goes well for you. Chel x

    1. Laura, when I had young kids like you, I couldn't make enough candy and bake enough sweets. But I'm tired and older now. I hand the baton to youngsters like you.

  18. thats life in a nutshell,, some good some bad some happy some sad and on we go moment to moment…
    did you mention the Reason for the Season==GREED? lol lol
    me and you outta get together one Christmas- we'd have a blast and make memories to last the rest of our lives. if that day ever comes, dont forget to wear your depends cause ya know we are gonna cackle till we pee in our pants.lol

    Merriest of Christmas's to You, Abby and Charlie…. Stay Calm and Laugh On

  19. Wow! I'm glad it's not like that in my family. And it's never been that way. We always have wonderful Christmas's and I have many great memories. If it were anything like the above scenario, I think I would just skip the whole thing.

  20. I am so glad that our family is not like that!! I am hosting 27 people tomorrow in our small house. (23 at Thanksgiving) so I know this does work. I pity the poor families that can't get a long. Funny post, but sad in some ways also.

    1. Well, it was a satiric parody after all. I just know people who have such angst for weeks before Christmas, dreading it. Dreading the fact that everyone will be on edge. I am glad many families have fun and actually get along.

  21. Sorry You feel this way Brenda…as each year goes by and there are less and less of my family members…I treasure the Fact that I Do Have Family…good bad or otherwise. The ones who have passed on, have left me memories to treasure…even the unpleasant ones that I can look back and laugh over. As far as Christmas Everywhere…I love the sights and sounds and happy feelings that are felt and displayed from Perfect Strangers….With so much Gloom & Doom in the News on an every day basis.. There is the need for Happiness . At Christmas Eve Mass..when Finally Celebrate the True Meaning with the BirthOf Our Savior…My Heart Is Filled with Joy & Peace. Christmas is How We Choose To Celebrate it in Our Hearts. Merry Christmas Brenda.

    1. You hit this one on the head. Be Thankful with what you have. Things can change so fast. I am also lucky to have a great family. Stressful as getting this all together is,,,I wouldn't change it for the world. Have a great Christmas. But with your take on all of this I know you will.

    2. Eating chocolate gets old after you eat too much. I've been seeing Christmas in stores since August. I am thankful for what I have. I wouldn't want all that excess. I'm happy for those who have family, strained or otherwise, because you never know what tomorrow brings. Now when my kids were young, I went all out. We started making ornaments for the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. But as you get older, I think with some it just changes.

  22. I'm heading off to Christmas Eve dessert tonight with friends, and it might be a little like you describe. Love these vintage pictures you have on this post. Merry Christmas, Brenda.