Everywhere I go, it's all about Christmas. But really, I can take only so much and I am over it. 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 still have this affinity to be able to handle just so much, and then I'm 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 intervention is put into place. Because they know exactly what will likely happen. Families will get together and everything they don't like about one another will be evident, and relations will be strained. 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 that wasn't done in her day. It is over the top. Tsk-tsk. She just knows that it will be the ruination of this young generation. Grandpa So&So, soon after his last bite of pumpkin pie, will be snoring in the recliner, per usual. He's heard it all dozens of times before. And it's just safer to bow out early during such occasions. Teen-aged children will frown upon the whole thing, this gathering of the family for the holiday they were told they had to be part of if they wanted any presents. Because that's what teenagers do. 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, zone out, and kill people in their new video games. And they're SO tired of being kissed by Great-grandma, who always smells like Bengay.
Mom will have done her best. She will be stressed out and faintly tipsy by the time the whole meal is presented. She does all this every year, telling herself this Christmas will be different and there will be smiles of happiness all around. And all the while fervently hoping that she doesn't end up in her bedroom crying with a glass of wine or maybe a Valium after everyone is finally gone. With the house in total disarray. Tomorrow. She will think about that tomorrow. Dad will wear his Santa cap and do his best to tell jokes that seem to always fall flat. He will ho-ho-ho and try to bring cheer until nearly everyone in the house wants to throttle him.
Cousin Ben, recently out on parole for something or other, will be eyeing all the expensive electronic equipment in the house. While trying to act like he's having a good time and is totally rehabilitated. 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 for sure, the whole thing is a land mind of emotions that could be set off like fireworks at any given moment. He wonders if all the sharp knives and hand guns are locked away somewhere?
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-tied-wire moments that bordered on disaster. And 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 get broken in the melee. But thank goodness no one had to go to the emergency room. And 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 and calm her nerves. 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 happy and grateful. But what kind of blockbuster movie would that make?
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