The most unspoiled Yuletide holiday I’ve ever spent was with somebody else’s family. The somebody else, acquainting me with his family, wasn’t even there. The holiday was wonderful because I was totally removed from their family dynamics. Family dynamics, the phrase drops like a two ton weight on my shoulders. I cannot recall ever having, what I consider, a perfect Christmas. You know, a cinematic production, like “White Christmas” for instance.
Annually, after Thanksgiving, I am faced by the dilemma of the season. As you know, I am a godless person. I love the tree, the ornaments, and the music. I like the cards too. I do not want to be a holiday hypocrite. There is enough evidence of winter solstice rituals to defend my fondness for most of the traditions. I send gifts to my siblings, just a few amusements to fill the gap, left by Mum’s departure, to provide some of the festivity that she would have added to their lives. I buy small things for my husband throughout the month of December but we do not have a crescendo on the 25th.
The trouble begins with unreasonable expectations of holiday socializing and entertaining. I don’t like it. I don’t care to be invited and I do not care to invite. The implied commitment is an obligation I cannot meet. Okay, I’ll give you that: it’s a commitment I choose not to fulfill. There’s more. My ears ache from listening to the inanities presented by quasi-relatives. I suffer greatly. I do not see the necessity in pretending to have an interest in people I try, eleven months of the year, to avoid.
I wheedle and whine to escape a fate worse than death. Say what you will, it is worse than death; death happens only once. Others prevail (a recurring theme in my life). If it weren’t for George Bailey and that meddler, Clarence, I’d take a powder on the entire month.