Monday, November 10, 2008

and this is why halloween is my fave holiday

mostly because it's not thanksgiving or christmas. i don't actually have anything against turkey day or jesus' birthday (if it really IS his birthday--sorry, we recently watched the da vinci code and i'm totally influenceable) it's the family drama that accompanies these major celebrations.

a few weeks ago when we were celebrating the boy and gameboy's birthday my mom popped the question. so, how about having thanksgiving at my house this year? i could almost feel my sil tense up, hoping someone would come up with a better idea in the blink of an eye : ) i'm sure she was mentally trying to figure out if this was the year they were supposed to eat at my parent's house vs. her parent's house. the dilemma with my mom hosting turkey day is that she's not the best cook and there is little variety in what she serves. let's call it a white trash thanksgiving.

when mom popped the question no body answered immediately. i played it off saying i hadn't thought that far ahead yet, we were still in the middle of the boys' party, blah blah blah. after about a week of furtive emails from my mom i think we all capitulated to having it at her house. i guess the only other option was for me to host it and i just really didn't want to. the hubs keeps trying to get an invite to the sil's parent's house instead, and even told her it was OUR turn to go to her parent's house, but her folks are nice and don't want to rock the boat.

then we've already gotten into the christmas drama. christmas eve is usually at our house. my parents, my two siblings and their families and my grandma come to our house, we eat and open presents. the only other family we have in the vacinity is my aunt and uncle and their sons. though i've often invited them over for christmas eve they've never come, but we exchange gifts at some point. i don't blame them for not coming really. aside from the fact that it's usually quite chaotic, their youngest son (who's 30) has downs syndrome and still believes in santa. so they're still playing all of those santa rituals that night with him and his friend. their oldest, who's 35 may or may not be in town or out of jail on any given holiday.

this year, since the family is getting bigger and finances are tight, i made the suggestion that the kids (my kids and their cousins) exchange names and the adults (except my parents) forgo gifts and we just buy for my parents. then my aunt, who's never really been involved in our holiday planning, suggested all the adults draw names. this, after we'd already made our plans. honestly, i didn't think much about it at first and said thanks but no thanks. it was all very nice and cordial because i really do like this aunt and uncle. i don't expect them to buy for me and the hubs (which they do and we buy for them) but i wasn't really into exchanging names since we'd internally already opted not to.

so then my uncle called, and seriously this was not a contentious conversation at all, but he sort of strong armed me into agreeing to exchange names. and my aunt called last night to say to ignore him that they were just trying to save everyone money by drawing names. ???? uh, we'd already done that.

i don't know, it just sort of seemed weird, them coming in and saying, hey, we haven't really been part of your holiday but how about if we do xyz this year?


Heinous said...

The last time we had family drama was a few Thanksgivings ago. The SIL hasn't been invited back since.

Kristin.... said...

We host Thanksgiving and have since I was pregnant with the twins. It's a lot of work, but easier on us as far as the kids go.

We also make our families come to us on Christmas. I know, it's bitchy of us, but I don't like dragging my kids around on that day.

As far as gifts go, because I have 7 nieces and nephews, we have the kids draw names and the adults no longer buy for each other, on my husband's side of the family. Last year we gave "family" gifts on my side of the family. Not sure what we'll do this year.

Sherendipity said...

I haven't spoken (nice) words to my parents in almost three years. Brad's family all lives in Oklahoma, a brazillion miles away from us.
I try to make the Holidays happy for my kids, but I know they're missing out on a real family experience, and so do they.
I'm getting welly just writing about it.
Honestly, the holidays are the only time that I'd rather live through the complaints, then live without them.