The first bah-humbug moment of the season ….

November 25, 2008

I’m feeling a case of the red ass today.

I dislike the holidays more and more each year.  It makes me sad, angry even, to feel that way, but I do.   There are some issues involved that I won’t go into here, but there is also this:

There is no wonder at the season, at the gifts, at the family gathering together.  Being hardly religious myself, I’m not just talking about religious practices.

I miss my grandparents, and seeing my cousins.  I miss being a kid again, and getting a natural history book with wonderful paintings of dinosaurs and the solar system.   I see my parents getting older and moving slower, becoming more hunched.   I see my mother, who always glowed during Christmas, becoming more disappointed in the actions and attitudes of the generations following her.

And as I get older myself I grow more tired, like them, and more jaded, just like this.

I see the kids in the family growing up and not seeing or feeling what I saw or felt as a child, not experiencing what I experienced.   I see them having no gratitude at how their parents scraped money together, hid gifts in the attic, or how their grandparents or an aunt found that one gift they so desperately wanted but didn’t know they did.

And there is hardly ever a ‘thank you’ from the children when they receive a gift.  Instead they quickly put the newly opened present aside,  wrapping paper still half-attached, and hold their hands out for the next present to come their way.  Gimme, gimme, gimme.   This is as much their parents fault, I know, as the child’s fault.  And being that the offending parent is my own child, that galls me, because they were brought up better than that.  Teaching your child to say ‘thank you’ goes a long way.

But instead it’s off to the next household, the other grandparent, parent, step-parent, aunt or uncle or cousin, for the next round.  And would they dare pick up the mess they leave, the new toys they open and scatter from room to room, or carry their own things to the car?  No, that’s left up to others, their mother, father, grandparents, even great-parents.

Holidays are a trial.  Some relatives I love to see; others, not so much.   Each year it becomes a greater struggle to get through the season without a nervous breakdown, a family feud, or bloodshed.  There seems to be nothing but struggle in finding a gift, in finding the money, in finding the time, in simply surviving the season.

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