solar_diablo (solar_diablo) wrote in holidaygeeks,

Ho, Ho, Ho.

A post one of my LJ friends made got me thinking about family and Christmas. I'm happy holidays of this magnitude are few and far between because the familial obligations during the silly season are draining, even in the best of circumstances.

Christmas is one of the few times during the year that I have contact with my brother and his family, even though he lives less than an hour away. We get on fine but we're not particularly close - different lifestyles, ideals, interests. The times I spend with him are pleasant enough but not especially close or bonding; akin to having dinner with your CPA. I suspect we'd have nothing to do with one another if we didn't share the same genetic background. I do have a good relationship with my parents and grandmother, and so does my wife, so Christmas at the Mc-- house is a relatively peaceful one. My family is loud and obnoxious when it comes to politics/social issues, and we often argue if only for the sake of polemics, but it's good-natured.

My wife's family is another matter. Her sister Sh-- usually cooks a meal at her house. My mother-in-law and usually the third sister M-- is there, but the event is dominated by Sh--'s husband's family. This consists of J-- (the husband), his parents, his grandmother, my nephew, and, less seldom, one of J--'s gun freak buddies. Through it all two themes seem to resonate: one, the obsessive concern for the health of J--'s mother (honestly, corpses have fewer health least theirs can't get any worse), and the thinly-veiled hostility between J-- and my mother-in-law (obviously, his mother-in-law as well). I don't particularly enjoy her company either, but the temperature doesn't drop when we're in the same room like it does with her and J--. So the day consists of eating and using both the television and the nephew as convenient means of ignoring the elephant in the corner. I mean, what's the point? If you genuinely dislike a person, what's to be gained by pretending you do?

This is part of the reason why Halloween is more appealing than Christmas or Thanksgiving to me - no familial obligations.

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