Christmastime was here
Gifts and food and cheer
I’m not sad,
In fact I’m glad
It’s done for one more year.
Money’s all been spent
(Glad I paid the rent)
All so I
Could go and buy
Everyone a present.
Family time this year
Made me cringe in fear
Dad was mad
Cause sister had
Arrived past 3, oh dear.
But all else aside
There’s no one who died
We still employed
That Christmas joy
From somewhere deep inside
All apologies to Vince Guaraldi and Charles Schulz.
So yes, it’s all over. And nobody died. That’s always a good thing.
The verse about my sister and my father is quite true. Since dad is housebound due to his Diabetes, he can’t go out for Christmas Eve celebrations anymore. So he has to sit at home and wait for us to return from my Aunt’s house with food and gifts for him. We always bring him his food as soon as it’s ready, but he has to wait for the gifts until we get home for the night. And of course, we never get home fast enough to satisfy him. Eventually a phone call will be made to my Aunt’s house, complaining that he’s waited long enough– get home now.
For the last few years, we would come home from my Aunt’s and then open gifts with him that night. This year we decided to wait until Christmas day. That’s usually no problem either, as long as we do the gift opening in the morning. But this year, we decided it didn’t make sense for my sister and her husband to come at the butt-crack of dawn all the way from Round Lake (45 minutes away) to open presents, sit around all day long and wait until dinnertime, have dinner, and then leave. So we decided to have them come at 3, open gifts, then eat dinner.
My father, who was never adept at displaying anything resembling patience (I highly doubt that this particular virtue was even bestowed upon him at birth), proceeded to WHINE to my mother and I about the fact that HE couldn’t open his Christmas presents on Christmas morning, just because my sister wasn’t there. And since this was HIS house and HE owned it, he could do what he wanted to do.
So he demanded to open at least some of his presents.
Now mind you. My father is 66 years old. That’s right folks, this nearly 70 year old man was whining and throwing a tantrum about his Christmas presents. It’s frustrating, embarrassing and, not to mention, downright annoying. But if we don’t cave in to his demands, he will nag and nag about it until we want to pull the hair directly out our heads. So we cave. Over and over again.
Dear readers, please understand that I do love my father very much. But as time progresses, I can only take visits with him in smaller and smaller doses. And the rest of the family feels the same way as I. My Aunt (his sister) was supposed to make an appearance today but never showed up. My Uncle (his brother, the priest), who has the most patience of all three of them, showed up for dinner. Nobody else came to visit him. It’s truly a depressing situation. And it causes the entire family a lot of stress.
But we deal with it the best we can. And while sometimes our caving to his whining only exacerbates the problem, it’s the only way we can enjoy peace and quiet. For at least a few moments.
Growing old is not fun for members of my family. It makes me extremely sad to witness this. I try as hard as I can to put on a happy face and make things at least appear alright. If I didn’t have my mom and her positive mental outlook, I don’t know how I could survive these gatherings. How she puts up with my father, I have absolutely no idea. I mean, I visit for a couple days and I can go home to relative peace and quiet. She lives with the nagging, the whining and the bitching and moaning EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. There some mighty big wings waiting for her up in Heaven.