But the Grinch, who lived on top of Mount Crumpet, did not.
This quote is germaine because my grandmother-- matriach of our entire extended family, approaching her eighties and hale in body if not in spirit-- just called to inform me we are not having Christmas.
... Her words were, "Don't spend any money on us [meaning her and my grandfather], because we are not exchanging gifts this year."
I imediately became concerned, because I know from my mother that she's been loaning a lot of money to cover my cousin John and his wife Marla's credit card debts. John and Marla were in financial trouble before the economic snaffu, then they took in Marla's nephew in addition to their four boys, and they continued to spend like everything was fine. I thought it was a money issue-- they've never paid back anything they've borrowed, and my grandparents are living on a fixed income.
My grandmother assured me this was not the case. They have a large retirement fund from my grandfather's time with the autoworkers union, that they apparently haven't even touched.
So what was the problem? Was she sick, and hadn't told me? Was my grandfather?
"I don't like Christmas. I never have," she said. "So we won't do it."
You know what? Fine. I certainly wouldn't want to do this again. (ie, Christmas Disaster of 2004) Every year, I swear I'm not going to waste plane tickets to Rhode Island just to be tortured by my family and enjoy the heaping helping of guilt and shame that goes with every holiday meal. Almost every year my mom talks me back into it at the last minute and I go, compelled by filial piety and some sick inner masochistic tendancy. I don't know why my family hates me, and I'll probably never figure it out. But no more. I'm finished. Done. Kaput.
I'm going to celebrate Chanukah at the new progressive temple I've found, and then celebrate Christmas with Sam and his girls. Everyone else can go to hell.
This is Meredith, reporting to you live from Whoville, where a revolt is in progress. ^_~