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19 November 2009 @ 02:09 pm
Ah, but for the Grinch...  
All the Whos down in Whoville loved Christmas a lot.
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. ^_~
Emotional Temperature: rejectedrejected
The Band Plays:: "Set Fire to the Third Bar"-- by Snow Patrol
luthorienneluthorienne on November 20th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
Perhaps we are related. I adore Christmas, but somehow every year, there's some kind of interfamilial wrangle about some trivial thing that just curdles the Christmas spirit.

This year, my husband and I are doing as you are: creating some traditions of our own, that make us happy, and with which our families can fall in, or not. We're spending time with happy people, and those who wish to quarrel or be negative can move along, thanks.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: familygarnettrees on December 7th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
Hehe.. if we are related, I'd definitely rather have *you* over for Christmas. ^_~ Seriously, it's so nice to know other people face the same difficulties. There's so much pressure to have a 'Walton' Christmas that, when your own family starts its psychotic tail-spin, you feel a little freaky. *hugs* I hope your new traditions meet with success! This really is the time of year we should be spending with the people we love. ^_^
(Anonymous) on December 6th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
Hi Meredith! I was cruising around the internet nexus all day avoiding important schoolwork and I found myself on your site! I hope you remember dewberries. =]

I hope you are doing well! I'm about to graduate college if I pass Japanese (omg so hard, I had to take it for a foreign language requirement as an English major and it makes me weep). Life is puddling along. I think fondly of you, and wish you all the best for this holiday season!!

Meredith Bronwen Mallorygarnettrees on December 7th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
Hello, imouto.

I hope you remember dewberries. =]
Did you think I would forget?

I'm so glad to hear you're doing well in school. It doesn't seem like all that long ago that we were discussing high school woes. ^_^;; I'm sure you'll be fine in Japanese-- love of the language and people was always something we had in common.

I actually stumbled upon your myspace and xanga sites a few months ago-- I saw your skydiving photos (brave little kiwi!). ^_^ You looked so gorgeous, healthy and happy. I'm glad to see I was right.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Edited at 2009-12-08 06:25 am (UTC)