My partner and I are spending Christmas day with my mom, aunt, brother and sister-in-law. I'm not really looking forward to it because my mom is sometimes trying and hard to relate with, so I have to be patient and nice all day. Not one of my strong suits, I'm afraid.
I got a call last night from my brother. He lives in Straightyville, about four and a half hours away from Fruitland. His wife was driving home from a Reno Depot, hit a patch of black ice and slid into a concrete curb. Whatever wheel hit the curb hit it on an angle and is warped. My bro isn't sure what this will cost, but he mentioned he'd need a new rim, probable wheel alignment, possible front end work on his tire rods, etc. Just what he wanted this time of the year. Plus he isn't sure he can get all the necessary repairs done today, being that it's Christmas Eve and all. His alternative plans included hopping on a bus or train or red-eye to get to Fruitland, renting a car, or driving on the back roads with his spare tire and taking his time. I told him that probably wasn't such a good idea, since a spare tire is good for about 50 clicks only. As far as the rest of it goes, if he's lucky enough to get two seats and has the cash on hand, go for it. Otherwise, take it easy and make the trip another time. It would totally suck if he wasn't here for Christmas, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.
It makes me think there's more to the holiday than just getting what you want. I'm really big on the idea of having a casual Christmas get together rather than a formal dinner with all the fixin's, including relatives I couldn't care less if I see again. I keep pushing the idea of a Christmas brunch in a fancy restaurant, then back to somebody's home for drinks and a movie. Very relaxed. Maybe a small gift for the host or for one person in the group, otherwise just good company. Maybe the real reason I'm not that keen about doing the whole Christmas thing is I resent having to buy as many gifts as I bought. I'm in a pretty tight financial spot right now; hubby isn't working and the first unemployment cheque is due early January. That means almost everything we've bought has been on the credit card. This wouldn't be too bad if the balance wasn't close to the limit before we had to buy for Christmas. Now...let's just say I'm white-knuckled with dread about our upcoming bill. Plus nobody in my family gave me directions on what they wanted until I got firm with them. Even with the escalation of emphasis, my brother said "I don't have a clue. Just do what you did last year, wing it and get what you think I'll like". Yeah, right. Little does he know I spent the better part of two weeks wandering around mall after mall waiting for the right gifts to jump out and say "He'd like me". Didn't have the time to do that this year. So I ended up buying a bunch of stuff half out of desperation, hoping they'll at least give me credit for trying. Bah! I feel like Scrooge.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone.