Now that Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is on my mind and it appears to be on many peoples’…..I have some thoughts about family and the holidays.
First, my parents came close to getting the holidays right. In fact, when I try very hard to think of happy childhood memories, Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the few I have. They are not perfect memories. I do not try to kid myself and my parents did not become different people just because it was a holiday, but they did try. I give them credit for that. As an adult, I actually like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can thank them for that. Thanks for not screwing up the holidays, Mom and Dad, at least you got that right.
I calls them as I sees them. My mother was bat shit crazy. Well, she was, at least part of the time and my father was an ass hole quite often, mostly to me and my sister and my older brother, when my brother showed up. I blamed him for a long time for not showing up for the holidays and other things but seriously, my parents were asses. HE was the smart one. He figured it out early.
Anyway, despite all that, they pulled it together at the holidays. My mother could cook. I mean, she was a great cook, making entire meals from scratch. She didn’t teach me how to cook because I could not stand to spend more than ten minutes in a room anywhere with my mother, let alone in the kitchen with her trying to teach me anything. Patience was not one of her virtues, although she excelled at the stink eye and the silent treatment.
So Thanksgiving dinner was delicious. Then Christmas, the food was delicious. They put up an artificial tree, which I hated, but still, they decorated it and it was pretty. They decorated the house and even when we were poor, which as near as I can figure, we were from about the time I was in 6th grade on, we always had presents. Our gifts were not lavish, but we had presents and Christmas was always special.
The only thing I did not like about Christmas was getting up early so I could sit at the table and watch everyone else eat breakfast. I usually drank orange juice. I didn’t eat breakfast then. My stomach always hurt when I woke up early and I was not ready for breakfast. It was a rule that everyone had to “eat” breakfast, and in my case, sit and wait while everyone else ate pancakes or eggs or whatever while I drank my traditional Christmas orange juice. Everyone else in my family was an early riser. I wanted to sleep in every day. Even Christmas day once I was old enough to remember them. I have repressed my younger years. I am sure for good reason.
Once breakfast was over and cleared, we went into the living room and opened presents. It was nice. We all got things we liked and enjoyed. Even the dog got a present. Those are good memories and I am grateful for them.