Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Preparing for Our Week-Long Family Christmas Celebration, Part I: Mental Preparation

Without being overly disrespectful to the woman who gave me birth, this post is about my beginning preparations for this year's Christmas family celebration hosted by yours truly. These preparations include the fun of decorating our home (jungle-themed this year), deciding where adults and kids will sleep (we will stuff four families into our home), the joy of shopping for gifts, planning over a week's worth of menus, as well as the annual arrival into our home of my mother.

I've only been blogging for a month and a half and I have not had the chance yet to write about the woman in my life whose relationship with me in my first 17 years was of the utmost influence upon the growth of my self-esteem, the shaping of my outlook on life, and in so many ways even still the way I think about things. I don't think of my mother often, other than seldom and random escaping thoughts. She only lives an hour and a half away, which when you factor in California roads and traffic is actually not far, but as you can denote from my detached regard of her -- we are not close.

Every year around Christmas time, I am forced to consider her since my family and home hosts family Christmas and my mother arrives with one of my brothers. She will arrive with her air of negativity and "woe is me" way about her. The cloud that surrounds her will attempt to suffocate us all immediately, but will slowly diffuse after everyone has the chance to politely ask her how she is doing, to which she will answer with a gruff and sorrowful, "Ooooh ... things are o-kaaaayyyyy ... I guess." She'll sit on the couch for the majority of the week -- barely talking to anyone, glaring at my kids and all the cousins, and ordering my brothers to get something for her.

So, as I prepare for hosting Christmas, this post is simply a bit of a vent about my mental preparations for the week-long visit of my mother.

At brunch yesterday morning, my girlfriends said that at least I'll have some funny stories to tell about the comic relief I will be searching for within the nook and cranny of every moment during her holiday visit -- assisted by a well-stocked wine fridge.

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