Well, it’s almost that time of the year again. Time for the coming together of family at a mutually agreeable point on the map, to eat too much, talk too much, and argue about nothing, for yet another year. Don’t get me wrong. I like Christmas. It’s a nice time of year and I get to see different people and have lots of bbq’s. I just don’t like the commercialism and the giving of presents to people that you will only see again, if you are lucky, in another year, at some other mutually agreeable point on the map, and do it all again.
What’s it really all about?
I’m starting to think about Christmas day with a mixture of expectation and trepidation. Expectation because my lovely husband will be home from sea and will be here for Christmas. Trepidation because said lovely husband, bless his cotton socks, has invited my family over to the island to celebrate the festive occasion with us.
The last time my beloved did this I was tempted to strangle both my brother for insulting me, and my mother, for justifying his statements and letting him get away with it. Sadly, my poor mother hasn’t quite gotten out of the habit of putting the proverbial Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot biscuit in her first born’s screaming mouth to muffle the howling.
As second born into a family that doted on the first born for many years, my life was a living hell, until my brother discovered girls, and then he left me alone. He still manages to make it difficult for me times, especially when we get together for our Christmas gatherings. I have to watch my husband more closely as the day progresses. If his jaw tightens continually and his eyes glaze over, I know he’s had enough, and it’s time to give out the sweets and say goodbye. I’m surprised that he’s made it this far into our relationship without a physical confrontation with my brother to defend my honour.
I guess it’s honour that keeps my husband from giving my brother the old one-two occasionally. He likes my Mum and Dad, and to him, he wouldn’t be doing the right thing if he didn’t invite my only brother into our home.
I suppose then this is what Christmas is all about. Putting aside personal biases, and being nice. Trying to do the right thing, and be a family. Rising above the ignorance and arrogance, and keeping yourself together.
I really would like to punch my brother in the nose though.