Why does this always happen during a holiday season?

    For several years, "we" have enjoyed holidays with my aunt, her two daughters, and her grandson.  The three women have their family issues, but put them aside for special occasions and I do love them all dearly and appreciate time spent with them. All good-hearted people, but the sisters have never gotten along, and it's getting worse now that the younger and her mother own and live in the home my uncle left them when he died in April. The older has lived in a condo her mom owns, rent-free, for over 20 years. The younger has always been independent and frugal. She's put effort into getting the home cleaned and de-cluttered. Her mom appreciates the new look (no new stuff, just clean), but the elder sister enters the home as though it is hers (I've seen her in action and now call her "Hurricane")
    I'm closer to the younger daughter and got a phone call from her VERY early this morning, telling me about a couple of ugly notes left by her sister and allegedly her mother (obviously NOT, by the looks of the handwriting and it was signed "Lou"). She is livid and very hurt, and it took me a very long time to get her seeing straight (what she does, though, is anyone's guess).
    The problem I have now is whether I want to spend Christmas at the other sister's home (she is an instigator and agitator of the highest caliber), or simply go to my best friend's home, where I know there will be peace and kindness towards one another.  My two sons will be at cousin's, but we can have breakfast together and share some time early in the day. 
    What I'd really like to do is sit my cousins and aunt down and get them to TALK to each other, set some boundaries and respect each other's space.  Each one needs to make some compromises.  It's so much easier to tell someone how to solve their familial problems than to solve your own (do what I say, not what I do, sadly).
    Any suggestions on what to do? If my "favorite" cousin boycotts, I don't want to be a hypocrite and show up "just because".                                                                           Both of my cousins are strong personalities, and my aunt is really caught in the middle. She has been diagnosed with Parkinson's, is 83, and hasn't a mean bone in her body, but she has favored her older daughter for years and everyone knows it.

    +5  Views: 924 Answers: 7 Posted: 9 years ago

    7 Answers

    Old saying "you can choose your friends! BUT....................

    I'm sure you'll do what's right for YOU.

    Start thinking about YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DO YOU HEAR ME????????????????


    Huh? What? (:D I hear you loud & clear)

    Oh, forget all of them and come to Texas.  We're having bar-b-q!


    Don't tempt me. In addition to you, I've cousins nearby as well!! (Really need to get out there before school starts mid-January)

    As long as you have an option and can go to whichever home you choose, go to the one where you feel the most comfortable and enjoy the day. As to why these things happen during holidays....many are thinking back to past events and wondering why things are not as they should be or could be. Life and its events are rarely what a person had hoped for or expected. I'm guessing that MANY right here, experience some kind of disappointment at this time of year.


    That is so true, Ducky. I grew up on "Father Knows Best", "Ozzie and Harriet","My Three Sons" and "Leave It To Beaver", (to name just a few of those fantasy family favorites) that MY family was ALWAYS a disappointment.

    For sure there were no "real parents" who were quite so loving, patient and least not in my neighborhood. :)

    No kidding, but I was a naive kid. I grew up thinking everyone else had that family and we were the oddballs.

    We sure didn't. I wanted to live on Walton's Mountain. They could solve ANY of the problems that their kids had. lol

    And they CARED. It never seemed to me my parents particularly cared one way or the other about my sister or me. Plied us with stuff, but didn't have anything emotionally.

    A lot of parents were (maybe still are) quite un-emotional in those days I think, or at least didn't show much.

    My mother was always aloof, and my dad was not demonstrative in the least. A good couple, if that were a qualifying factor. My sister isn't much of a huggy-feely type, either, but I have an endless supply (and have been told my hugs are "the best") :D

    Here's one for ya'(((Bob)))! I hope you have a Merry Christmas. I always enjoy your comments. :)

    You give a good hug, Ducky :D You are loved!
    Have yourself a very merry Christmas!

    I agree with the majority of our group, friends are needed, and you deserve a day of peace.  I know that one would not be thinking elsewhere and still troubled by all of the problems of the clan.  But do visit with the friends, and when asked why did you choose them, simply spill your heart, and tell why...  And use this as the time to get them to sit and mull over their situation, and for them to come up with what to do next.  And Bob, I too grew up with those "fantasy families of the fifties", so when my parents divorced, only my closest friends knew there was no dad at our household.  We kids took on too much, guilt, inferior complexes, lack of social settings, no role models, etc.  You forgot Daddy Knows Best, with Danny Thomas...  Merry Christmas.  p.s. wife and I have decided to join our daughters in-laws, so we will not be alone...


    I had "Make Room For Daddy" (I think that was the Danny Thomas show) and took it out because I thought it was too obscure. :D
    While those shows presented "ideal" families and always had me disappointed in my family (and myself), I'd rather America strive for THOSE fantasies than the cr*p on TV today (even the ads for some of the shows make me tense).
    In my elementary days, I had exactly ONE (very good friend) classmate whose parents had divorced, and she lived with her remarried father. He subsequently divorced and married a third time, one of the nicest people I ever knew, and a highly respected citizen of our little hometown. The pharmacy he established still bears his name.

    and Donna Reed.

    Reed was in my original list, too. Had to draw the line somewhere. There were all kinds of wonderful fake family shows to convince me I had the parents from hell.

    I agree, but we cannot go back to the values of yesteryear. Too bad, we can alter those values and use them as a basis for society today, I think...

    True, just do the best we can.

    Spend a peaceful Christmas with your friends, and leave the family to get on with it, you've had enough problems this year, think of yourself for once.


    You know, sunnyB, I think that is exactly what I will do. Without making a big stink, I'll politely decline and get away from the theatrics. I almost dread the phone ringing. :(

    Good for you Bob, have a lovely Christmas.

    and you as well, sunnyB! Many blessings

    I'd go to my friend's house. Later on you can work on your family problems.



    The only catch is knowing my kids will be at my aunt's/cousin's.
    But, for years, we put aside our differences for a holiday and pretend to be OK with everyone. How phony, and disappointing, to spend a special day with people who aren't fond of each other, often including yourself!

    i have been thinking of my holiday plans. My little group is very religious - scary religious as a matter of fact. I keep my mouth shut and wear beige. I am spiritual but not of their extreme faith. They have totally different politics than I have too. I sit there though our mediocre dinners and smile away and come home totally exhausted. My husband and I do it because we're very short of relatives. I think the time is coming when I want to not do this any more. I want to be friendly with them but avoid holidays with them. They are nice, giving people. They are certainly not all bad. They are just not for us.
    A lot of people do what we do. I don't know why we are the polka dotted sheep in the clan.
    "It's always something," as Gilda Radner said
    I think Christmas is a day when our shopkeepers make the money they need to see them through. Religion is certainly brought into the formula -and that should be a good thing.
    Have a New Year's party with your sons. Let them sleep in after their parties and have their favorite foods the first evening of 2014. Next year that will be my plan. (I won't be feeding your sons! I'll let you do that!)

    itsmee, I think you and your hubby should make reservations for Christmas dinner someplace (there should be a lot of reasonable offers around this metropolis) and spend the afternoon at a movie! The more I think about suffocating Cousin Hurricane, the less I want to do so. I'll swing by and visit for a few minutes on Christmas eve. (I think I'll go to a movie, too)

    That is what we're going to do! (I haven't been to the real movies since I had the accident with my back - 10 years!) Christmas day we always just lay around lazy and Christmas Eve will be our candlelight dinner.
    I think you're making a wise decision about your "suffocating Cousin Hurricane" Bake them cookies or bread. They will love you and that's always a good thing.It's just a day. : )

    We are all going to enjoy a blessed Christmas this year, itsmee. GO FOR IT!

    Last night,(on the 23rd ) , my best friend's daughter died at  3:30 a.m. , of Leukemia.


    My very sincere sympathy for your friend and her family.
    Puts problems like mine in perspective.

    :( Sad indeed.

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