Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Un-Christmas-like Rant

Sometimes, like now, I almost feel like I should assign myself lines to write; in this case, the sentence would be "I love my in-laws." Then again, I'm not sure that writing that 100 times would help right now. I do love my in-laws, and they are wonderful people, but to describe them as disorganized and not the plan ahead type is a dramatic understatement. I don't know if it's because my family has always been somewhat spread out or if it has more to do with personalities, but my family has always been the scheduled, plan ahead type. My brother and I made wish lists for as long as I can remember, then Mom would send part of our lists to each set of grandparents. Everything was done ahead of time, so there was no last minute rushing around.

Last week I had Husbandido ask his oldest brother for suggestions on what to get the boys (our nephews, ages 10 and 13). We just needed one or two smallish things to complete their gifts; we had already purchased books and some other things for them. It took repeated follow-ups before we got an answer; in fact, we didn't get an answer until Thursday evening. The answers we got weren't really helpful, either. Granted, we are somewhat fussy gift givers. Both boys spend way too much time in front of screens, so we try to stay away from video games. (To give you some perspective, the younger boy was wearing a men's 28 waist pant at age 8. That Christmas, with his parents' permission, we gave him karate lessons to try and get him more active.) Neither boy has very much patience, so Legos wouldn't work either. We spent 3 hours on Thursday evening trying desperately to come up with what to get that would meet our requirements, didn't cost an arm and a leg, and would be equal for each boy. (Can you tell that I've seen more than my share of meltdowns over presents and who is favored?) Finally we decided on a Pokemon guide for them to share, and a Mario brothers tee shirt to add to what we already had for the older boy. We already had books and lightsaber M&Ms dispensers for both, and Minecraft magnets for the younger boy. We thought that we would be getting together in the evening on Christmas Eve, so our Amazon order should arrive just in time. 

Yesterday, though, I had Husbandido double-check with his parents about the schedule and menu. Without bothering to check on everyone's schedules, my in-laws scheduled the Christmas gathering to start at 2 pm. Husbandido doesn't get off today; his usual work day doesn't end until 3:45 pm. He's been careful about using his vacation days, in case I need surgery or if we succeed, since he's allowed to roll over some of his days. On top of that, the menu is stuffed shells and sandwiches, so nothing that I can eat. I was more upset about the schedule; he was more upset about the lack of consideration in the menu. We spent much of yesterday evening going round and round over whether he should take a half day, leave a couple of hours early and make up the time on Friday, or just get there two hours after everyone else. On top of that, the early gathering meant that I would be best off dropping Husbandido off at work, then picking him at the end of the day, so we could go straight to his parents. This would mean leaving before the UPS guy arrives. To my mind, Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve deserves its own circle of Hell; it is not something I would ever willingly do. But we were left with a tough choice: try to explain that his gift hadn't arrived yet and deal with the fallout or me go out shopping to search for a replacement gift. Husbandido kept telling me that I didn't have to go, and shouldn't go shopping. But honestly, I've seen way too many meltdowns and tantrums to want that for Christmas Eve. (Lest you think our nephew is a totally spoiled brat, part of his behavior, especially the lack of emotional controls, is due to him being somewhere along the autism spectrum.) Worry and stress over the situation made it hard to fall asleep; it was after midnight when I finally dozed off. So I hauled my sorry self out of bed at 5:30 this morning, dropped Husbandido off at work, and promptly hit the mall. It took me over 2.5 hrs, several phone calls to Husbandido, and searching an entire mall plus a separate department store, but I finally found something. I'm running on 4 to 5 hours sleep, which I don't do well. God grant me the patience to make it through today!

Oh - and on top of it all, I've started having good mucus. With the chaos yesterday, we didn't get a chance to be intimate, and tonight I'll be way too tired. Just what I want for our first month spending more than $200 on meds.

Fortunately, I've had some time to come home and cuddle our cats, which has helped my mood significantly.

To leave you on a brighter note, here are two beautiful performances of "In Dulci Jubilo," which is one of my favorite carols. First, the King's Singers.

And then, the Vienna Boys Choir.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!


  1. Yikes. I feel you on the disorganized in-laws. Not my MIL but my 4 BILs can drive me nuts. And it's similar here with the gifts... We've been scrambling around for the past week or so trying to figure out what to get everyone (chuck's mom, dad, 8 siblings, and nephew). We finally got the last gifts yesterday and then today my brother in law asks if we want to pitch in on a gift for some of the girls... Ugh. Next year I think I'm going to push for a draw-names sort of gift exchange, especially since our budget will be much more limited next year. It's so much easier with my family, we all just tell each other what we want...

    Your links aren't working, maybe because I'm on an ipad. I'll have to remember to check back later on a real computer.

    Hope you're able to finally relax a bit and enjoy your Christmas!

  2. Oh my, that sounds horrid. I hope there was something that you could eat at the dinner and that the present opening went off without a hitch. Funny you should mention gifts arriving today, my brother and his girlfriend flew in from San Francisco last night and their presents to E and my nephews is supposed to be delivered today. It is almost 4pm and no sign of them. But thankfully they are so small they won't know the difference and honestly, I am just impressed my brother even remembered to get them a gift. And then I found out it was all his girlfriend's effort. :) Merry Christmas and hopefully tomorrow (Christmas Day) is less stressful and you get to take full advantage of that great mucus. :)

  3. Hope the actual gathering turned out ok and you found something to eat. That sounds like a stressful day! :(

  4. I've had my in-law drama as well - that is why The Man and I started hosting Christmas Eve, because I couldn't take it anymore. I hope that once the shopping was done, all worked out and the time together was good and that there was something for you to eat. That was the only good thing about AF showing up for Christmas, I just said "scr*w it" and ate whatever I wanted.

  5. Bah! Sorry all that had to happen. You were a brave woman for heading to the stores on Christmas Eve. Hope you received the Aunt of the Year award for that one. :)