Well, we’re back.

We had a reasonably good time, and while there was a fair amount of family drama swirling around (my SIL and my mom are in a cold spell in their relationship), it didn’t destroy our vacation.

The kids got to go to Disney World for the first time, and landisdad managed to avoid joining us (since he wasn’t yet there). We ended up only seeing my stepfather on Thanksgiving Day, for which I gave many thanks. We did have a minor amount of political kvetching, when my mom’s friend gave thanks for “our new president, who we’ll have to learn to love like we take our coffee” (a joke she repeated at least 3 times. Does that even make sense?).

And now we’re back, and the Christmas season is rushing up to us. I can’t really seem to get into the spirit. I know I wrote a grumpy post about Christmas last year, but this year’s grumpiness feels different to me.

Part of it is the fact that, while I thought my life will slow down in the post-election moment, it really hasn’t, and I’m going to spend 8 days away from home between now and Christmas on work-related jaunts. Another part is that, while our financial situation has improved slightly since we cut off the cable in August (and btw, thanks, Cami, for turning me on to the genius that is Hulu.com!), I don’t much feel like running up a bunch more credit card debt that doesn’t get paid off until mid-2009.

I went on etsy.com tonight to start looking for gifts for the kids, and I’m just feeling meh about everything. I got the Bee some earrings, but I’m not feeling like spending a lot of time shopping, even online. I haven’t ordered holiday cards yet, and I know I’m going to be sending them out on New Year’s Day again this year.

The good news is that we will be having Christmas at home for the first time in what feels like forever. The rotational nature of landisdad’s brother’s holiday cycle has landed him with their mom for the first time since their grandmother died, and there is no longer room at the inn for all of us to stay there. So they’ll come down to visit us after Christmas, but for once, we won’t be packing up all the newly-unwrapped toys to bring them to my MIL’s.

The thing I’m most looking forward to is the 1.5 days that I’ll be off when everyone else has to go to school or work. If only I could guarantee that I won’t have to spend it cleaning or shopping!


November 30, 2008. family life.


  1. jackie replied:

    I’m feeling the spirit so far, about things like decorations and cookies, which coincidentally don’t cost a lot of money, but much less spirit in the present realm, much like you’re describing. Our big family gift is adopting our second cat from a rescue shelter, which I’m also pretty excited about, but am coming up empty on gifts for our parents, who have always been so generous with us, and it’s making me a bit antsy. I feel stingy for not wanting to spend the money, but all they care about is time with the grandkids anyway, you know?

    Sorry for venting all this in your comments!

  2. elise replied:

    Something along the political lines that may cheer you up after having to listen to the coffee joke three times: My MIL and FIL who are 77 and 87 years old, who are tried and true republicans, who are tried and true bigots, VOTED FOR OBAMA!!! I was quite shocked and pleased. I am proud of them for changing like that. I’m sure I will still have to listen to the horrible comments that they make about black people as well as Jewish people (and anyone different from them, including people who don’t keep their house immaculate like they do) but at least this is a huge step in the right direction. I didn’t think that it was possible for them to change. I even joked with my husband before the election that I was going to tell them how happy I was to vote for Obama. Now the jokes on me and I’m laughing right along with it!

  3. Jody replied:

    No, that phrase doesn’t make sense. At least not in context, because if you don’t like coffee, but drink it anyway, you think it’s doing you some necessary good, and you’ll endure the taste for the sake of the benefits. Unless that’s what they meant? In which case, it’s just not that clever.

    Presents always give me the willies, although I’m feeling blessed this year in that we have (for a change) a little extra wiggle room in the budget. I’ve been inspired by Jackie, though, to figure out what non-present stuff we want to do, especially because this year, we will celebrate the holiday entirely by ourselves. It’s the first time since before the kids were born that we will have absolutely no family traveling to us at Christmas-time.

  4. alala replied:

    I’m not getting into the spirit either, which is unfortunate, as this will be our last Bavarian Christmas, and I have a hard time imagining that a Dutch Christmas will have the same sparkle and charm. But an unexpected death in the extended family on Saturday has put all of us on pause for awhile.

  5. Anjali replied:

    I am almost never in the spirit of gift-giving, unless it’s for charity purposes. We decided to sponsor a child recently and I’m really excited about putting together a package for her. But otherwise? Except for time spent with family I don’t normally see, I could so do without the holidays.

  6. Phantom Scribbler replied:

    Er. Does she drink her coffee black? If so, oy. I’m very sorry.

  7. Comfort Addict replied:

    Welcome back, LM. Even in Grosse Pointe (a bastion of anti-liberalism in Michigan), I saw Obama signs a plenty. I’m enjoying our new President-elect “with his smile and kind eyes” as they say in the commemorative plate commercial.

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