Merry Effing (insert appropriate holiday here)

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What have we done to Christmas?? Long gone are the days when it wasn’t an over advertised commercial holiday.  Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are tonsss of families not feeling the stress at this magical time of year, right??

Growing up, my father was in the Air Force and my mom stayed at home for most of my child hood.  Christmases as kids basically came from “Aunt Carol & Gramma”.  I remember it clearly, we lived overseas.  The huge box would come from Gramma’s and you could smell the cigarette smell of her home right off the cardboard.  It didn’t bother me then, because it was a fond reminder of my grandmother who chain smoked Marlboro Reds as far back as I can remember. Then Aunt Carol’s would come, and we almost always got a big box of socks.  I loved those socks and looked forward to them every year.  Between those two women, our Christmases were full of gifts.  But not full of family.

Our family consisted of me, dad, mom and my brothers.  My dad managed to keep us all away from anyone that we loved, by bidding bases through the air force to live all over the world.  I did a ton of travelling as a child, saw many wonderful things……but he was a typical abuser, and separated us from anyone who could help. Our Christmases were angrily overseen by my father who insisted we open ONE gift at a time and watch the other person finish before we opened ours.  IF we were too eager, we got in trouble, if we were too happy, we got in trouble….I do NOT have many fond Xmas memories.  Actually, one does stand out, it was when we spent it with Gramma, that was the best year.

My kids are 19 & 17 this year, and this is the first year that they understand the value of money.  Although I wish I could buy my kids so many things it would overflow the living room, I am like most other working stiffs, paycheck to paycheck, hoping nothing bad happens….. But this year they both have jobs, the oldest is paying her own bills at her new place with her new car.  This year they understand that although there aren’t a ton of gift under that tree, that we did the best we could, which truly wasn’t bad. And they’ll have family. Some of them at least 🙂 some great people !

I am unsure as to when Xmas became a competition; a “keeping up with the Jones'” event.  I already know who is going to be posting their Xmas Eve pics of a tree up and more gifts than would fit.  This Xmas all I want is to spend some time with my daughters, eat some good food, have a few laughs and then …go to work..lol.  What can I say? Prison doesn’t close, even for Holidays.

Merry whatever you celebrate, mine is Christmas 🙂

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