Monday, January 12, 2009

The Post-Holiday Recrimination Season

I am SO ready for the family sturm-und-drang to be over with.

Short version: Mom buys everyone presents that have little or nothing to do with their current interests or taste. Last year, it was a dreadful sweater plus a few decorative objects from her favorite thrift store. This year, a lovely-but-not-her-taste sweater for my youngest sister. We both made the appropriately appreciative noises, and trundled the objects off to the thrift shop after we got home.

This year, Mom made the mistake of calling my sister and badgering her on whether she really liked the sweater.

My sis is not one to tell a lie. She'd already said it was a lovely sweater when she received it (it was, just not her style). But if you put her in a corner and press her, she will tell the truth.

So Mom's nose is out of joint, sis is grumpy, and I'm getting to listen to it from both sides. (I'm more sympathetic to sis, given that I've been on the receiving end of Mom's not-very-thoughtful gifts.

I'm going to try to suggest that we just not do gifts this coming year -- we should just donate the money to charity and get together for tea to wish each other a happy holiday. That's also controversial, because this year we didn't nail down exactly whether the charity gift we did was to count spouses or just immediate family, which matters (in a very minor way) for tax purposes. But if we spell it all out in advance, it might work.

Sigh... Family. Holidays. Sheesh.

Update, 1/13/09: Called my other sis. One of the gifts Mom sent up for her boys was a hat with large purple flowers on it (i.e., bully bait). Just goes even further to illustrate that her gifts are purely opportunistic, and that no thought goes into them whatsoever.


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