Gifts for my family are proving...challenging...once again. In the past, I've put together goody baskets, but I'm not so sure about this year.
My mother and sister have forsworn chocolate. Mom says it raises her blood pressure (like coffee--which has been proven to only raise it briefly). My sister says it makes one of her many, many conditions worse (possibly true, but not by much, and there are more important things to worry about that she doesn't). My aunts have banned it because it's not good for you (not so, where dark chocolate is concerned), and they think it's coming between them and their relationship with God. I am disinclined to put together a goody basket that's missing a goody that they all love so much, just because of BS excuses and Puritanical* excesses.
One of my aunts has turned off her home phone in favor of one of the Obamaphones. I get that she and her husband are trying to make it on $500/month plus church charity. I get that. But it doesn't have to be that way--all they need to do is get her on Medicaid long enough to get a needed surgery done (he's against it, though it would save her life, and she's giving in to what he's telling her to do because she's forgotten what comes after that lovely "wives, submit to your husbands" bit in the bible, and I doubt he's ever known it). I am disinclined to get them anything that will make their lives easier, not after sucking more money out of my pocket, then stating that they deserve the help.
Another aunt is worried that she won't be able to do Christmas this year, because her own poor choices and lack of planning ahead have sucked her "budget" dry. She's spent money and spent money and spent money all year, and is only now panicking about saving up for the property taxes (which she knew were coming all year, and approximately how much it was going to cost her). Not to mention the costs incurred by the lightning strike that she didn't have homowner's insurance to help cover. I'm disinclined to put a goody basket together for her because she irritates the living shit out of me with her spending habits and excuses for why she can't afford things she shouldn't have a problem with.
The third aunt is just, in a word, stupid. I love her to pieces, but she's fifty-five years old, and still acts like a twelve-year-old. A flighty one. Wonder of wonders, she's finally got a job. She's the one I'm most inclined to put together something for, and I'm still disinclined to put forth the effort because she's been sulking about me not bringing the kids to visit at her convenience, despite my work schedule and Odysseus's not permitting it.
I think the thing that's annoyed me the most this year is the constant cries of "Poor me! Pity me! I'm a helpless victim! There's nothing I can do to help myself!" And I am living proof that victimhood is a choice. I suppose their attitude pisses me off so hard because it's almost like their choices to be a victim squat over my decision not to be one. Especially when they criticize my choices as not being Christian.
So, yeah...except where my kids and my mother- and father-in-law are concerned, my Christmas spirit is just a little lacking.