Just sitting here thinking about the holidays and realizing that all my plans to purchase gifts early didn't work out so well. Unless everyone is getting a fleece blanket this year, not a bad idea...
Anyhow, all the stress got me to thinking about my brother. He annoys me so much at Christmas. From the day the ban on Christmas broke in my family he has been the one to break all the rules. The first year we decided because my immediate family is fairly large (I'm the oldest of 7) that we would just do secret Santa to save money amongst the kids. However my mom and dad would purchase us each one gift in addition to that. So, I stuck to the rules. I found a beautiful jewelry box that had the dancing ballerina inside it for 10 buxx (oh we also had a 20 dollar spending cap). Anne loved it because they seem rather hard to find these days and she was about 8 at the time and our parents kept telling her she didn't need a jewelry box because she didn't own any valuable jewelry. Anyhow, Christmas morning rolled around and dad fixed eggnog and cinnamon rolls. Something that became a Christmas morning tradition until my parents split. And we all descended on my parents gifts to us first. Dad being stubborn refused to call our gifts Christmas gifts (to this day I have never gotten a card from him that mentions Christmas. They all say Happy Holidays or something about season greetings, or happy new year even. Never Christmas.) He got all of us children a book. An educational book at that. The older kids loved our gifts. The younger ones thought it was stupid. My daughter hopped on Fafa's lap and demanded he read it to her right away. My mom got all of the children things along the lines of socks, underwear... and I think my gift was a bad with shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash in it. Cheap stuff, but for the huge step we were taking it was good. Then Secret Santa stuff was exchanged. All the gifts should have been gone. But, there was a large pile of gifts in the corner still.
At this point I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach what was up already. Rob was always considered the 'better' child already. When we were growing up he always went out of his way to do more. When we both had to move back home for awhile he paid our parents $700.00 dollars a month for rent. I couldn't afford to pay them rent at all because I had a baby to take care of. McDonalds didn't really pay enough for me to shell out that much in rent anyhow.
Next thing I know there is another round of presents for everyone. And this time there is not cheapy presents. These are really nice expensive gifts. I felt so embarrassed then. But, now it kind of ticks me off. Sure Rob works at a good paying job in the computer networking industry. He owns his own house and doesn't have children yet. He just got married this past Summer and yet every Christmas has been the same story. He always goes out of his way to lavish everyone with presents for Christmas even if we don't exactly get him anything in return. We have come up with all sorts of Christmas games to circumvent the fact that some of us have grown up poor and some have grown up not so poor. But, that never matters to Rob. Maybe I should be grateful and just shut up. But, in the end I feel really upset because I can't afford to give back the same as I've been given to. I mean it's my brother for crying out loud. Not the local charity for those who can't afford Christmas!
And last but not least is my boyfriend's mother. I think she was trying to be sweet. But, it came out weird. Before I was invited to Christmas there last year I asked who all I'd be expected to buy for. I figured I'd get a list of people and run to The Dollar Tree for figurines or hair bows or something. They told me to only worry about getting presents for my boyfriend and his son and the only person purchasing for me would be my boyfriend. (Except he didn't really, he just paid to have the ring he had bought me for my birthday re-sized as my Christmas present). So, I went and bought the two of them a gift and resigned myself to the fact that I would not be opening anything on Christmas day. Since I do not talk to my family anymore.
As the gifts found their way out from under the tree a small package made it's way to me... with my name on it. I was confused but I went ahead and opened it. It was a package of socks. I asked who it came from and my boyfriend's mom told me Santa brought it. Like a 27 year old women is going to take that line. Ha! A few days later she asked me how I liked the socks and I told her I liked them. They were thicker in the toe and the heel and that kept my toes warm in my converses. She mumbled something about them not being as 'sexy' as my other socks. And so I know for sure now that they were from her.
The thing that gets me is that she KNEW I wasn't getting her anything because she TOLD me not to get her anything. So, now I feel horrible about it.
And this year I decided to do something about it. As I browsed Walmart for a gift from her my boyfriend shot down every single idea! And told me that she wouldn't be happy knowing I spent money on her knowing I don't have much.
This makes me angry. It's not people getting me gifts when I can't afford to return them. But, it's the tricking me into believing that there will be no gifts for me so why bother getting them for them... and pulling a switch a roo so that I then look like a mean person.
It's not so much that people are giving me gifts. But, they are putting me in a weird position when they tell me 'don't get anything' and then go all out. This year for my brother (since he is the only one I talk to) I think I will give him a fleece blanket I got on sale at CVS this Summer and for his wife I will give her a giant coffee cup. My boyfriend I'm getting skull shotglasses because he collects skulls and shotglasses but he does not have anything that is both. And I get I'll go to The Dollar Tree to get an ornament or a figurine for my boyfriend's mother. She can't object to that! I have to get my boyfriend's son one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. For my daughter I'm planning on seeing if the game store still has The Chronicles of Narnia games for the DS for really cheap. I got mine for 6 dollars. I'd give it to her but I haven't beat it yet and she has. So, I'm going to see if they have the other one for that cheap yet.