Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bend for the Common Good

Its started. I can hear my dad on the phone with one of my siblings in the other room. Why oh why do holidays bring out the worst in families? This one can’t sit next to that one at the dinner table because she monopolizes the conversation. This one is too bossy; that one drinks too much. This one is rude. All “Grandpa” does is sit in front of the TV after dinner (I wonder why). It’s less than a week before Xmas, and my family members are already arguing over who is preparing dinner, who is coming for dinner, or are we having dinner at Grandpa’s house at all. I am not usually at my family Xmas gatherings, for good reason. Its usually more stressful during this particular holiday than enjoyable. Some family members come, then leave early, supposedly to visit other relatives, but we know the reasons they leave early -- they go home to relax. Holidays are supposed to be enjoyable times with family, like in a Norman Rockwell painting. For one day of the year, why can’t we leave the resentment at home, forget about bringing that special dish, offer to help with the dishes, leave the rude comments in our heads, and bend a bit for the common good. My dad is 84 -- let him have a few more fond memories of family gatherings, instead of bitter ones.

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