There was one part of Christmas at Nanay and Taytay's house that I always hated, and that was gift time.
Not only were the kids required to wait till after lunch (one reason I was glad to keep SC and JR at my parents' house, where they could get their "Santa" gifts and stocking first thing in the morning,) but they had to open presents on person at a time while someone videoed it. This made the proceedings interminable. It also made them embarrassing for me.
I am NOT a material person. Really. But it was always awful watching my sister-in-law (and later, my niece) opening their extravagant gifts from their spouses, while I often got nothing.
The Man has never been much for presents. But this year, he not only ignored me, but ignored our girls. He made a few feeble comments about getting a strap for one of JR's guitars, but that was it.
I spent weeks busting my ass to give the girls things they wanted for Christmas. I spent time trying to make Christmas a happy occasion for them.
I spent all of December trying to do things for the Man. I made him a special birthday dinner--as close as I could come to what Nanay made him, including my first ever Black Forest cake.
We went to NYC last weekend and I stayed in the hotel with JR Friday night when she didn't want to go out so he and SC could go out to dinner with his brothers. I took JR to the Museum of Modern Art (not MY first choice) so he could go wandering with SC. I arranged the whole weekend in fact mainly so HE could see HIS family. And I got next to no appreciation for it.
Christmas Eve was good. I cooked up a storm, the girls decorated the tree, and we watched some Christmas specials. But they went to bed, I spent time wrapping the gifts that I had bought, and he did his own thing.
Christmas morning could have been lovely. But the Man's back was hurting, and he didn't do what I'd have done, which was ignore it and participate. He did next to nothing. He liked the gifts we gave him, but had done nothing for us. It hurt the girls a lot.
And he thought I was reluctant to go to his sister's yesterday, and I was, but not for reasons he could imagine. But for the fact that I didn't have time,energy or money to buy gifts for my niece's 3 lovely but overindulged kids, and we were there empty handed while my sister-in-law, lord love her, insists on giving gifts to US.
Probably just as well that I didn't. There was an exchange between my great-nephew (10) and JR, and when she told him she got a book for Christmas he responded "I don't think that's a good present," and that's what I would have bought him. All he cares about are his Pokemon cards and electronic games. Gag...
The girls and I ended up sitting away from the gathering while they all opened their gifts and the Man sat apart from us in silence. I don't think he spoke to me once yesterday.
SC interacted well with the family, but she is far more used to them than JR, who doesn't feel like she belongs. And sadly, it's really true. We're never out there any more. She never got spoiled by my sister-in-law as SC did--another niece (who didn't need spoiling) and then grandchildren got Rosie's attention instead. Not her fault--especially since JR never liked being away from us anyway when she was little.
I was glad to come home, and crawled into bed and cried because I miss my parents and Nanay and Taytay. I hate that we're never all together with the brother-in-laws. I cried because my brother is MIA as usual at the holidays--not even a "Merry Christmas" text yesterday, and because JR was so clearly unhappy at my in-laws and is unhappy and sad at home, and because so much of it is from the Man and his behavior, and he promised to go and deal with his depression, or whatever the hell it is, and he still hasn't.
And I just can't make things okay for the girls anymore.
I am so, SO glad to be at work today.
It's pathetic, but true.