Happy New Year! I cannot believe the holidays are now over. Each year, the holidays seem to fly by even faster than the year before. My bet is they are not going to slow down!
So, let's catch up!
Last I wrote, I had been handed a magazine after everyone received their super thoughtful, touching gifts from my MIL. Not long after I wrote that post, it was suggested I try to kill with kindness... like sickening kindness. (Although, most people said to just totally cut her off and no gifts, no cards, no calls, no nothing...) Like drop a kindness bomb in the middle of our Christmas Eve party. So, I ran out and bought a silver and crystal heart ornament for an exorbitant amount of money (to make it better the proceeds went to Make-A-Wish), and had it engraved with "To the best Grandma in the whole world. All our love...". I had arranged for our Santa, who hands out gifts to the kids at our party, to give her the gift. There was no way for her to tell if I had it planned all along, or if I did it after the almanac. Also, no way to tell if it really was super sweet, or sarcastic. No one dare question the sincerity of a gift and look bad in front of everyone, as if they are accusing otherwise. So, now she can just sit there and wonder. I would hope she'd just feel bad and start treating me better, seeing how sweet I treated her, but I doubt it. I might complain about the things she does to me, but I've always been nothing but good to her, and yet, well you know the stories. Oh, and my SIL pointed out the birthday issue, and tried to blame it on the printer she ordered it from (just to see if she should get the benefit of the doubt), and her response was "Nope, I did that." So, there you have it. That was on Christmas day, and I haven't gotten a "OMG, I'm sorry I messed up with the birthday thing" email or call or anything.
So, that's how I ended up dealing with it. No confrontation, just super sweetness. I told her how much awesome info was in the almanac... "Did you know it teaches you how to measure windspeed?!" "It defines winter storm classifications!!" and "Did you see that it has several adds for chainsaws?!" My grandmother is to thank for that idea. She said to thank her for it and gush about it so much that she gets sick of hearing it. She'll either never give me one again, or she'll get me one every year.... she had already said "Did you look through the almanac? If you want, that can be the thing I get you every year." So, we can see where this is going.... haha
In case anyone felt bad that I was gonna be sweeter than sugar itself, and maybe that was unfair... rest assured that she made sure to squash any guilty or cringe-worthy feelings by immediately yelling at me when she arrived on Christmas Eve. I had not said boo past "Hello!" when she thrust a bag of Christmas stockings for my son and his cousin at me, and said "I forgot these because I was being rushed at my house! It was rush rush rush! Do this, do that, move move move!" (side note... we were there for 5 hours, and we had dinner and they unwrapped one gift each and the kids unwrapped a couple gifts... I know, way too much for 5 hours). So, I pointed out that my Mom and sister had about an hour to do their gift exchange with us, and that was all the private time they were getting... so they were rushed too... she said "I GET RUSHED EVERY YEAR, THOUGH!!" I nearly pointed out that my SIL doesn't get to see here parents at all, ever, on the holiday, so she does not win the rushed contest by a long shot, but then I remembered my sickeningly sweet attitude I had to keep up. So I slapped a sympathetic smile on, and offered for her to give them to the kids right then. I also checked to make sure she had everything and was comfortable. As many times as she came up to me to take a jab at me, complain, or try to exclaim "I wish you lived across the country, so at least when you'd all visit you would HAVE to sleep over!!!" Oh yes, that sounds like a wonderful, totally sane idea. Then, she pulled me aside to tell me about the lovely gifts she gave her boyfriend's daughters... just in case I wasn't totally positive that she gave me junk and gave everyone else something thoughtful and personal. Then, she was taking pictures of everyone with Santa and had to announce to everyone *that in the picture she had taken* "Oh my God, your legs look huge!!!" (I assure you, they are not, but we know how she likes to make me feel fat.) When Santa said he had a gift for Grandma (and she is the only one who is called that in the entire family), she at first acted like that could be anybody. She didn't even want to take the gift. Then, she opened it, and then all the ladies who knew what was up gushed over how beautiful and special it was. Then, she did say thank you. It couldn't have been more perfect that she had spent the whole time cutting me down and picking fights, to have me lay that on her. Talk about rising above (maybe for the wrong reasons... but it's better to do good for the wrong reason, than to do bad for any reason.)
Aside from the magazine drama, the only other semi-drama was the turkey cooking super fast on Christmas day... it was delicious, and we managed to keep it warm and yummy until dinner anyway. Everything was lovely, everyone had fun, and, most importantly, the kids had a blast. The kiddos have been enjoying all the traditions, seeing everyone and getting tons of extra attention, and, of course, their new toys. The baby has picked up so many new words and phrases, thanks to all the visiting family he's seen.
Oh, and let's throw in another fun story, just for balance...
My family has this little inside joke. We re-use boxes all the time to wrap gifts. Some boxes, especially newer ones, can seem to be really what the gift is, so we always say "Don't trust the box!", and make a big deal out of that not being the right box... even if it is the right box. It wouldn't be funny, maybe, except we've been saying it every Christmas, for years, and always with such dramatic tone. Well, my husband won the "You can't trust the box" contest this year...
Our GPS needed updated, and we missed the registration cut off. We had 2 choices, pay to update it, or buy a new one. Well, for Christmas, my husband got me a new GPS. I almost couldn't tell what it was because he wrapped it in a shiny new car. :) It's really great, and the car's not bad either.
I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday season, as well, and avoided too much family drama! Although, if there is no drama, it's not a real holiday. Of this I am convinced. :)