Author Topic: What irks me about the holidays  (Read 49797 times)

Offline Monika

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #180 on: December 22, 2011, 01:13:42 pm »
This year, for the first time in almost 20 years, I´m not gonna spend Christmas with my sister and her family. I´m just gonna hang out with my folks. I am so looking forward to a quiet, boring and relaxing Christmas this year. Yay! I+m just not the type of person who enjoys watching three kids rip open packages for three hours straight.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #181 on: December 22, 2011, 02:43:17 pm »
That reminds me of how, as an "only child," I had it constantly drilled into me that "you can't always have your way." I think the intent of that drilling was admirable, and this isn't exactly the same thing, but I think the end point is similar: You are made to feel like you're a bad person if you don't always put other people's preferences ahead of your own.

Or, at least, you are made to feel like you're a bad person if you allow them to make you feel that way.

Jeff, I was going to add this in my previous post but decided not to get into it. But since you bring it up: I think when we were kids (late '50s, early to mid '60s) it was often the other way around: parents' priorities came first. Kids were to be seen and not heard -- perhaps not always, even then, but nowadays you NEVER hear that phrase except ironically -- and when the dad came home from work the mom sent the kids out of the room so he could relax in peace with his newspaper and martini. Aside from the occasional trip to Disneyland or whatever, adults' wishes set the agenda.

At least, that's what I gather based on my own dim memories of childhood along with what I've seen in Mad Men and the movie Far From Heaven.  ;D

So I suppose baby boomers, resenting that treatment, vowed that they would do things differently when they became parents. And they do.



Offline delalluvia

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #182 on: December 22, 2011, 03:49:56 pm »
Thanks for the support guys.  We got into it again this morning.  

We were e-mailing and she did a "Oh, BTW, I told our relatives that you decided not to come to dinner.  And since you're not going, I'm going to wait until they come into town and meet them for dinner.  They asked if you were mad at them, and I said, no it wasn't them it was you."

Notice how she's spun the situation so that I'm the bad guy and now HER Xmas is ruined because I'm not going.

So I e-mailed her back and asked her - rhetorically - if she had told them that the reason I wasn't going was because she had made plans for us without asking me.  And there was no reason in the world she couldn't go without me.

She retorted that "Oh, my bad.  I just assumed you would want to be with family on Xmas.  So when ARE you going to see them?"

I replied, "When I fucking feel like it.  They invite me, I DO have a choice in saying yes or no.  And yes, it is your bad when you make plans for other people and they can't make your schedule.  Ask next time." :D"

She replied, "Fine, I'll just apologize for you next time I see them."

I e-mailed her back not to bother, since she had put me in a very awkward position with my relatives and now I have to apologize for a situation I didn't create.

She hasn't responded to that.

I'm just so furious now and of course, it's completely ruined the relaxation I was looking forward to this weekend and I have to apologize to my relatives but I'm going to nail my sister in it because she's acted and responded so incredibly childishly I can't believe a grown woman has actually pulled the

"If you're not going, I'm not going and so I'm going to be all alone and it's all YOUR FAULT!"

Stuff you thought had gone away in grade school

 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(  

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #183 on: December 22, 2011, 08:26:18 pm »
I think even Miss Manners would say you are not obligated to apologize to your relatives, at least not abjectly. She would probably recommend a quick pleasant call, since at least third-hand you were invited to their home, to say you're sorry there was a miscommunication between you and your sister about your availability, but that in fact you can't make it for the holiday. And that you would love to see them sometime when they're in town and hope they have a wonderful Christmas. Then hang up.

Meanwhile, immediately banish from your mind any shred of guilt you might feel about your sister. As an objective observer, I can't help wondering if maybe she did mean well, sincerely thinking you would want to be at the relatives' on Christmas. If so, that would somewhat soften her culpability for arranging it without asking you, but it doesn't make you any more obliged to go. Next time she'll know to ask. And she has no business laying a guilt trip on your for it, since she is perfectly free to go on her own. If she doesn't, that's her choice, and has nothing to do with you.

Then you have Miss Manners' permission to enjoy your holiday with a perfectly clean conscience.




Offline delalluvia

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #184 on: December 23, 2011, 03:24:06 pm »
RESOLVED:

I e-mailed my relatives the apology, explained the situation simply and noted that my sister's melodrama caused an innocuous situation to blow up into something that it wasn't.

My relative was very gracious.  She replied instantly that they were just worried that something was going on that they didn't know about.  They were glad it wasn't anything serious and then she laughed and reminded me that she, too, has a sister prone to melodrama and that it must run in the family and that I must admit it keeps the level of excitement up.

She then invited me to dine with her and her husband when they come into town next week and I happily accepted.

So, happy ending to the damage control I had to do.  :)

Thank you everyone for your support!   :-*

Now to deal with my sister tomorrow.  ::)

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #185 on: December 23, 2011, 03:31:32 pm »
I object to the sugar. Everywhere I turn someone is trying to force processed sugar on me.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #186 on: December 24, 2011, 03:46:11 pm »

"From All of Me to All of You."
Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul!


(Did everyone watch this at 3pm this afternoon??   ::)  )




 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bk8Ukqlf1M[/youtube]


Merry Christmas!!!

 ;D



"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #187 on: December 24, 2011, 03:56:56 pm »



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGTVRbpAuRo&feature[/youtube]


[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAHk8nPAa-8&feature[/youtube]
.


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Monika

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #188 on: December 24, 2011, 04:39:10 pm »
"From All of Me to All of You."
Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul!


(Did everyone watch this at 3pm this afternoon??   ::)  )




 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bk8Ukqlf1M[/youtube]


Merry Christmas!!!

 ;D




Of course I did!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #189 on: December 25, 2011, 12:07:33 am »






C harles Dickens has probably had more influence on the way that we celebrate Christmas today than any single individual in human history except one.

At the beginning of the Victorian period the celebration of Christmas was in decline. The medieval Christmas traditions, which combined the celebration  of the birth of Christ with the ancient Roman festival of Christ with the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia (a pagan celebration for the Roman god of agriculture), and the Germanic winter festival of Yule, had come under intense scrutiny by the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell. The Industrial Revolution, in full swing in Dickens' time, allowed workers little time for the celebration of Christmas.

The romantic revival of Christmas traditions that occurred in Victorian times had other contributors: Prince Albert brought the German custom of decorating the Christmas tree to England, the singing of Christmas carols (which had all but disappeared at the turn of the century) began to thrive again, and the first Christmas card appeared in the 1840s. But it was the Christmas stories of Dickens, particularly his 1843 masterpiece A Christmas Carol,  that rekindled the joy of Christmas in Britain and America. Today, after more than 160 years, A Christmas Carol  continues to be relevant, sending a message that cuts through the materialistic trappings of the season and gets to the heart and soul of the holidays.

Dickens' describes the holidays as "a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of other people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys". This was what Dickens described for the rest of his life as the "Carol Philosophy".

Dickens' name had become so synonymous with Christmas that on hearing of his death in 1870 a little costermonger's girl in London asked, "Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?"




Dickens' cherished little Christmas story, the best loved and most read of all of his books, began life as the result of the author's desperate need of money. In the fall of 1843 Dickens and his wife Kate were expecting their fifth child. Requests for money from his family, a large mortgage on his Devonshire Terrace home, and lagging sales from the monthly installments of Martin Chuzzlewit,  had left Dickens seriously short of cash.

The seeds for the story that became A Christmas Carol  were planted in Dickens' mind during a trip to Manchester to deliver a speech in support the Athenaeum, which provided adult education for the manufacturing workers there. Thoughts of education as a remedy for crime and poverty, along with scenes he had recently witnessed at the Field Lane Ragged School, caused Dickens to resolve to "strike a sledge hammer blow" for the poor.

As the idea for the story took shape and the writing began in earnest, Dickens became engrossed in the book. He wrote that as the tale unfolded he 'wept and laughed, and wept again' and that he 'walked about the black streets of London fifteen or twenty miles many a night when all sober folks had gone to bed'.

At odds with his publishers, Dickens paid for the production cost of the book himself and insisted on a lavish design that included a gold-stamped cover and four hand-colored etchings. He also set the price at 5 shillings so that the book would be affordable to nearly everyone.




The book was published during the week before Christmas 1843 and was an instant sensation but, due to the high production costs, Dickens' earning from the sales were lower than expected. In addition to the disappointing profit from the book Dickens was enraged that the work was instantly the victim of pirated editions. Copyright laws in England were often loosely enforced and a complete lack of international copyright law had been Dickens' theme during his trip to America the year before. He ended up spending more money fighting pirated editions of the book than he was making from the book itself.

Despite these early financial difficulties, Dickens' Christmas tale of human redemption has endured beyond even Dickens' own vivid imagination. It was a favorite during Dickens' public readings of his works late in his lifetime and is known today primarily due to the dozens of film versions and dramatizations which continue to be produced every year.




Preface to the Original Edition

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843.





“I might easily have been, for any care that was taken of me, a little robber or a little vagabond,” he once said.




http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/opinion/sunday/dowd-a-victorian-christmas.html




Op-Ed Columnist
A Victorian Christmas
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: December 24, 2011


WASHINGTON

AT the end of his life, Charles Dickens did not have great expectations for Christmas.

He had separated from his wife, describing his marriage as “blighted and wasted.” His mistress was not around. He was disappointed that his sons lacked his ambition. His final Christmas, he wrote a colleague, was painful and miserable.

“The Inimitable,” as he had christened himself when he was young and celebrated, was drained from traveling to give paid readings and suffering from such severe gout that he could not write clearly or walk well. He was confined to bed all Christmas Day and through dinner, bleak in his house.

Literature’s answer to Santa Claus, as Robert Douglas-Fairhurst writes in “Becoming Dickens,” had always gravitated to the holiday.

“Christmas was always a time which in our home was looked forward to with eagerness and delight,” his daughter Mamie said.

Dickens would dance and play the conjurer. “My father was always at his best, a splendid host, bright and jolly as a boy and throwing his heart and soul into everything,” recalled his son Henry.

Douglas-Fairhurst wonders if this “inventor of Christmas” might have developed his “ruthless” determination to enjoy the day because of the traumatic year he spent as a child working in a rat-infested shoe-polish warehouse in London after his father went to prison for debts. Did England’s most famous novelist need “to recreate his childhood as it should have been rather than as it was?”

The biographer notes that Dickens, in his fiction, “rarely describes a family Christmas without showing how vulnerable it is to being broken apart by a more miserable alternative. In ‘Great Expectations’ it is the soldiers who burst into Pip’s home on Christmas Day, saving him from a dinner in which the only highlight is Joe slopping extra spoonfuls of gravy onto his plate. In ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood,’ the young hero goes missing on Christmas Eve, leaving behind several clues that he had been murdered by his uncle. Saddest of all, in ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Scrooge is forced by the Ghost of Christmas Past to observe his boyhood self left behind at school, and weeps ‘to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be.’ ”

Douglas-Fairhurst points out that Dickens’s fiction teems with ifs, just-supposes and alternative scenarios, “what might have been and what was not.” He even wrote two different endings for “Great Expectations,” one where Estella and Pip don’t end up together and one where they seem to.

“Pause you,” Pip says, “and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

Dickens was rescued from the warehouse and sent back to school when his father got out of prison and wangled a Navy pension. But that year drove home to him how frighteningly random fate can be.

“I might easily have been, for any care that was taken of me, a little robber or a little vagabond,” he once said.

His need to control his fate may have led to a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. He routinely rearranged the furniture in hotel rooms, acknowledging that his “love of order” was “almost a disorder.”

Dickens — whose bicentenary will be celebrated on Feb. 7 — worked himself to death at 58, but he always feared obscurity was lurking.

In October 1843, he had the idea for “A Christmas Carol.” As Claire Tomalin writes in another new book, “Charles Dickens: A Life,” he told a friend “he had composed it in his head, weeping and laughing and weeping again” as he walked around London at night.

He had visited one of the “ragged schools,” set up in poor parts of London by volunteer teachers to educate homeless, starving and disabled pupils, and the novella, published that December, was his screed about the indifference of the rich toward those less fortunate.

Scrooge gets redeemed from an alternate life as a misanthrope, and Tiny Tim is saved from death. But two “wolfish” children, a boy named Ignorance and a girl named Want, are not rescued, but rather left to haunt readers’ consciences.

In his 1851 short story “What Christmas Is As We Grow Older,” Dickens makes the case that the holiday is the time to “bear witness” to our parallel lives, our “old aspirations,” “old projects” and “old loves.”

“Welcome, alike what has been, and what never was, and what we hope may be, to your shelter underneath the holly,” he wrote.

Maybe, he suggests, you end up better off without that “priceless pearl” who does not return your love. Maybe you don’t have to suppress the memory of deceased loved ones.

“Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you!” he wrote. “You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!”

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"