For the past several years, Christmas has taken a downhill turn in the Leo household. It first began the year Dallas and his girlfriend Lindsey broke up right before the holidays. Having lost who he thought was the love of his life, there was a dark rain cloud that followed my brother after every "Merry Christmas" that rang through our decked out hall.
The following year, Dallas got engaged to the same girl who had previously broken his heart just 12 months prior. Lindsey was the girl none of us thought he should be marrying. The day after Christmas, with rocks in our stomachs over the engagement, we all sat around the kitchen table listening to the argument that took place in the hallway between Dallas and Lindsey about another rock: how large her diamond should be (in Lindsey's mind, she was going to get exactly what she wanted or she wasn't going to be happy- yeah shocker). We were crossing our fingers that this fight would be their last instead of their first of many. Were we ever wrong.
That Christmas holds a special place in my heart... ruined by the fact that two people who were so wrong for each other were planning the "I Do's" and a future together.
The next Christmas I proceeded to bring my fiancé home for what I thought would be a wonderful year, only to have him and my entire family make me the brunt of every.single.joke. Now I can tease, and I can take being teased, but when I was expecting to come home for an exciting Christmas full of loving memories, I was quickly soured by the taste of sarcasm that never quit, long after the invited comedic timing.
I don't really remember the Christmas after that one, so that just goes to show you how memorable IT was. Except I believe that is the year I brought my new puppy home and our existing terrier went straight for her neck in the hallway, almost causing a puppy-dog-death.
Last year, both Michael and I were under the stress of closing on our new home (which happened to fall on Jan 5th) and waiting upon Michael's security clearance so he could go to work for homeland security.
These fond memories bring me to THIS year. Dallas is in the midst of a divorce (yeah, see above paragraphs about two people who should have never been married) so I didn't really expect a merry and bright holiday. I was planning on a nice quiet holiday at home with family, some movies, a card game or two, and just being together... LIKE FAMILIES DO AT CHRISTMAS. However what I got was the entire town of Price in my parents' house. When we first arrived, my dad had two clients who just HAD to have their animals measured (my dad measures for Pope n' Young). Why I ask you? WHY IN THE WORLD do you just HAVE to have your dead animal measured at my house on Christmas Eve? Don't you have anything better to be doing?
THEN the rest of the town that hadn't yet showed up decided to bombard my parents' kitchen. The drinking began at 5:30 and I don't believe it stopped until 1:30. It's kinda of weird to feel like a stranger in your own home, especially at Christmas. Our basement isn't really finished (it is, but not with a family room or anything) so there's really no place to escape the madness of 15 drunk people in your home that you don't really know. The way our house plan is arranged makes quiet time impossible. We have somewhat of an "open floor plan" so when there are 500 people in your kitchen, you can't really sit down to watch a movie or TV in the living room.
When there are 500 people in your kitchen (which is just off the dining room and family) you can't really sit down and visit with anyone without hearing drunken, unnecessary stories being told.
AND- on Christmas morning, when the phone starts ringing at 10:00 and the door bell starts ringing at 10:30, you can't really enjoy Christmas morning breakfast with the family.
It seriously makes me wonder- do these people who are bombarding our home, have families of their own to spend Christmas with? Don't they have a mother and father they'd like to have Christmas dinner with? I mean, they drove all the way to this God-forsaken town to visit someone other than us- so why are they not WITH THEIR FAMILY as I would like to be with mine?
Oh and I didn't mention that every single time the door bell would ring, 3 dogs would have to run from one end of the house to the other barking furiously not only AT the guests, but then one another.
In the rare but quiet moments that did exist today, my mother and I sat down and tried to watch a movie. That happened for all of 30 minutes. It was lovely while it lasted....oh wait, it didn't last. It was over before I could even start enjoying myself.
I guess in my mind, (and hopes, and wishes, and dreams that will probably never come true), Christmas will one day consist of 12 hours where I can actually sit down with my loved ones and spend time with them... either watching a movie, or playing a card game, or visiting, or WHATEVER.... but I'll actually be able to BE with them, instead of be a stranger within the four walls called "home".
If that holiday ever comes to pass, I fear it will be because I refuse to drive to Price to (not) spend time with my family. I can easily be a stranger in my own home, alone on the holidays and probably enjoy myself more than I have the past 24 hours in this zoo.
Call me mean, selfish, bratty, cruel, I don't really care what you call it. I call it sad. Sad because I honestly haven't had a fond memory of Christmas in at least 5 years. At a time where there is so much to be thankful for, I honestly feel alone.
...And I shit you not, the door bell just rang. AGAIN.
Merry Freakin' Christmas.