Christmas words can be many things like Yuletide, yule log, jolly old Saint Nick, Santa Claus, Chris Kringle, North Pole, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Merry Christmas, happy holidays, seasons greetings and so on and so forth.
But unfortunately there’s a far more sinister batch of Christmas words which can bubble to the surface and explode into a full on family feud if cooler heads don’t prevail.
It was about two years ago at Christmas time when my family experienced this war of Christmas words.
Around Thanksgiving time or a little before, I don’t remember the exact date, a foolish and unstrategic word volley was sent across the bow.
My father’s mother has always been partial to her firstborn daughter. My dad is the second born and baby.
So most of the time mothers are partial to the baby of the family especially when they have only two children. But it’s not so in this case.
The resentful feelings, sinister nature and how they manifested themselves finally bubbled over and erupted.
Like Mount Vesuvius spewing lava through a massive explosion into the atmosphere the giant, dark mushroom cloud and ensuing rain of ash touched everyone in my family.
I believe it all started simply enough. My dad asked Grandma for a favor…I believe he needed my two little sisters to be watched.
Grandma said no and gave some flimsy, weak ass excuse.
You have to understand on this side of the family short fuses are the norm. And anger reigns supreme when the slightest sleight or perceived sleight is perpetrated.
And so my dad took the easy road and exploded. “You always take care of Josie’s kids. Why is it so difficult and impossible for you to take care of my two daughters just this one time?”
The gauntlet had been thrown down and you can only imagine my grandma’s angry, harsh words in response to this terrible accusation. Favoritism?
This might be the worst behavior a parent or grandparent can be accused of.
This accusation of course got back to my aunt and now she was infuriated. I don’t know why my grandma felt the need to call her but they talk about once a day and I guess she wanted someone to vent to.
Threats were made, counter accusations levied, and general holiday strife spread to all. Like an airborne virus even more insidious than the “deadly and real” bird flu it filtered down through the entire family and threatened to destroy Christmas.
My grandma and aunt immediately said they were canceling their Christmas celebrations and would boycott any invitations to celebrations the rest of the family organized.
Needless to say, it was a tense first three weeks of December. At the end of this time, around the 22nd or 23rd, tensions eased and olive branches were extended.
Like in any human negotiation at the 11th hour progress was made, concessions agreed to, and a Christmas miracle peace accord was hammered out.
I really believed Christmas was going to be canceled but at the end of the day they put their differences aside and said their sorries.
The Christmas words war was now officially ended in an un-easy and hasty peace. Things have improved today but remnants of the bad blood sometimes rear their ugly head.
So I’d urge and strongly suggest you watch your words during this wonderful holiday season. You only get to see your family on precious few occasions throughout the year so make the most of them and enjoy the time you have.
Leave your comments about any stories you have where Christmas words exchanged during the season caused a flair up in your family. Whether it ended badly or happily I’d love to hear it and how the situation was resolved.