Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holidailies -- Day 17

Today's prompt: Elf on a Shelf - adorable childhood tradition, or creepy stalker?

I admit I had no idea how popular this fellow was until just recently, when he made the front page of the venerable Chicago Tribune! (The Trib usually saves the front page for serious stories, or Da Bears.)

I don't see how Elf on a Shelf is any creepier than Santa. I mean, he sees us when we're sleeping and knows when we're awake and knows if we've been bad or good. And he keeps a list! Not only that, he teaches us that the reason to be good is not that being good is right, it's that being good is rewarded with stuff.

I don't mean to be coming down on Santa. I'm a big fan of the big guy! I just don't see how Elf on a Shelf is fundamentally different than his boss.

Moody, icky Gal

I'm not feeling very Christmas-y right now.

I squeezed in a day off and spent it on the futon with tummy trouble. Really, all I did today was sleep and ... er ... um ... never mind. Now it's 8:30 and my stomach is better and I'm freaking STARVING!

Then there's family. It's a loaded issue for me and I admit it's getting me down. With our mother's house sold, it's time for me to settle up with my older sister. I worked on the spreadsheet of debits and credits and organized receipts and wrote and rewrote the cover letter. Now that the dust's settled, she's getting about $350 of her $1000 back. (Yes, she pitched in $1000 to my $12000.) My mother had nothing, left us nothing, and my older sister has done nothing to help with the resolution of her final affairs. I don't know why I'm so nervous about closing the book on this. Even if I've done something wrong, we're talking about a discrepancy of hundreds, not thousands, of dollars. I just want this over and behind me! I've been too nervous about this for too long and I want to be rid of this stress. I just hope my older sister cashes the check without argument so we can move on.

And I'm upset about my oldest friend's family, as well. An only child who lost both her parents, she moved 2000 miles to California to be near her only living relative, her cousin Sharon. And yet Sharon hasn't been very supportive to my friend at all. Sharon "postponed" celebrating my friend's 12/11 birthday into a combination dinner with Christmas on 12/21. Yes, Sharon's spending Christmas with her husband's family and my friend's not invited. (My friend will be spending Christmas with her children -- but they're part of why she needs support from Sharon.) This is the tip of the iceberg. I could do a whole post about the problems and critical junctures Sharon wasn't there for over the last three years.

And there's my best friend. He's very close to his young nephew. The kid is 10 this year. When his sister/brother-in-law divorced, my friend ended up spending a lot of time with the boy. Well, now his sister-in-law is involved with a new man and she wants her son to start new traditions with his "new family." My best friend misses the boy profoundly, especially now that his own daughters are both growing up and don't exhibit that childlike delight on Christmas morning anymore.

So I'm sad that the Norman Rockwell ideal isn't alive and well in my heart and in the households of so many of those closest to me. (Including me.)