and now, the Christmas whining begins

Once a year, the Christmas holidays roll around and people who haven’t been the least bit interested in you all year, suddenly make their obligatory call, letter or visit. These annual contacts don’t really know or understand anybody in your household and your attempts to get to know them are met with phony smiles and generic “everything is fine” answers. One of our once a year visitors confuses me. After several years of saying “ew” and frowning during visits, this person now does what can only be described as Richie Rich impersonating Little Orphan Annie. For example, I have a small collection of old stuffed reindeer toys. The past two years, this person has frowned at the reindeer toys and said “I never had any of these.” Um, did you ever ask for one when you were a child? No. Well, you would have gotten one if you had asked. I don’t understand why the reindeer make you frown. If they are that upsetting, maybe I should pack them away when you are here. Another example is a small tree with 25 years of miniature ornaments. “Why don’t I have one of these?” Um, ask and wait 25 years. I only get one or two ornaments a year, so it has taken me a long time to accumulate this collection of memories. Again, do I need to put it away so that you aren’t sad? Maybe this is just this person’s attempt at conversation. Maybe they really hate the reindeer and tiny ornaments. Again, if they hate it, I will tuck the holiday decor away whenever they are visiting. I just don’t know how to make this person comfortable.

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