Your Family Does What?!
Growing up, all of your family’s idiosyncrasies seem normal. When I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to fart anyplace other than our own bedrooms or the bathroom. Heck, we weren’t allowed to say “fart.” At Grandma’s house, you pass the food clockwise, never leave the table until everyone’s done, and say hello to Grandma when you first walk in her house or she’ll chase you around with a bunch of celery.
And then you get into a relationship and you have the opportunity to see how different other families can be. Mr. C’s family and mine are very, VERY different. There will be no pets at my family’s Easter, and there will be a minimum of 8 small dogs running afoot at Mr. C’s family’s Easter. Dinner will be almost ready to eat at my family’s house upon arrival, and will hardly be started at his family’s house.
With such different families, how can Mr. C and I get along so well? Because we’ve both made the decision to not be like our families. My family is very religious, and I am very much not. Mr. C’s family has had moments of being less than financially solvent, and he has worked hard to always be dependable financially.
My parents never exchanged stockings or Easter baskets, but that’s something I enjoy doing for my partner. This Easter, I suggested to Mr. C that maybe we not exchange baskets. I mean, do we really need more candy in the house? He never seemed to like the little trinkets I include in his baskets and the candy sits in his office for months.
His reply? He wants less. He said that I put more into it than he’s used to.
I guess he’s right. When my kids were little, I gave them a stocking for Christmas – chock full of all sorts of goodies and toys. And then also filled a Santa hat for each of them. The problem is, I bought stuff all year long, not remembering what I bought. And then the Christmas season comes around, and I buy a stocking-worth of stuff. So, it seems like I’ve gone overboard (instead of just being forgetful).
And I do the same thing with Easter baskets. I’ve tried changing from all candy to some trinkets, but cheap little toys which will never be used seem to be unappreciated. So, tons and tons of candy it is!
Now that the kids are grown, I guess I do need to learn how to pare down. The problem is, I like giving a variety of things – jelly beans, peeps, M&Ms, etc. You buy a bag of each for variety, and then you have a number of bags of candy leftover. It was easier when the kids were little – I could spread it out around more baskets. Now it’s just Mr. C and my mom. That leaves a whole ton of candy left over!
It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta eat it!
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