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Late Family Christmas

So once again, the Annoying In Laws made it difficult to get together for Christmas. They went to visit ASiL’s family for Christmas week in another city for the second year in a row, so when we tried to pick a date they were holding out for January 8.

There’s a couple of problems with January 8. First off, it’s a Friday night, and we live an hour away. By the time I finished at work and was able to get home, change and get there it would already be kind of late. Not good when kids are coming to the event.

Secondly, and more importantly, it is Mr. I’s and my fifth wedding anniversary. ABiL throws a hissy fit if we do family Christmas too close to his birthday, but to do it on our anniversary is apparently NBD.


His sister, who was hosting, put her foot down and said no. He told her they could either do it the very next day (Dec 28) , or Jan 1. It couldn’t be later than Jan 8 because it would be too close to his birthday. She told him she was working Jan 1 from 6 to 2 so if that was the only day he could do it (because she refused to do it the very next day) then we would order pizza. So that’s what we did.

Despite the drama getting to the date the Annoying In Laws were pretty low key tonight, mostly because ASiL fell asleep on the couch, and ABiL sat in the corner ignoring everyone, and playing on his new iPad until the food arrived.

We had pizza and afterwards we opened the gifts. About three years ago, we instituted a secret Santa arrangement for the adult gifts. Our oldest nieces arrange the names and email us to tell us who to buy for. Historically, it has been all the adults except for my FiL, who is not on good terms with a number of family members and does not attend this event. This year however, for some reason it was decided he would join it, even if he didn’t attend. My other brother in law had gotten my FiL’s name, and dutifully had taken a gift over to him. It was the only interaction they have had in over a year.

So everyone got a gift, except ABiL. When we were done I said “Hey, didn’t we miss someone?” And ABiL said “I guess my father got me, and decided not to get me anything.”


The oldest niece checked her records and yes, my FiL had ABiL’s name. But here’s where things get weird. When the nieces were emailing out the names to people, the oldest had emailed him to ask if he was taking part, and if he wanted to know the name now or later. He said yes he was, but that he didn’t want to know who he had right then. She contacted him a couple of times asking him if he was ready, and each time he said no. Finally when her Dad went over with the present, she had gone along, and asked him if he needed to know the name of the person he was buying for and he said “No, I am good.” So she figured he had found out somehow. (Why she didn’t just email the name at some point, I don’t know.). So it does not seem that my FiL deliberately snubbed ABiL and didn’t buy him anything, as he didn’t know whom he was buying for.

While it’s his first year participating in Secret Santa, with us, I find it hard to imagine he didn’t understand the concept. so, I don’t know. Oldest Niece felt really bad, because she considered it her screw up.


Really beginning to wonder if my FiL is sliding into dementia or something. Some of you may recall his disasterous trip to Ottawa with his ex wife and the two oldest nieces in the summer (he pouted for most of it and physically had trouble keeping up) and my MiL says he’s been really paranoid lately. She had lunch with him after he went to a political rally during the election, and he apparently ranted and ranted about how you can’t trust anyone.

Thing is, he has always been forgetful, paranoid and miserable to a certain extent, so it is hard to know.

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