Have you ever had some little thing on your mind, slowly eating away at your heart until you think you might not be able to love anymore if you don’t let it go? I have one of those things. It’s a little thing, really. An itty bitty teensy tiny thing that is making me crazy.
John Tesh says a positive way to let go of bad feelings is to write your ugly thoughts in a letter and then rip it up. But why would I do that when I could blog about it?
So, I’m going to get this thing off my chest right here and now. But before I can do that, I’ve got to give you a little background information. The background information will be in italics. Because I’m fancy.
It was my first Christmas Eve with Dave’s family. I was three months pregnant and incredibly nervous. I really didn’t know these people. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The one thing I did know is that they would be exchanging gifts, so I made a huge effort to bring something special for every member. Since I didn’t know his family very well, it was difficult to find just the right thing. Plus, money was tight. So, I decided to make homemade gift baskets. I filled them with five kinds of cookies I’d made from scratch and my very special straight-from-the-deepest-part-of-my-heart buckeyes. And I included a personalized ornamet and lottery tickets (as Dave informed me that his people like that sort of thing). I shrunk-wrapped the baskets, for a crisp and professional look, and decorated them with ribbons.
It took two straight days of work, but it was worth it. The baskets were beautiful. They were the boldest statement of warmth and caring I’ve ever seen. I looked forward to the moment I would give them out.
I shouldn’t have.
The general reception of the gift baskets was spiritless, at best. Although, there were two memorable responses.
The first, and the one I most like to remember, was from my sister-in-law Pam. She gushed over her basket. She opened it. She sampled the treats and raved about my buckeyes. She said, “Thank you.”
The second was from my father-in-law. It was simple, but effective. He pushed his away from him and said, “I don’t eat this shit.”
One of my nephews agreed to take it off his hands.
I managed to say, “There’s an ornament that says ‘Grandpa’ in there. You may want to grab that.”
And then I spent the next few hours fighting the urge to both cry and vomit. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It was, without a doubt, the worst Christmas Eve of my entire life.
A few weeks ago, I would have told you that I was over that ghost of Christmas past. That I’d forgiven it all away. But, I hadn’t forgotten. I had learned that a gift from my heart was wasted on people who don’t seem to understand that I have one. And so, I now choose to share those special homemade items with the people who touch my heart. You know, good friends, beloved family and the people who pay me to make them.
But then two weeks ago happened.
I’d packed up a boxful of buckeye orders for Dave to deliver at work. I’d had two extra orders, so I included them since Dave is usually able to unload the extras.
When Dave arrived home late the next day, I asked how the deliveries went and if he’d gotten rid of the extras. He told me, “A guy at work grabbed a box and I gave the other one to my father.”
It was at that moment I knew that ghost of Christmas past could still haunt me.
“You gave it to your father?”
“The guy who ‘doesn’t eat that shit?’ You gave my buckeyes to him.”
Dave said he had forgotten about that. I didn’t. I realize now, I probably never will. I still feel hurt and angry. I still feel all those things I felt on that Christmas Eve.
And now, I’m still a little miffed that Dave gave them away like that.
Okay, I’m more than miffed. I’m deeply offended. I mean, David! How could you?!?!
I’m trying to be understanding. After all, I can’t completely remember, but it’s possible I served up a few buckeyes when I got all caught up in the Christmas spirit last year. Still, I’m upset about it.
I ask you, dear readers, am I a lunatic for being so bothered by this? Would you agree that I deserve to have this made up to me – say, in foot massages?