In 1989, completely broke and needing to buy a Christmas gift for my two sons, I gave them very meager gifts so that I could give my sister, who was married to a wealthy man and who was going to visit from New York City, gifts that I cherished. Those were the same gifts that friends had given to me that year. I felt so inadequate. One was a beautiful porcelain rocking horse Christmas ornament about 6” high that I loved and had just received as a gift from a friend and the other were gorgeous silver earrings made from very old silverware, that my dearest friend had given me. I felt that perhaps these would be appreciated by my sister. I later learned she gave them to her maid when she returned to New York.
Another Christmas, while the more estranged sister was actually speaking to me (a very rare occurance, indeed), I knitted both sisters large berets (more like Rasta caps) out of very expensive yarn that I had saved and saved to buy. I was putting my younger son through private school that he desperately needed, so I had no money again, but had planned ahead enough to buy the yarn. Neither sister wore the caps and the sister in New York gave them to her maid, again. I was so crushed.
Another Christmas, I traded a painting to a silversmith from Santa Fe who made beautiful silver earrings for me with beading, as well. I was so proud to be able to give my sisters something special and beautiful. My sister’s comments, both in New York for the festivities, were, “Oh, we almost didn’t see your gifts, so tiny were the packages, I almost threw them away". They never wore them, gave them to her maid, AGAIN. I would have loved to have had those earrings! Anyone would have loved them!
One of the last Christmases I tried once again to please my sisters, I bought both of them copies of my most cherished book. There was a great line in the book about a circle of women who said to the newcomer, “We saved a place for you in our circle”. Every time I read it, it made me cry because I had never been accepted into my family, not ever. No one had ever “saved a place for me”. I felt invited, but never, ever included in my “family”. I asked if my sisters liked the book and they actually said to me, “Oh, we threw those books away the minute we opened them. Books for hippies”. It broke my heart.
I fought against my sisters for years afterward. I fought against their hate for me, their need to control everything and every one. I know it wasn’t their fault as we had a totally dysfunctional “mother” that we all eventually despised (though it took years for my sisters to see her for what/who she was).
I lost. They won. Now they have to live with themselves for forever blaming ME for their dysfunction (IF they have ever even seen it).
My father died when I was eleven years old, on December 11. He was my only friend and ally. My “mother” turned against me and turned my grandmother, cousins, aunt and sisters against me Christmas, 1980, because she could not force me to be who she wanted me to be and even though my sisters and I spoke occasionally through the years, I could feel their disdain for me and anything I did. What a world! I am now w/o any family at all, even my children refuse to see the truth.
I hate Christmas and the holidays.