My Christmas day experience
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29-12-2014, 02:45 PM
My Christmas day experience
So this was my first Christmas I've celebrated in the last 4 years due to military reason and I was somewhat skeptical. I tried to be happy and festive due to it being my first holiday season as a married man(my wife is super into winter holidays). So our plan for this year was to spend it at my in-laws who are seriously religious. They have never really got in my face or anything so I was ok with this.

So most of the day was fine but then the dinner prayer was about to start. I felt it would be in my best interest as well as respectful to just sit it out and be in another room. My in-laws thought differently. So they call after me and I come into the dining room where they are doing the whole circle jerk prayer bs and gesture for me to join in. I politely say oh I'd rather sit this out to which the room gets quiet. My father in law says " You don't have a choice" Undecided. So I look at my wife who has not came out to her parents that she doesn't believe(which I back fully seeing as they would ramp up the bible pushing if they found out) and she is gesturing for me to join on one in and my mother in law on the other. My mother in law just looks at me and says "Please join us". So in order to keep the peace I joined hands but didn't bow. This severely upset me because I felt as though I'd just been bent over and felt the wrath of Jesus.

So I just went to the basement to avoid everyone because I was pretty furious by all of this and I was trying to keep the peace for the wife. Then all of a sudden my phone rings. It's my dad. I pickup and in the spirit of being festive I say Merry Christmas. He then proceeds to say "How can you even celebrate Christmas if you don't believe in God?". I hang up. At this point I was ready to just explode. I proceed to find the Mrs and let her know it is time to go.

Fast forward to that evening.

I get a text from my dad saying that he was just joking. I don't believe this for one minute seeing as we have had a talk about boundaries numerous times and he keeps crossing them. My mother calls me and says that I was disrespectful to which I respond that no matter what the relationship is respect is to be had by both sides and he forfeited that after countless jabs. My sister has also jumped on the bandwagon and says that I'm being disrespectful and mean while also not acknowledging that he called ME and disrespected ME after countless warnings to not bring up religion. Not only that but right after I was trying to be festive and cheerful towards him. Now I'm the bad guy. What. The. Fuck.

So me and the wife have talked a bit and I'm on the verge of seriously cutting them off and before you say I'm jumping to conclusion a little more back story.

I have been in the military for 4 years now. During this time I have received 0 birthdays gifts(not even a damn card) 0 Christmas gifts(not even a card), and 0 wedding gifts(not even a card). Now I wouldn't care about this at all because I don't like gifts anyway but the thing is the always ask me for gifts EVERY holiday. To be honest it's more of a command. Then every time I come to visit I have to spend countless dollars on things when I'm the guest. It's always someone needs money every time I'm around or on the phone.

Anyway I just wanted to vent a little and since I haven't posted on here in ages I figured why not. Apologies for the length.
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29-12-2014, 07:26 PM
RE: My Christmas day experience
They ask for gifts? They don't even start the conversation with a "What do you want for Christmas?" before asking? Yah, that is totally rude. Once a person is old enough to have a job, the gift obligation goes both ways (assuming the existence of an obligation; the obligations should be self-imposed by the giver or it taints the spirit of Christmas), even if it's just a card with a five doller bill shoved in it. (Not a bad gift actually, it's extra cash for the coin stash in the car or a vending machine.)

But yah, your family appears to be being thoughtless at the moment. I would ignore them while letting them keep an avenue of communication. Like, an e-mail address. So they can contact you when they finally come to their senses. You could even just tell them you're cutting them off for a trial period (like, 3 months to a year) so they know you're serious.

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29-12-2014, 07:44 PM (This post was last modified: 29-12-2014 07:53 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: My Christmas day experience
My experience of this sort of thing, is that I find the one I'm most angry at, is myself, for not being prepared for things that surprise me, and are unexpected. First of all you did have a choice. But no one wants to cause a scene. Next time, you'll know you can be ready to say (if you have to, quietly but firmly) "I fully respect your customs, but this one I will be sitting out, and I know you don't want to blow it up into something we'll all regret. I prefer not to engage in table prayer, and I'm afraid that's final".

I would do nothing now. Let it blow over. When a future invitation comes, either directly or through a back channel, remind them, that praying is not going to be a part of dinner for you, and ask if the invitation is still extended. That way the ground rules are established. It will only take once. You can also say you and your wife have decided that gift-giving is not a practice you will be engaging in, and that your money instead might be used for animal shelters, or a food-shelf, or something that the two of you will decide on, privately, and further requests will not be welcomed, period. Be assertive. You'll respect yourself, and if they don't, then it's not your problem.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-12-2014, 07:51 PM
RE: My Christmas day experience
My Dad's side is pretty damn religious and I actually kinds like praying at the holidays because everyone religious closes their eyes and all the non-religious keep their eyes open and give each other knowing glances/smiles/smirks!
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29-12-2014, 08:08 PM
RE: My Christmas day experience
There comes a time to make your own Christmas/holiday traditions. Some of the best I remember are when we would invite single soldiers who weren't going home for Thanksgiving over to join us for the meal. Build your own 'family' and your own memories the way you want them to be.

Gifts on command aren't gifts.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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30-12-2014, 10:47 PM
RE: My Christmas day experience
Man if I was you, I'd be furious too. There is nothing worse than coming home to your family after 4 years of service in the military to be forced to buy gifts and pray. Did they at least thank you for your service? Maybe it might be time to start your own Christmas tradition with your wife and leave your religious family out of it.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
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31-12-2014, 10:22 PM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2015 08:52 PM by Whimsymum.)
RE: My Christmas day experience
I think making your own traditions is a great idea. You could even invite your family but they'd be on your turf Wink and do things your way.
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02-01-2015, 10:50 AM
RE: My Christmas day experience
(29-12-2014 07:51 PM)photon9 Wrote:  My Dad's side is pretty damn religious and I actually kinds like praying at the holidays because everyone religious closes their eyes and all the non-religious keep their eyes open and give each other knowing glances/smiles/smirks!

That is almost exactly like my family. Most of the older people bow their heads and look so serious about the prayer, while all the kids and young adults look around and smirk at everyone who isn't taking the prayer seriously. But in my case most of those people do believe in the christian "god", they just plan on not getting baptized until they're too old to do the things they do now.
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02-01-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: My Christmas day experience
(29-12-2014 02:45 PM)MrKrispy601 Wrote:  So this was my first Christmas I've celebrated in the last 4 years due to military reason and I was somewhat skeptical. I tried to be happy and festive due to it being my first holiday season as a married man(my wife is super into winter holidays). So our plan for this year was to spend it at my in-laws who are seriously religious. They have never really got in my face or anything so I was ok with this.

So most of the day was fine but then the dinner prayer was about to start. I felt it would be in my best interest as well as respectful to just sit it out and be in another room. My in-laws thought differently. So they call after me and I come into the dining room where they are doing the whole circle jerk prayer bs and gesture for me to join in. I politely say oh I'd rather sit this out to which the room gets quiet. My father in law says " You don't have a choice" Undecided. So I look at my wife who has not came out to her parents that she doesn't believe(which I back fully seeing as they would ramp up the bible pushing if they found out) and she is gesturing for me to join on one in and my mother in law on the other. My mother in law just looks at me and says "Please join us". So in order to keep the peace I joined hands but didn't bow. This severely upset me because I felt as though I'd just been bent over and felt the wrath of Jesus.

So I just went to the basement to avoid everyone because I was pretty furious by all of this and I was trying to keep the peace for the wife. Then all of a sudden my phone rings. It's my dad. I pickup and in the spirit of being festive I say Merry Christmas. He then proceeds to say "How can you even celebrate Christmas if you don't believe in God?". I hang up. At this point I was ready to just explode. I proceed to find the Mrs and let her know it is time to go.

Fast forward to that evening.

I get a text from my dad saying that he was just joking. I don't believe this for one minute seeing as we have had a talk about boundaries numerous times and he keeps crossing them. My mother calls me and says that I was disrespectful to which I respond that no matter what the relationship is respect is to be had by both sides and he forfeited that after countless jabs. My sister has also jumped on the bandwagon and says that I'm being disrespectful and mean while also not acknowledging that he called ME and disrespected ME after countless warnings to not bring up religion. Not only that but right after I was trying to be festive and cheerful towards him. Now I'm the bad guy. What. The. Fuck.

So me and the wife have talked a bit and I'm on the verge of seriously cutting them off and before you say I'm jumping to conclusion a little more back story.

I have been in the military for 4 years now. During this time I have received 0 birthdays gifts(not even a damn card) 0 Christmas gifts(not even a card), and 0 wedding gifts(not even a card). Now I wouldn't care about this at all because I don't like gifts anyway but the thing is the always ask me for gifts EVERY holiday. To be honest it's more of a command. Then every time I come to visit I have to spend countless dollars on things when I'm the guest. It's always someone needs money every time I'm around or on the phone.

Anyway I just wanted to vent a little and since I haven't posted on here in ages I figured why not. Apologies for the length.

WOW. I have similar problems. I had an argument with my sister and we ended it by agreeing that we will not talk about certain things (religion being one of those things). We made it abundantly clear that we would avoid these topics. The very next time we're alone together, she brings up something about atheism. Not in a argumentative way, but she's looking for trouble!

I'm also in the process of cutting family out. I understand where you're coming from. I'm convinced that at least 1, maybe even 2, people in my family have a personality disorder. It's impossible to have a normal relationship with people like this. They aren't just "difficult".

"Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation."
-Oscar Wilde
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02-01-2015, 11:19 AM
RE: My Christmas day experience
Just don't do this http://youtu.be/TUCUsNx1HTs?t=2m19s
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