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I used to love the Holidays. Now Im reduced to wondering if my mother or any of her other daughters are going to take ANY initiative to figure out where Mom spends the holiday or am I going to be the one making the decision AGAIN. Christmas, me and my Hubby go home to see OUR kids. NO mom can NOT go with us. She cannot afford the trip and to pay for hotel rooms and and to be in a car for a week ( LOTS of miles on this trip ) and Im am just NOT lugging her around with us the whole time. That's one of the lines I have drawn in the sand. Hopefully next year she will be there. in her own place again so she can become part of the visit , but until then she needs to go with another sibling. Only 1 sister has offered ( as usual ) and If my mother and her other daughters don't make plans shes going to that sisters in Tennessee whether she wants to or not. I know my mother dosent really want to go back to visit this sister, thats where she went last Christmas and it didn't end well....but that's too bad , that's whats going to happen If I am the 1 left to make her plans. It infuriates me the my mother cant or just wont take the initiative to do SOMETHING for herself ( at least HELP make a plan for HER life). And her other daughters don't care as long as they don't have to do anything themselves. So I already Know what I have to look forward to. Just 1 more thing to worry about....

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Jessie Belle, his mooching is nothing new and my husband requires a certain amount of caregiving from him in exchange for his living there for free. It's been all my husband can do to keep him from constantly stealing her cash and using her car for himself. He has to make sure that she takes her meds (took months to get him regular on that even though HE takes meds every day) and make sure she eats (the groceries and cooked food that we provide), and just to clean up after himself and his cat. My husband goes by twice a week (two other sibs live closer or as close, but rarely see her), and all sibs look to him to take care of everything, including keeping live-in sibling from continuing to blatantly use her. I don't know your situation but I pretty well doubt you could possibly be mooching the way this man shamelessly has for years. We stepped in because she almost lost everything, partly because she couldn't tell her big baby "no" on anything, including the over $25,000 she put out buying him a foreign internet wife half his age. (She lasted 9 months before she left, thank heavens.) It's a frustrating situation, but she's so emotionally dependent on him that we can't make any changes until such time as she doesn't know who he is anymore, and I'm pretty sure she'll forget who everyone else is before him.

Bless you for being there to REALLY take care of your mother.
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FF, I hope you are okay. Is it you with the kidney stones. YOUCH, oh ouch!

findingpeace, I hope know one sees me as the mooching 63-year old daughter who lives with my mother. Probably many people do. If your mother is 86 I'm glad she has someone living with her. Does he do any caregiving?

For myself, we didn't do Thanksgiving with my brother as planned. Mom was not doing so well, so I told her that we weren't going to go. It would have been too hard with the way things were. I feel very good about saying no. I just wish I had said it right off the bat and saved a lot of work and worry. I thought I would feel guilty after the fact that we didn't try, but I don't. I know it was the right decision. It would have been miserable.
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I used to love the holidays too. But now I am counting the days to be done.
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Good for you assandache7! My 86-year old MIL w/Alzheimer's is a package deal for the holidays with her 56-year old mooching live-in son, so no one ever wants to invite her. SIL, whose house he invited himself and his mother to last Thanksgiving, didn't want them so headed them off by calling another brother, who then called us to try and hand off. My husband was working and is 365-day a year POA and caregiver already. (Thanks for the consideration.) So brother relented, even though his wife, so loving, asked, "Can't we just bring them a plate??" I was soooo tempted to post to FB, "So sweet to see how my husband's siblings fight over their mother for Thanksgiving…" haha
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Company just left!!

Actually we had a good time..
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Update on my post where I said I would let the caregiver have the evening off on Thanksgiving and I will take care of Dad at my house, and have the grocery store cook the meal. Ah best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.

Kidney stones [no not a side dish] threw a wrench into my plans, so I still had time to give notice to the Agency to have caregivers available for Dad. Dad had his regular weekday caregiver and she was happy to be getting time & a half, so she took Dad to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving.... Dad liked the food but he commented the place was way too noisy.

Today the Agency called asking about Christmas and New Years, and I said go ahead and schedule caregivers for those days. Heck at my age, anything can happen :P
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The holidays! I have had my share of great ones and bad ones.
However, I am through with the family drama which has only gotten worse over the years.
I no longer expect anything from my siblings. Siblings are just too full of their self importance.
Of course due to these brats, I have had to hear about it from my mom. Not anymore! I am officially through with the drama! From this moment on my parents are not allowed to talk about my siblings in my presence! If they do--we leave!
I have learned that life is too short to have to deal with people I just don't care for. Quality is all I am interested in. Done with the forced family stuff for the sake of tradition. No more stress over stuffing, cranberry sauce, pacing conversations for fear there will be some political blow up. Forget it all!
Christmas. A most beloved holiday for billions around the globe, and who screws it up? Family drama. This crap has to end! Well, it won't end so you have to end it yourself!
First off, I celebrate Christmas all month long. There is so much to do! So many parties, light shows, helping the homeless, visiting veterans in the hospital, volunteer, donate, adopt a family, buying gifts for children that do not have much, getting involved by helping others, play Santa, bringing treats to the animals at shelters, adopt a pet, give blood, meet with people in assisted living facilities and talk with them as they are lonely--the list is really endless. Not enough here? Just google it! By the time the 24th and 25th come around I'm beat. I usually give these days a break and start putting away decorations.
I will be taking my folks out and having some special dinners throughout the month, check out beautiful lights etc.
I refuse to give up the glory of December because of stupid family crap. So I am flushing it down and going about my business helping others.
Someday my parents will pass away and I will have great memories of years past. I am lucky I had those. Very lucky.
The traditions I am making now are far better.
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Assandache, I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put a little in the food....
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Hey Windy "can't make any promises"...
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Yikes, assandache! That was a major double shock. Sending sedative vibes your way.

Blackhole, my parents didn't take down their Christmas decorations for years. My mother would put the decorated tree and all the other things in the back bedroom so they would be ready for next year. When I came here to stay for a month we had to clear a path in the bedroom to the bed. And I had a Christmas tree there to enjoy all month. SMH. And she didn't have dementia then. She just didn't want to bother with taking down the tree.
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Fav country song ever: DADDY, DONT GET DRUNK AGAIN FOR CHRISTMAS
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Yikes! Son just called and told me he and his girlfriend will be coming Tuesday night till the Sunday...

And husband says has off Wednesday thru Sunday..

I was so looking forward to Mom being at Daycare on Wednesday and being able to prepare some things before Turkey Day alone!!!
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My mom "hasn't had time" to put away her Christmas decorations since 2010. And had an early-dementia(?) sh*t fit when I made the radical offer to, uh, carry them to the basement for her. (Won't make that mistake again.) So.....all things Christmas are in a big heap on mom's living-room console stereo. Every time I walk in the door, I'm greeted by a jumble of fake holly and stockings, a tower of ornaments and a snowman cookie jar. There's a part of me that sees the humor in this......and a part of me that wants to run-not-walk to the closest nuthouse and sign myself in.
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Like most of you here I'm pretty much on my own (especially in my heart)... no siblings ever, ever around... and relationships have just about made me literally sick while trying to care for my mother (after a decade). I can't express (like you) the heartbreak, especially around the holidays and trying to get through them... and, do all the 'chores/caregiving'. So, this year I told myself whatever I do (like put up a little bit of Christmas decorations, will be to keep it in mind for 'me' first. We keep trying don't we?...
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I am constantly keeping the "green eyed monster" away when it comes to my siblings and their no show/no call neglect concerning their Mom...

BUT this being a holiday week makes it so hard!!!

I'll be cooking dinner for my immediate family and only one of my sisters (fav, my support) will call Mom.. The rest of them 5 will not even give a crap...

I can't wait till the holidays are over!!
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I found that the people making the most noise about family get-togethers are frequently the ones that don't plan to do the work to make it happen. Or contribute money or food beyond a bag of green salad or 50 cent bag of rolls. I told my husband that family get-togethers are now happening at a restaurant so I don't spend three days cleaning the house before and after as well as resent being a servant for weeks. Easy-peasy. If someone else wants to host at their home, feel free. In 4 years, has only happened 1 in 8 times. Heh-heh.
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Yes holiday time can be the pits. All those "cutesy" commercials with families in their huge homes, Give me a break. This year, the family will celebrate earlier (like end of November) because two are going to Thailand for six weeks. I have no idea what actual Xmas day will be like. The holiday season used to be fun but now it's work and more work. Usually, I end up decorating the house and getting the folks ready for the festivities. Hopefully, it will be different this year (ha,ha).
BTW, eating at The Cracker Barrel sounds like a great idea! Haven't been there for years.
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Kimber, you made me laugh and smile with your comment about "FOOD RELIGION"...whew I loved it! I live on a farm and when I put on a holiday meal, 80 percent of everything on the table was grown myself. What ever the current buzz words are...."sustainable agriculture", "farm to fork", organic, GMO (Did you know that we as humans are GMO organisms?), yada, yada, yada. Yessiree, the meal is as wholesome and fresh as it possibly could be. And when neice in laws bring tofu, taboule, and raw veggies....it is all fine....just bring your own!

Thanks for bringing forward an important thought about how we should learn to be flexible and erradicate undue stress from our holidays!
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cwillie, good point, I hadn't thought about that. I remember when I was a kid my Mom would get up at 4 in the morning to start the Thanksgiving meal... back then stuffing was hand made and Mom was toasting old bread in the oven. And this was for Dad and I, there weren't other family nearby. Once in awhile my parents would drive down from NY to Conn to the family farm where Mom was one of 5 sisters and everyone pitched in to help my Grandma. I didn't, Dad and I were out in the barn with Grandpa as what he was doing was so much more interesting :)

But my Mom apparently liked her "job" as being the housewife, having the whitest sheets on the backyard clothes lines, keeping her house sparkling clean [I remember her on her knees waxing the wood floors], so cooking meals and grocery shopping made her happy. She was the Martha Stewart of her time.

As for myself, anytime I watch "Everyone Loves Raymond" and everyone is raving about Marie's cooking, I am the "Debra" character [Ray's wife who can't cook].

I need to figure out Thanksgiving this year as for the first time my parents aren't together, as Mom is in long term care, and Dad has caregivers [will give the caregivers the afternoon/evening off and bring Dad to my house]. Guess I will once again have the grocery store cook the meal and I bring it home to heat up. But sig other will be working Thanksgiving as usual, as world security doesn't stop for the holidays.
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I'm wondering if our grandparents or parents were once just as stressed about the holidays as we are, but when we were children and young adults we just didn't see it. In my childhood my grandmother always hosted the family for christmas, despite having to care for my grandfather and living in a tiny house without cental heating. She only had a 24 inch range yet somehow crammed in a 20 lb turkey and all the trimmings. That HAD to be stressful.
Of course naturally all the women pitched in with last minute prep and clean up, now when I tell my family not to bother they actually listen to me and leave the clean up to me. LOL
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If your sisters aren't interested in making plans with Mom, then she probably knows that and feels uncomfortable saying that is what she wants. I wouldn't be keen on visiting a place for Christmas if I'm not wanted, even if they are my family members.

I might check into a local place who hosts Christmas lunch or dinner, like a church, senior center or local ministry. They host meals and present gifts. It might be a way she could feel welcomed and able to enjoy the spirit of the season who want to make her day brighter. There are people who give of their time and energy on Christmas to make it special for those who need it. I'd afford Mom an opportunity to enjoy it. And hopefully, they would help with transport due to her mobility issues.
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I relate to what so many of you have said. I enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas now but lost that joy along the way with have to go here, have to do this and that, have to have to have to...it kills it after a while.

I miss seeing my in-laws with the caregiving requiring more time plus working on the day after most holidays. So they come and we just potluck, no dress up or fuss, just hang out, watch movies and stuff. Hub puts up a nice tree with lights and fresh pine cones that smell like ginger baked cookies and we have a nice time. Even my parents have a nice time.

We invite friends or whomever wants to come and have nowhere to go or need to decompress and rehab emotionally somewhere else after a stressful family dinner and we just all talk, play games, things that are relaxing and fun without expectation of presents or anything. It's the best time, peaceful and now I look forward to them.
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Timbuktu - I totally relate to that! We are in a phase of endless dr. visits too - a boatload of specialists even with no surgeries planned (yet).

I have always been a total Grinch - hate holidays since my childhood. The first year we were all here with Mom, my sister put up Mom's tree and decorated her house, telling me "Well, don't you think she deserves to have Christmas too?"

The last two years, my sister has been sidelined by her own health issues, including a leg she can't bear weight on. So Mom ropes me in with this approach "Well, Sissie did it for me last year, but she can't do it this year, so will you put up my tree and decorate my house?" I warned my sister because I kner this would end up on my list as well!

In fact, the last two years, I've not only put up and taken down my mother's Xmas decoration, I've decorated and undecorated my sister's house as well!
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I am just trying to get thru all the MD visits.Gonna eliminate one today that can wait,still have one wed. and thurs. They will be #65 and 66 for this year more to come because of her foot surgery. I put a tree up the first year when she moved in but the last 2 I just looked at it as something else I have to clean up.I have no "holiday spirit" and hate looking at the commercials showing all these happy people,such a disconnect from reality.
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Just wake me when itis over.
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Ah yes....The Castansas. All American dysfunctional family. Poor George could have spent his life blogging away on this forum
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FESTIVUS for the REST OF US!
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I always like the idea of the Castanza family's FESTUVIS celebration from the Sienfeld show. The family gathers, expresses their grievances and then have a big wrestling match.
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Thank you, Timbuktu! I'm feeling a bit raw today after my beatings yesterday. It is hard to communicate that we value and love them and want our son to spend time with them around the holidays not necessarily ON the holidays. Most of the year we are all reasonable people, but the holidays bring out some stuff that is hard to talk through. And with holidays the emotion and expectations are so deeply engrained too. As a friend of mine said "do what you can with love, listen with love, but remember, it is OK to love yourself too". I wonder why my grandparents generation seemed so low key (maybe they weren't) but I remember them as just glad to see people and my generation values holidays but it is not a hill to die on to be together ON the holiday. Why are my parents and their peers so adamant (75-90 is the age range I think)? I still don't have that one figured out. We were told yesterday by one of our elders - "well, next year we'll probably be dead and then you'll wish you had come" and my husband was on the other phone and said "well, you said that last year and you are still here" and that lead to world war III about disrespect, and we don't value family, etc. But it did think it was kind of funny.
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I'm an only child and my only living relative is an elderly uncle 3000 miles away who I haven't seen since I was a kid. My mother hated cooking and complained bitterly about it. Boxing Day was my father's birthday and we did Christmas then. After he passed 16 years ago I made all the food, hauled it 200km to her house and we sat at the kitchen table.

After caring for her for four years she went into a NH 3 years ago and passed away a few weeks ago. As usual, on Christmas I'll make a nice meal, chow down on cookies and chocolates ... things I never do ... have a little wine and watch old movies Out in the country, wood stove going, peace and quiet, snow on the ground and surrounded by my beloved critters. I look forward to it.
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