In August his oldest brother announced that he and his then-girlfriend, now-fiancee would be flying out of the country on Christmas Day, so we needed to move our holiday plans to accommodate him. After going back and forth on some dates (at one point, there was a suggestion to push the celebration into mid-January, but I put my foot down because I can barely handle two months of holiday cheer. Pushing it into the new year would simply be too ridiculous. The last proposed date was 12/21, which was never confirmed in e-mail, so it wasn't until I got back from Utah three months later that I learned it was official.
Unfortunately, I had to work that day - which I had warned them about back in August, since I knew that if I went back to RHA I'd have to work weekends. It wasn't a long shift, only 8-3, but there wasn't a way to skip out on the shift. So, Sean and I asked if folks were free on the 22nd, because if it wouldn't make much of a difference to other people's plans, it would be nice to be able to attend the whole Christmas shindig.
And everyone said yes, the 22nd was fine. Plans were changed.
Then things got weird.
Rhi announced that because the twins cannot nap at Val's house, they can only do Christmas from 7:30 am -12:00 pm. Maybe 12:30, but then it's back to San Jose so the kids can sleep. That was weird. Seanie asked his brother why they couldn't bring the RV and let the kids sleep in there, or if the kids could just skip a nap for a day because it's Christmas. Terry said that he and Rhi would have to deal with cranky kids all night if they didn't get their naps, and not us (the rest of the family) and they were not interested in doing that. If we wanted to do a Christmas dinner instead of a breakfast, the twins would be available from 4:30pm-7:00pm.
Christmas with the Buckleys has always been an intensive, all-day affair. Present-opening alone typically takes four to six hours! I don't know how it would be possible to have everyone together at the same time long enough to do everything as a family unit.
At this point, I'm wondering why no one mentioned this limitation of the twins (can't do a whole day outside their house, apparently) a little earlier in the planning stages. Because surely this would have an effect on plans for the 21st, too?
Eventually, it gets out that Rhi had made plans with her own family on the 22nd, and wasn't actually free to do a full day on Sunday. If I'd known that, I would have insisted we kept with the original date of the 21st! I mean, I'm pretty awesome and all, but on Christmas Seanie's parents want to see their grandchildren a heckuva lot more than they want to see li'l ol' me. But when everyone said they were free, the natural assumption was that they'd be free all day because Christmas has always been an all day event.
I'm left wondering if the twins-can't-sleep-at-Val's-house was just a really stupid lie to cover Rhi's other plans, or if they always planned to leave the Christmas celebration early.
So there's some bickering between the brothers about rearranging schedules, with Seanie insisting that everyone should be together because that's the tradition and Terry and Jared both arguing that part of a day is better than nothing, and they can't hold onto traditions just because it's always been done that way. Jared doesn't want to wake up early, Terry doesn't want to stay late, and finally Sean's mom steps in and essentially says "SHUT UP, PEOPLE CAN COME WHEN THEY WANT AND LEAVE WHEN THEY WANT AND WE'RE ALL GONNA BE ONE HAPPY FAMILY, DAMMIT! ALSO THIS MIGHT BE MY LAST CHRISTMAS EVER AND YOU'RE ALL RUINING IT WITH YOUR FIGHTING." (Note: She's melodramatic, as far as we know there's no reason to believe that she won't have many more Christmases in the future.)
And I can't help but think, "Well, if it doesn't matter whether we're all there or not, why couldn't we just have our celebration on Christmas Day and too bad for Jared that he chose to go to England on that day?" That would have been the simplest, easiest solution of all. Instead, Seanie's half-convinced that everyone's giving us the stink-eye because we requested the change from the 21st to the 22nd, and opened up this big can of drama.