How to Have an ROUS-Free Christmas

The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year. Brimming with peace, joy, and goodwill to men. But I’ve been around long enough to realize that negotiating the holidays can also be like navigating a mine field. One false move and you’re toast.

I call these “ROUS Christmases.” You know the type. Chockful of petty jealousies. Sibling rivalry. Relatives who won’t even speak to each other the rest of the year try to make polite small talk while planning the earliest escape possible. Ancient bitternesses and simmering resentments burst into flame around the Christmas tree.

Ring any bells yet? How ’bout:

An ‘ROUS’ tried to crash our Christmas this year. Insisted the entire day revolve around her. Issued royal edicts about dinner, table settings, seating arrangements, parking, timing, who controlled the TV remote. Basically, this familial ROUS (who shall remain nameless) tried to toss a monkey wrench into the day and everyone else’s plans cuz she thought she could.

Well. I’ve also been around long enough to recognize a power play when I see one. And altho it may have been a long time ago, I also remember junior high. So when this ROUS went 7th grade nuclear on the rest of the fam, Mama Grizzly (Yours Truly) had an answer for that: Why don’t you do us all a favor and go play in the traffic, moron? (Just kidding. Sort of.)

Know what else? The older I get, the more stuff I just don’t care about anymore. Like junior highers running around in grown-up suits, acting like idiots. (Call it a “seasoned citizen perk.”)

Wonder Dog keeping an eye on the tree.

As the mom of four adult sons, I also learned a long time ago that a tantrum is only effective when it has an audience. So when Her ROUS-ness went nuclear, I just refused to play. As in, “Either cut it out or bug out, sweetie. Your choice.”

She stomped off in a huff. And we had an awesome ROUS-less Christmas.

I knew junior high was good for something.

Meanwhile, looky here at what The Kid got us:

The entire series on disc. All eight seasons. Now that the ‘ole homestead is rodent-free, I’m gonna be a little busy…. 😉 How ’bout you?


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