My kids are upset. There is a daughter, 30 and a daughter, 32. The older one is divorced with a four year old boy. They were brought up with a Christmas tree and all the dinner trimmings because my husband, Jim was Italian (I’m Jewish, but not practicing)
Their father passed away suddenly a year ago and now, I am dating a Jewish fellow. I like Steve, but he is not my whole world, not yet anyways.
Back to why my kids are mad at me. I told them that Steve will come to Christmas dinner at my house, but not if I have a Christmas tree. They really want the tree up. I didn't put the tree up last Christmas because it was so close (November 20th) to when Steve died. I didn’t have the heart to see all the old decorations and all.
This year I am ready. I want to continue the traditions. I think it’s good for our family. Now I have this development, though. Steve won’t come. Should I tell my kids I still can’t face trimming the tree memories? This way Steve will come. Unfortunately, I already spilled the beans about Steve not wanting a tree in my house.
Thank you for your advice. I will follow what you say because you always tell it like it is.
Judy, A Confused Widow
Dear Judy, A Confused Widow,
What the %$*&# is wrong with you? Kick Steve to the curb immediately. And, while you’re at it you may want to sit curbside with him until you figure out what should be your priority this holiday season.
You say you want to continue the traditions, yet you are inviting a Christmas tree hating man to sit at your table. Why don’t you make sure Steve sits in Jim’s chair to make sure that everyone is completely crazed?
I don’t care how open minded your daughters are and whether or not they encourage you to date. I’m not judging that. What I am judging is that you are putting your needs ahead of your daughter’s and your grandson.
Put up your tree. Tell Steve that the kids are accustomed to this and it’s way to early in the game to throw them a curve ball. You are actually lucky that good ‘ol Steve objected to the tree because it showed how insensitive he is to your fragile family. Most importantly, a point you seem to miss, is that a new man should not be at your house celebrating the holidays this year tree or no tree.
Steve sounds like a control freak. Lots of Jews don't want a tree in their own house, but are thrilled to visit and help decorate trees in friend's homes. This brings to mind my little theory about Jews and crosses. Jewish people are not fans of the cross. Crosses make Jews uncomfortable. My old friend Jeanne used to wear a huge one around her neck and she wasn't a rock star. Anyway, my Aunt Hannah would refer to her as "the one with the cross."
This brings me to St. Francis Hospital, a renowned heart hospital. According to me, and only me the reason St. Francis has such an amazing rate of recovery for patients is because when Ira Shapiro is wheeled into his room and sees a cross over his bed he leaps up and declares, "I'm cured!" Anything to avoid sleeping in a bed with a cross hovering over you.
Judy, you are the matriarch now. Stop acting like a selfish 15 year old with a crush and show your children some grace. Get your little grandson to sit in your husband’s chair. Tell him even though he weighs 35 pounds he’s the only man who can fill Grandpa’s seat. (I know - the expression is shoes.)