Most people get nervous when they find out their relatives are coming for a visit. Such was the case for Tina and what happened on Christmas some twenty years ago.
Her mom was planning a gathering at their home on Christmas and Aunt Hilda and Uncle Joe on her mother’s side and their children, Jon and Ruth would be attending.
Of course this meant that Tina would be helping her mother prepare the food and also the clean-up the day before. Tasks she didn’t mind because she always learned something useful, working with her mom.
Tina didn’t mind Jon and Ruth but she feared and detested Uncle Joe. It was at that Christmas visit when Uncle Joe showed his true colors.
The “obnoxious event” occurred after finishing the delicious Christmas meal that she and her mom diligently prepared. The kids—all teenagers at the time, were playing some inside games in a back bedroom, while the women were working some crafts and the men were watching some football in the living room.
Tina had to walk through the living room to get some games that were in the dining room cupboard. As she walked through the living room, she had to pass in front of the TV. She hesitated for a few seconds, looking at the beautiful Christmas tree and then heard, “Move from the TV! I can’t see anything!”
Uncle Joe’s face was red and he was angry. Tina quickly moved away from the TV and was in the dining room when she heard the words, “Why did you do that? I missed the play..”
Tina said nothing and walked quickly back to the bedroom. She overheard him say to her father, “What is it with kids, these days? They have no respect for their parents.”
She stopped midway and heard her father reply, “I’m sure Tina didn’t mean it. She’s just a little absent minded these days and she’s been working hard, getting everything ready for Christmas.. Probably thinking of her boyfriend.”
She could tell from her father’s voice that he was nervous and embarrassed. What bothered her even more was that her father seldom stood up for her and that made her feel so small, so insignificant.
Fast forward, twenty years later, she was preparing once again her own Christmas Day dinner. Her only child, Elizabeth was helping her and soon the relatives would be ringing the doorbell and the events would begin.
Uncle Joe and Aunt Hilda would be there and with them, Ruth and her only child, Linda.
Dinner went well and soon the children were playing games, the women working quietly on their crafts and the men, as usual, watching football.
As events would have it, Elizabeth had to walk through the living room, to get to the kitchen and once again Uncle Joe cried, “Hey! You’re blocking my view! Get out of the way!”
Luckily, Tina had shared her experience with Elizabeth about Uncle Joe; so Elizabeth was ready with a reply, “Sorry Uncle Joe. But this is my home and isn’t Christmas about love and showing kindness to others?!”
Uncle Joe’s face went red with embarrassment and anger and said nothing but Tina’s father just smiled and nodded his head in agreement…
It’s kind of nice isn’t it, to see how seeds that were planted years ago, come to fruition?
There is a sense of completion and a bit of satisfaction; at least in this case with Uncle Joe....
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