Being born and raised a Christian (mainly in the Episcopal church) and "converting" to paganism in my late twenties has caused a bit of a quandary with my family and the "holidays"...Granted, I'm now in my 40s (and I live hundreds of miles from anyone in the family), so I should have figured this all out by now...but things have changed. These years my parents have become a bit more complacent about Christmas, mainly due to two of my brothers....about 5-6 years ago they stopped speaking to each other, and now one of them has two families due to his divorce...so organizing anything gets both complicated and frustrating. Not to mention that I'm not real happy with ANY of my brothers (I have 3) these days, due to the screw-up they made of our parent's 50th wedding anniversary back in 2006. Because of this "not-speaking" situation between two of them, as well as the budgeting abilities of a flat worm by the third, my mother did not get the one (ONE!!) thing she really wanted - a family reunion (which really made my mom sad). I have come to realize that there probably won't be another reunion - until one of my parents dies. And isn't that just totally depressing.
Adding to the brother difficulty - I now have 10 nieces and nephews - ranging from a 1-yr-old to a 26-yr-old! AND the oldest nephew is married and a dad now (making me a great aunt).
So. Back to me and Christmas. Should I send gifts? If so, should it be to the "family" as a unit, to each person or just to each child? I'm not really that flush $$-wise, so buying for each person is out of the question. And as I said, there's 10 "kids"...11 if you add in the niece-in-law, or even 12 now, if you add in the grandniece....I was thinking of getting something just for the three family units - making the "new" married nephew #4. But I should mention - I am SO not consistent with my gift giving...either for Christmas OR for birthdays. I actually haven't sent gifts for Christmas for a few years now...so it's not like they're expecting anything, but for some reason this year it's really on my mind. And I know one shouldn't base gift GIVING with gift RECEIVING....because I'm amazed when I get a holiday card, let alone a gift from my brothers - never have gotten anything from the nephews or nieces....but it does color my thoughts.
I just don't know. But I do know that families are a pain in the neck sometimes.