Rewards at Christmas?


December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas everybody!

Usually, this time of year, families and friends are gathering together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Or, if you’re not religious, you might be participating in the Santa Claus idealism of the season. In any case, it’s a time of giving, forgiving and spending time with family and friends. But, is spending time with family becoming a real bother to some?

Recently, my son and his girlfriend were supposed to come over for a visit. This visit started out as a project to strip the inside of our boat to prepare it for refurbishing. The other guy, in charge of this project, couldn’t come on this day. So, my son decided that it was okay. They, he, and his girlfriend, would still come over and just spend the day with us. I was thrilled, of course. A few days before this, he had texted me that they would be over about 11 AM or 12 PM. I hopefully and jokingly said “well, 11 AM would be better”, trying to squeeze more time with him. He explained that he and his girlfriend always get up at the same time during the week. So, getting up on Sunday morning would not be an issue and he might could get here at 11 o’clock. That was fine. I know it’s a long drive and sleeping in on Sundays, your only day off, is taxing.

So, the day came and at 9:30 in the morning, I received a phone call from him. He said he just got up and they would not be here until about 1 PM. Obviously, I was disappointed because it only gave us a couple of hours to spend together. And I know that his girlfriend does not like being around us for too long. But, we have a pool and live on a canal that leads out into a lake. We don’t have our boat ready for the water but we could fish off the dock. There was also a gun show just down the road at the Civic Center and I thought we could go down there. My son loves sushi and there is a restaurant nearby that I wanted to take him to.

Now, my thinking is if you know you’re getting up early to drive an hour to an hour and a half somewhere to spend the day with your mom or dad or whomever your loved one is, a person that you don’t see regularly like every day, then wouldn’t you make sure that you are to bed early that night before?

Remember, he’s the one that said they would come over and spend the day with us anyways even if they were not doing the boat project. Obviously, I was disappointed when he said that they weren’t going to be able to come until 1 o’clock in the afternoon. That was only going to give us a couple of hours to spend together. So, I started to say “well don’t worry about it I know it’s a long drive and a couple of hours…”. At this point, he started shouting at me. He was screaming about how this is the only day he has off and blah blah blah. Then he hung up on me. I tried calling him back and he didn’t answer. I gave it a little while, texted him and nothing. I did leave a voicemail which I said to him “you are not going to talk to me like that. I was not pissed off. I was only trying to give you a way out. I know it’s a long drive to spend only a couple of hours with us and then to turn around and go back home on a long drive.” After a while, when I texted him I told him the same thing. But he did not respond to anything I tried to communicate.

Today is the 23rd of December. Two days before Christmas. On the 21st in the evening he texted me and said he loves me and he apologized for the phone conversation. They also wanted to know if we want to come over and exchange gifts. So, we are going over there on Christmas day after we leave my mom’s. By the way, I had people praying about this.

Now, I don’t know if any of you have these sorts of things happen right before Christmas, or even on Christmas Day, but I can tell you this for sure, I was adamant about not giving any Christmas gifts to him or his girlfriend. I saw it as rewarding bad behavior. And I was not about to do that. You can disagree with me, of course. I know it’s family time and Christmas time. But no one has the right to talk to their mom like that. I don’t treat my mom like that and we have had arguments and fights trust me we have had them. But, we always come back together. We talk it out or apologize so we can get our relationship back on track.

The good news out of all of this is that my son called me; well, he didn’t even call, he texted his apology. Maybe that’s why families just don’t get together, because they can Facebook all the time or text all the time. One other thing I did not mention yet is that he and his girlfriend have decided that they were not going to go visit family anymore on the holidays. Again, my thinking is ‘you spend every moment of every day, 365 days a year, with this one person. How often do you see the rest of your family? So, now you’re going to take away holidays from your family? Unbelievable!!! I guess it is the millennial frame of mind.

So, I leave you today with this, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31. If we want respect from others then we also need to respect them. If we want others to love us we should love them. The Bible also says to forgive others seven-time 70. And that’s a lot of forgiving.

I hope and pray that you all have a great and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! God bless you and God bless America.