Hardly anyone ever mentions the people we don’t miss at the family gatherings.
I don’t mean those we love who have gone on to what I hope is an eternal celebration and not an eternal rest.
I’m talking about the people who no longer gather with us. Those who have chosen a different path. Those who have cut us off or whom we have cut off for sanity’s sake.
Those who’ve joined the MAGA Cult and refuse to get vaccinated because by God nobody is going to tell them what to do for their own health’s sake and to protect those they love.
I’m talking about the adult children who refuse to grow up, who continue to blame their parents for every wrong decision they ever made in their lives and thus no longer speak to their mothers, or their fathers, if they ever did. Those adult children who flounder in a barrel of emotional wrath stewing over this perceived wrong or that moment of perceived neglect. Or the parents who do the same to their adult children, cutting them off, moving far, far away to avoid the inevitable holiday question of: Will you see your kids over the holidays?
If I had a nickel for every conversation I’ve had over the past couple of years with those who have either been cut off from family or cut family off from them, I’d have enough money to start my own non-profit-for-my-own-profit business.
And what about those for whom we no longer sit a plate at the table because they’ve chosen to abandon family? Those who walked out on marriages and on children, intentionally? Those peckerwoods who pursue the rush of a juvenile crush rather than honor their vows to love, honor and cherish? Vows they never ever kept anyway.
There’s a relief in having those who never ever really wanted to be with us no longer with us, isn’t there?
Life is far too short to spend it in the presence of those who betray us, those who endanger us, those who demean us, those arrogant peckers for whom love amounts to self-adulation and self-stimulation.
Christmas only comes once a year. Why waste such a sacred gathering in the presence of such perfidious people?
Not all who are missing at our tables are missed, are they?
Here’s hoping your gathering is only with those who love you wholeheartedly and whom you love with utter devotion.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? ‘Cause I need more room for my plasma TV.