Our mother loved to be the center of attention, whether for good reason or not. Whatever the price or reason, she sought to find ways to make everything all about her. And more often than not, her method of making herself the center of attention was based on negative behavior (or “acting out” as it might be called these days).
Since Abby and I never knew what might set her off, we would always tread lightly around the holidays.
Christmas Eve would find my sister and I tucked in bed early so Santa Claus would be sure to stop at our home. We did not want Mary to scare him off with her poor behavior so we tried our best to keep her happy. Now, of course, we realize now this was not our job. Happiness comes from within.
However, we didn’t know that then and did not want to awaken the “Holiday Drama Llama.” For all we knew, Santa might mistakenly hear her bellowing and decide not to stop because we were on the naughty list.
Once I figured out that Santa Claus was a wonderful figment of our imagination, I was relieved. I knew that Santa/Dad would make sure that the tradition continued in spite of the drama llama queen. No matter that Mary was under the tree, halfway passed out due to the imbibing of too much “eggnog” or that she woke up in a nasty mood (partially due to her hangover, and partially because Christmas was not just about her).
Christmas came anyway and Abby and I knew no amount of drama would keep away the big guy!