My dad used to stay quietly drunk/depressed to keep everyone else as miserable as he was. His father was a drunk who deserted the family (that was my father's justification for staying but making sure everyone was miserable because of his history). My niece tells me her mother got drunk/depressed every Christmas because of her father, etc. My father completed his task of ruining every holiday by dying on Thanksgiving (many years ago, thank God). I handled this cheerful heritage by finally sobering up about thirty years ago. I now live in a small town in Mexico and every Christmas I load up my van with stuffed animals and hard candy, don my Santa Clause outfit and drive around town (muttering f*&k you, Dad, as needed). Given that many Mexicans "celebrate Christmas by getting drunk on Christmas Eve and are thoroughly hung over on Christmas morning my visits can make a huge difference in a child's life. Sometimes we can change history; not only our own but that of others.
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