I guess we here should be used to these fiascos by now but I never seem to learn. I decided to leave my new apartment and go spend Christmas with difficult child 2 and the grandkids. Left yesterday and got there before 3. I had planned to go to town and gas up my car and then load a chair that I wanted to bring back with me so I wouldn't have to do it today. Then I figured we'd have a nice Christmas Eve with soup, etc. like I've had every year for the last 65 years and this morning we'd open presents and have Christmas dinner. What a fool I was! First, when I got there, daughter-in=law's brother called: he had his kids for Christmas for the first time in about 6 or 7 years. These kids are the ones my older difficult child used to take care of because he was married to their mother until she ran off with somebody else. Anyway, the brother decided his mental health issues were acting up so he asked daughter in law to come and get the kids as he "didn't feel up to having them." So she had to use my car to go an hour there and an hour back; so much for having gas in my car. When they got back, the kids she had gone after were hungry. Her parents had cooked a turkey already so she sent them there. My grandkids had already eaten there. difficult child and d-i-l apparently weren't hungry because nobody made any move to fix anything. I finally microwaved myself a hot dog about midnight. After the kids went to bed I found out that they basically had no presents. They had one package for each kid from the "Giving Tree" (charity for the poor) and I had brought them each one thing. Nothing from Santa but a little candy in the socks. The thing is, we've always made a BIG DEAL of Christmas in the past. When my kids were little, if it was a good year, they got tons of neat stuff but if it was a bad year they still had tons of presents open: they might have been underwear and socks and toothbrushes and cheap coloring books and pencils but at least they had packages. I know daughter in law had nothing growing up but son should have done better. Middle child got up and came down and looked around kinda bewildered and said, "Did Santa come?" I had already told the grown ups that I'd get them a trampoline when the weather turns to spring so I told the kid that I talked to Santa (I was sleeping in the living room by the tree) and Santa said he wanted them to have a trampoline but it wouldn't fit in the sleigh so I told Santa I'd see that it got delivered this spring. I guess that helped a little. Then when all of the gift opening was over, daughter in law went to fix the turkey. She had left it in the unheated backroom to thaw but we had especially cold weather so it was still frozen. She said she guessed she'd make hamburger helper for supper and have the turkey tomorrow. I loaded up my stuff and drove 3 hours home and made Chinese for supper. I know I should be thankful that all of the grandkids are healthy and the whole family has a roof over their heads and the new baby is, of course, perfect, etc. but we have always made such a big deal at Christmas that I really felt cheated and, worse, I feel that my grandkids were cheated. Next year, I'm either going on an extended vacation or else we'll have Christmas here and I'll remind them how it's done. What a mess!