Wrote Barack Obama in his memoir "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance." Later, his father does find a place in his world at Christmas time, and it's like this:
One evening, I turned on the television to watch a cartoon special—How the Grinch Stole Christmas—and the whispers broke into shouts.
“Barry, you have watched enough television tonight,” my father said. “Go in your room and study now, and let the adults talk.”
Toot stood up and turned off the TV. “Why don’t you turn the show on in the bedroom, Bar.”
“No, Madelyn,” my father said, “that’s not what I mean. He has been watching that machine constantly, and now it is time for him to study.”
My mother tried to explain that it was almost Christmas vacation, that the cartoon was a Christmas favorite, that I had been looking forward to it all week. “It won’t last long.”
“Anna, this is nonsense. If the boy has done his work for tomorrow, he can begin on his next day’s assignments. Or the assignments he will have when he returns from the holidays.” He turned to me. “I tell you, Barry, you do not work as hard as you should. Go now, before I get angry at you.”
I went to my room and slammed the door, listening as the voices outside grew louder, Gramps insisting that this was his house, Toot saying that my father had no right to come in and bully everyone, including me, after being gone all this time. I heard my father say that they were spoiling me, that I needed a firm hand, and I listened to my mother tell her parents that nothing ever changed with them. We all stood accused, and even after my father left and Toot came in to say that I could watch the last five minutes of my show, I felt as if something had cracked open between all of us, goblins rushing out of some old, sealed-off lair. Watching the green Grinch on the television screen, intent on ruining Christmas, eventually transformed by the faith of the doe-eyed creatures who inhabited Whoville, I saw it for what it was: a lie. I began to count the days until my father would leave and things would return to normal.