Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Day: Mom's Fam and a Christmas Miracle (12/26/05)

On Christmas Day my niece woke me up at 8:15, which I thought showed a lot of restraint on her part. She still believes in Santa but this was the first year we decided not to fill the adults’ stockings. We told her that there are lots of poor kids in the world and so we asked Santa to give more presents to the poor kids instead of to us because Christmas is about the kids. (I’m the one that came up with that idea and I think it was a pretty good one if I do say so myself.) She told me that morning that the night before she had secretly asked Santa to put something in her stocking for my cat Andy, and guess what? When she unwrapped her stocking stuffers sure enough there was a toy for Andy. She was extremely excited about all of her presents.

Next thing that happens at Christmas at my house is my mom’s family descends upon the place. They are a motley crew to say the least, and I love them all. (Well, almost all of them; I’m not obliged to love the ones that married into the family.) My mom and my Aunt Mary are the cool kids in her family. There were two turkeys, one a Butterball and the other a store brand. The Butterball was prepared with a rub and cooked in the oven to get a nice, crispy skin. The other one was just basted and cooked on the stovetop (since we can’t fit two turkeys in the oven) and does not get a crispy skin. So the Good Turkey, once it was done, was ushered into my sister’s room and hidden there for the cool families to have: Mom, Dad, Stacy, Kristy, and me; Mary, Tony, and their sons Scott and Jamie. All the uncool families had to eat from the soggy-skinned turkey but everyone got to have some of the ham.

My cousin’s wife, whose secret nickname among the cool kids is Tits, is perhaps my least favorite. She’s about a 42 DDD I’d say and the first time she came to a family function (before they were married) she tried to make a good impression with all of us by straddling my cousin and grinding him while deep tongue kissing. I mean, children had to be removed from the room. Then later that same day she walked past my poor Uncle Tony in a doorway, and despite there being plenty of room, she turned to face him and pushed her boobs against him, saying, “Oh, excuse me.” For awhile my cousin joined the army and was stationed in Seattle with her. That was a happy time for me.

There’s another aunt, C, who has somewhere between 8-12 kids. The joke with her used to always be, “How many kids does C have this year?” Now she’s hit menopause and the new big question is, “How many kids do C’s kids have this year?” There’s my cousin V’s ex-fiance, who I am soooooo happy is an ex. He used to be my least favorite because I swear he was a child molester. I never had any proof of course, but it was as if you could see the lustful gleam in his eyes when he looked at the children. I shudder just thinking about him now. Another cousin’s husband, A, is a very nice man. I worked with him as a teenager. But I think he’s just a little too happy to spend time around my sisters and I. We always get un-asked-for shoulder massages and such. Even though it’s a little creepy, though, at least I get free massages. I do love my massages.

My mom’s family, who I’ve only just mentioned the worst about here, is overall one of the best families I could imagine having. They are real and honest people. They don’t put on false faces toward you or judge you the way my dad’s family would. They accept you for who you are and welcome in new people and treat them as their own at the drop of a hat.

Nevertheless, after a few hours, I was in need of some liquid refreshment so I gathered my sisters and we retired to my bedroom where we each did a shot and had a glass of wine. Then we decided we still weren’t ready to face the crowd again and had a glass of rum and coke. We let Stacy pour the rum, which was a mistake in hindsight. She is the least experienced bartender and poured herself at first about ½ shot. After some careful coaching, she managed to pour a whole shot. Then she turned around and promptly poured about 4 shots each into Kristy’s and my glasses. Needless to say, we did not need another drink after that one.

We spent about two hours I think sitting on my bed and talking and laughing, and that is my best memory this Christmas, or for that matter it is my best memory in many, many Christmases. As a teenager, I did not get along with Stacy. It took me a few years into adulthood to get over old sibling rivalries, and by that time Kristy and Stacy no longer got along. They haven’t for years. This night was the first night that I can remember the three of us alone together being happy and truly enjoying each other. It was a little tiny Christmas miracle.

After the extended family leaves, we all gather in the living room again and finish exchanging gifts. We have a nice quiet few hours giggling at my dog unwrapping her presents and watching my niece being a kid at Christmas. When everything is finally unwrapped, we clean up and sit peacefully with one another for some time until we one at a time make our way to bed.

Those last few hours are usually my favorite part of the holiday but this year it was the couple of hours that we three sisters spent together. I know it’s probably pretty hokey of me to say but I truly mean it: All of us girls getting along and enjoying one another was the best Christmas present I could have gotten.

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