Don’t get all riled up like Geoff, Christmas was good. Church was good, families were good, and I even got the one thing I asked for, so, all in all, Christmas was good. So where do I get off saying it was crappy? Believe it or not, it wasn’t the weather or the travel and not even the fact that we’re still living with my parents, but it was the fact that the things I look forward to the most were completely messed up.
Christmas Eve, dinner with my parents, church, open presents with my parents. Tradition for many years. Dinner went off without a hitch. Mom always makes chili and oyster soup. Dad & I don’t eat oysters, the chili is for us. It’s a tradition no matter how bad it smells. After we eat, it’s off to our respective churches. For the last year we’ve been sitting in front of one of our group home members at church. He can sing. I can too but I prefer to just listen to his incredible, booming baritone voice. He hits every note perfectly, but he can’t read very well, so when he knows the words to a hymn, it’s because he’s heard it perhaps hundreds of times. When he knows the words it’s a beautiful thing to hear and I just look straight ahead and smile. When the hymn is over he tells someone “I knew that one. I knew that one.” I smile bigger but until now, nobody knew. I’m heading into church & I know he’s going to know a lot of songs so I’m in for a great performance. We walk in. No group home people there at all. This can’t be. They never miss. They’re just late. I’m happy as they slowly file in, most to their usual seats (the C&E members don’t know we have “assigned seats!) during the first hymn. I’m waiting for that voice behind me. It never comes.
After church, it’s back to mom & dad’s to open presents. We just sit in the living room, pass them all out then take turns opening them. Mom & dad buy their own presents then wrap them so they can unwrap them. We get our one gift and the envelope of cash. I got the one present I asked for from Joyce – a game camera, and a huge thanks to Big Bird for having it all set up & ready to go right out of the box. That’s when I had one of those moments when your mouth starts talking and you have no way of stopping it. “Oh Crap!” Except I didn’t say “crap,” but it’s ok because my parents both have hearing aides and they don’t have internet so they won’t be reading this either. Joyce & Jarr both look at me with that “now what” look on their faces. I left Joyce’s presents in the basement at work. They’d been there since September. Jarr drives me to get them, and a 30 pack, and I present her with her un-wrapped gift.
Christmas Day is at the in-laws. That’s not the bad part, entirely. First up is the huge meal. Actually first up is grazing on all the awesome treats but my stomach had been upset since the office Christmas treats so I had no treats. So now it’s the huge meal with 20 of us around one table which is actually two tables bridged with a piece of plywood. Then the announcement, “we’re going to do things a little bit different.” Yep, buffet in the kitchen, people sat all over the house & there was virtually no trouble for me to cause at the dinner table. I may have brought this on myself because of Thanksgiving, but I didn’t have a blog then so that will remain confidential. Now it’s the “White Elephant” gift exchange. We do it by putting all the gifts in the center and drawing numbers for choosing order. You can choose a gift or steal one from someone but a gift can only be stolen twice and whoever goes first can opt to steal after the last person has their turn. Now keep in mind, these are my INLAWS, one of witch bought 2 presents SHE WANTED. She picked one, her husband picked the other. Jarr was going to steal one just to make a point but he had already chosen & nobody stole from him.
So there you go, that’s what makes Christmas crappy for me. All I know is next Christmas better go back to Standard Christmas Procedure or I’m buying an antler for Banny & we’re going to Whoville.