Let’s talk about Christmas since I skipped blogging about it.
Christmas in my family is always 50/50. You never really know what you’re going to get. And I’m not just talking presents. You would think that with all this good cheer, and present giving, and whatnot that everyone would be happy. That is not the case. Lets be honest, that is never really the case.
Now I have 3 Christmases. 1 with my Mom’s side of the family the Saturday before Christmas, 1 with my family Christmas morning, and 1 with my Dad’s side of the family Christmas afternoon. I used to have 5 Christmases at one point and that was just overwhelming. There is such a thing as too much family time.
I’ll start with the 1st Christmas celebration with my Mom’s side of the family (I had to work on the day of it this year so I missed a bit of it but it was still quite eventful). We all meet at my Aunt S and Uncle A’s house. It is usually EXTREMELY hot in the house because of their fireplace. I always end up sitting in front of it somehow. I sweat for the entire day basically. We have big “linner” meal (lunch/dinner) and then we play some games, eat dessert, and then open presents. Now it is tradition that between dinner and dessert that my Uncle A and Uncle P get mostly drunk. It’s tradition and at their age now it’s just plain old adorable. My Uncle P gets very giggly. My Aunts and my Mom and my Cousin make a TON of amazing food that is wonderful. My Aunt T makes the best mashed potatoes ever. Do not argue with me. They are the best. There is so much butter in them that at any point there is a real risk of heart failure, but it’s worth it. Present time has gotten shorter each year, since now we basically all just get each other money and gift cards. We don’t like to mince around with lists and what not. It’s just “Here’s some cash. Have fun with it. I love you. Merry Christmas.” And I am fine with that. My 2nd cousins (all boys) will watch TV or play video games. Well they used to. Now they are older and they make me feel much older. One of my 2nd cousins even brought his girlfriend this year. Nothing makes you feel old and alone than your 2nd cousin who is almost half your age bringing a date to Christmas while you play with the dog. There is always, as I like to call it, a “highlight” of the day. Usually it’s something one of my Uncles does whilst tipsy (like the one year they did shots of jalapeno juice) but this year it was my new 2nd cousin. He is just a few months old and is the cutest baby on earth! It was my delight to basically ignore my entire family and just play with him.
My 2nd Christmas celebration is my family Christmas. Every year it starts later and later in the day. We used to have everything unwrapped by 7am. This year most of us didn’t even come downstairs till 9am. We have the same schedule for every year though, we turn “A Christmas Story” on in the background (since it plays for 24 FREAKIN HOURS STRAIGHT), my sister and I open our stockings first. My Mother will wrap every single individual present in the stocking. Mine always has candy in the bottom, my sister (the vegetarian) gets healthy stuff at the bottom (probably grain or seeds or something else equally distasteful to me). My parents will then open their stockings to each other. They are usually FULL of candy. Christmas is a big candy holiday in our house (honestly every holiday is big on candy… we just really like candy). The pets will then open their presents. Yes we are those people. We get our pets several presents and wrap them (I only buy for the dog though, I have no interest in spending my money on the devil cat). Then my mom passes presents out to everyone and we all kind of take turns unwrapping and watching each other unwrap. I don’t know if other families do this, I don’t even know if my family realizes that they do this, but I noticed it this year – after anything we unwrap, any present, stocking stuffer, anything – we will say thank you. Thank you to whomever bought it for us. Every. Single. Present. My sister and I must say ‘thank you’ to our parents at least 50 times during the unwrapping process (I guess we are just super polite people). After all the unwrapping, the paper is thrown away, presents are placed in rooms, I will gorge myself on Reeses Peanut Butter Christmas Trees while everyone else actually eats breakfast food. Then we start making food to take over to my Grandparents house.
My 3rd Christmas is with my Dad’s side of the family at my Grandparents house. The 1st tradition is that my family is always late. We live the closest to my Grandparents and every year we are late. And because we are late, the lunch is never on time (I assume most of the Harvey side of the family resents us for that, though they’ve never vocalized it). Whilst my Aunts and Mother finish preparing the food (and trying to make my Grandma get out of the kitchen) my cousins and I (we are all girls on this side of the family) set the table, pour the water, and put the food out. We all sit down and have a lovely meal, just kidding, it never works out that way. As stated before in my Thanksgiving post, family dinners on the Harvey side of the family consist of a copious dodge and weave of words, stories, questions, and insults. We cousins usually stick together, unless we need to attack our siblings. Someone always comments on which of us is dating or aren’t. My Uncle D usually says something inappropriate without even realizing what he’s saying, my Uncle B will be condescending about something, my Grandma will spill something on herself, my Grandpa will spill something on the table, and someone will make a mean joke about how my Grandpa and Aunt P’s hands shake a lot (I’ll be honest, it’s usually me). Many of the traditions stated in the Thanksgiving post carry on at Christmas. After dinner we all just kind of sit around. Sometimes we have to wait for other relatives who didn’t come for dinner and just came for desserts and presents (lets be honest, dessert and presents are the best part… of family togetherness of course). Some years we eat dessert first, other years we open presents first. Honestly, it all just really depends on how full we all are. Sad but true. This year I got to be “Santa” – basically the person in charge of passing out presents- I have a system I adhere to. One present, per person, per round. That way there is a nice spread, everyone starts and finishes at the same time, and we all can watch with joy. Basically it’s the perfect system and I should be “Santa” every year. After presents there is lots of sitting, card game playing, watching TV, and napping.
After a few hours my family heads back home. We usually watch a movie, nap some more, watch “A Christmas Story” for the 100th time that day, and eat candy (ok, so just I eat candy).
And then I go back to work the next day.
Merry Late Christmas guys!