Friday, December 28, 2012
I don't know the date, off the top of my head, for this photo. My family had come to my house for Christmas. There were the obligatory family photos and my youngest brother and my sister decided silliness needed to be included. I love the look on Dad's face. He's sort of resigned to our shenanigans. I'm guessing, from my haircut and glasses, this is mid-1980's.
In these later years, with a child now on her own, Christmas can sometimes feel like just another day, albeit a day I don't have to work. We always opened the bulk of our gifts on Christmas Eve, leaving a clear spot for whatever Santa brought. So, I open the bulk of my gifts on Christmas Eve. Even now, I send carefully wrapped packages to Carole marked "To Carole, From Santa". It's the spirit of things and it's nice having that one or two packages still under the tree, not to be touched until Christmas morning.
This year, my brother moved into a new house and he insisted Christmas would be at his house. We are now grandparents with two significant others, two kids with significant others, 2 kids not married and 4 of the next generation under the age of 6 roaming the halls. Dad may be gone, but mom has remarried and her husband is a part of the shenanigans that are a hallmark of our family. Dan was insistent that we have "family" Christmas. We even moved the date around to make sure everyone could be there.
Alas, it was not to be. While I made it, thanks to Dan for gas money, the pre-Christmas Blizzard of 2012 knocked out power to my sister's house. She wouldn't leave until it was restored and she knew it was secure. She left for Iowa the day I left Iowa for home. We weren't even in the same state at the same time. Oh well. Such is life sometimes.
"Do we want to open gifts before the dinner is ready?" Dan asked.
That was the best thing to do. While adults can be patient watching the Packers destroy their opponent, little kids have no idea why people are interested in the TV. They will, however, push the buttons on the remote because it's funny to see how adults react when their football disappears.
I don't do that anymore. I do recycle all my wrapping paper now that one can do that. I remember when it was burned in the furnace or in the burn barrel. That it can be recycled shows how far we've come in our efforts to be more green and less throw away.
Had I known this was how packages are given, I'd have been more creative in wrapping mine. As it was, I put the same label on two different items which caused a number of "Getting old, Deb?" comments.
The day ended with a huge dinner, some of which was bagged up and sent home with me. There was madness. There was chaos. There were kids crying because whatever he has, she wanted. "No no. This is yours." There were lost tags and "ooh's" and "aahs". There was family. The 6 of us are up to 18 which makes any location a squeeze and a shower of wrappings. But, we were mostly all together, just as silly as we were 20 years ago.
"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
Beverage: English Breakfast tea