Sorry, I know that last one was a downer. But it did help me to write about it.
In the spirit of the season, I'd like to return to my usual topics- the unbridled joy of aquisition, and my bizarre family dynamics.
I have (for now, at least- ask me again next week) mended the fences with my Mother-In-Law. On the condition that I am hosting a Christmas Eve get-together next year at our house, just for their family. It's official, I have sold out and am becoming a grown-up. She loved the scarf I had made for her, as well as the blown-glass angel ornaments I brought her back from France. It's a Festivus miracle!!!!!
Christmas Eve meant a nice dinner out with my family (as detailed earlier) and then The Man's brother and his wife showed up to hang out. The four of us exchanged presents, and I was thrilled to see my long-awaited CrockPot!
I also distributed gifts from France- Angora hats and matching pashmina shawls for my sister-in-laws, and a coffee mug with the Paris Metro map on it and a big Chocolate Euro for my brother-in-law. We guzzled champagne and took the opportunity to RELAX, which was much needed. The Man and I didn't get to bed until after one AM. Christmas morning was there before I knew it.
This was the first year my entire immediate family wasn't together for the holiday. My little brother (the one who is getting married) celebrated with his fiancee's family this year. I got a forlorn message from him half-way through the afternoon, which read: "&*^%!, I miss you guys! Hope you're having fun...without ME."
My extended family is also fragmenting- aunts and uncles were off with their married children and their grandchildren, so a gathering of around 25 was whittled down to...5 people.
Then at the last minute, my parents friends and their kids were deprived of their Christmas destination when Grandma caught the flu- and then the same thing happened to my aunt and uncle when my cousin succumbed as well. Poor Mom- 5 people turned into 11 overnight, and all the stores were closed! However, she'd done cooking on the Armenian scale, so we were all stuffed anyway.
The Man had to work. Everyone was saying how awful it was, and I just headed them off by saying, "I'm just thankful that he's on U.S. soil this year." I took our stockings over to Mom and Dad's, so I wouldn't have to open things all by myself Christmas morning.
We opened family presents- I had knit my mother a scarf per her request, and I had used recycled silk- she loved it, which was a relief. She also got an address book. Dad got three sets of John Wayne DVD's from me, and my sister got a silver bracelet with multicolored stones (brought back from Paris) and the new Madonna CD.
I got a RoadTrip for my iPod, another CrockPot (so I have to wend my way back to Macy's), white Bath Sheets, Vanilla Sugar lotion, sparkle, and shower gel, and some gorgeous "old world" glass ornaments, which I collect- among my favorites were a leopard (of course), a puffin, and a pickle. I don't care if it's a real tradition or not, i like the idea!
The stockings were stuffed to the gills too- I got a ton of double pointed knitting needles, some 80's CD's (including The Best of Dramarama), and some very large sunglasses.
Then I got to go home to clean up and change, and I couldn't resist getting into the stockings for the pets. Bear and Bosco rec'd a squeaking squirrel, a football on a rope, and a squeaky rubber high heel and a similar wingtip shoe. Bear managed to get both the football and the squirrel into his mouth simultaneously. The cat got treats and catnip mice and kitty toys, and the bird got treats and a crazy Lucite toy.
When The Man got home (exhausted- our Christmas Eve get together had gone really late!) we opened our gifts together. I got him four dress shirts and matching ties, which he'd really wanted. Then I opened my big box, and found a teeny box inside-
I am so excited! I love it. I wanted something simple that I could wear every day, and this totally fits the bill.
Then The Man put on a festive new red shirt, and I threw on some glitz and headed over to my parents place for dinner. We could both barely keep our eyes open.
Then this morning I was rudely awakened with the demand that I needed to WAKE up so we could visit his parents. MORE gifts...MORE food. Oh God!
I was blown away. My In-law's gift to me was a generous contribution to my Spinning Wheel Fund. So I went on eBay tonight and found:
I also got something that I have been asking for te last couple of years- a massaging foot soak tub. Hooray!
I feel so blessed and lucky- this has been a fantastic year, and I am sorry to see it ending. I love the fact that my family is doing well, that The Man's latest business ventures are starting to take root, that I am a sane person again without a soul-sucking job to make me crazy. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Did I mention this Christmas is still not over? We're supposed to travel to Sacramento to see my brother sometime this week. Oy!