First of all, Merry Christmas! That’s a very young me on Santa’s lap circa 1984 and I’m pretty sure that must have been my dentist since we were at his office, sitting in that dreaded chair.
Last night was our big family dinner. By big? I mean my grandfather, his wife, and my Great-Uncle joined my parents, my brother and I. Usually it involves my mom’s entire side of the family (which means DRAMA) but this year people called in sick with excuses like they had to work during the day or their neighbors were having something so they were feeling lazy and just going there.
Fine. Whatever. I’ll hang out with the old folks for a night.
Sounds kind of boring, right? Except that my grandfather, who is very Italian and likes to think he’s Frank Sinatra, can be quite the character and my Great Uncle…well “character” doesn’t even begin to describe him. The evenings festivities included deciding that my grandpa and I are going to write his memoirs, listening to my Grandpa sing Christmas carols (that he made up. I tell ya, Frank Sinatra wannabe), and trying to keep my Great Uncle from discussing politics.
There they are sitting by the tree that I picked out and that finally got decorated two days before Christmas. Poor thing.
Theres the rest of the crew sitting by the fire on the opposite side of the tree. Isn’t the back of my brother’s head nice? He resisted having his picture taken.
We ate a ton of good food–lasagne and italian sausage, I ate too much possibly bad cheese and got violently ill, revisiting everything I ate that evening. This lead to lying around the rest of the evening moaning to myself about how I was “dying.” I’m kind of dramatic.
Besides my little foray into death, I did learn the secret ingredients in my Italian Great-Grandmom’s pasta sauce, heard some interesting stories about my Great-Grandpa delivering turkeys in his truck during the Depression, and how my grandmother’s maiden name is German for bag and how that last name is plastered all over Women’s bathrooms for the sanitary napkins to be placed into. That’s just…special.
The evening was capped off by a game of Balderdash that I perked up just enough for a game and a half, before everyone took off. If you’re not familiar with that game, you get a word and a definition and the rest have to make up a definition and decipher which is the correct definition. The first time I played this game we used a dictionary and kept track of the score by points. This game had little figures you moved around a board, but same concept I suppose!
Some definitions that stood out included: “the beginning form of leprosy that is caused by eating a lot of bad cheese.” (That was aimed at me. Thanks, brother.) and “Dhole: The disowned son of Bob Dole who could never spell his last name right.”
Here’s a picture of my uncle unable to contain his laughter trying to read the definition that involved leprosy:
And no my Uncle is not freakishly tiny, my brother is really just that much bigger than my uncle. Than all of us, really. Whenever I see a picture of him with any of us, it always looks like he’s been photoshopped in at the wrong scale.
At around midnight we decided oh what the hey, lets open some presents. Or how about all the presents? Who wants to wait til Christmas morning? Apparently, not us.
Except there was a small problem. I hadn’t wrapped ANY of my presents (I know, I was supremely lazy yesterday.) and two of my presents? Were on my computer, still waiting to be burned onto a CD. Whoops.
Besides the unwrapped presents and late hour and the fact that I was still not feeling great, we had a good time opening gifts. I got a new pair of snow boots, a nice purse, some sweaters, two books (including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by my new favorite author, Jonathan Safran Foer. Can’t wait to read it!), a Julia Childs cookbook, the requisite socks (but surprisingly, no pajamas. Every year I usually get a pair of pajamas because my mother never approves of the shirt and yoga pants I always wear. I guess she just gave up this year.) and a gorgeous white leather, huuuuuge jewelry box, which I’ve already filled to almost capacity. I have a lot of jewelry, what can I say?
I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and that Santa was as good to you as he was to me!