The holidays are over!
I went to visit my mom toting a giant bag of tinsel, ornaments and lights, intent on tarting up her room in accordance with the season.
I also brought her beer and cookies, because the holidays are for getting drunk and fat.
We chatted for a bit, she sipped at her beer and then had a nurse bring her some pain meds for her arthritis. This resulted in her nodding off before I could get to the decorating – not a problem, as I felt pretty confident in my ability to string some lights without oversight.
As she slept, I deployed a payload of holiday cheer an order of magnitude more than most people might consider necessary. Or reasonable. It was aggressively, devistatingly festive.
I set up a tiny christmas tree with a full skirt and emptied a pack of candy canes on it’s branches. It looked like a toddler tree playing dress-up with its mom’s clothes. Then I made a tree on the wall with tinsel and lights. I was going to call it a day after hanging some stockings, then I realized I hadn’t used half of what I brought. I just kept finding another string of lights in the bag, and then another empty outlet in the room, and that is some pretty simple math.
Most of the things in her room are wrapped in lights and fringed mylar now.
While I was making some final adjustments, my mom’s eyes opened slightly, then immediately snapped wide open. She looked mildly confused – not totally surprising as she fell asleep to the dim glow of the tv, and woke up to a Christmas disco.
Day off – lounging, baking, chili-making.
Delivered fudge to mom. Mom demands more fudge.
Packing. Sweeping the house to make sure no gifts are left behind. Nervous dog prances in front of door to make sure he is not left behind. Mail baked goods. Fail to realize how packed the post office will be two days before Christmas. Wait in post office. Leave late. Curse the holidays, post office, self and others.
Load car, start driving. Fail to realize how packed highways are going to be at 5PM two days before Christmas. Curse holidays, driving, self and others.
At least John updated all the driving music.
Christmas Eve – Italian family festivities. Everyone gathers at my Aunt’s house to eat shrimp and cookies, gossip and exchange gift cards.
Then we head back to my smom and dad’s house to continue eating and gossiping. We wait for my niece and nephew (4 and 6 years old, respectively) to go to bed, then start dragging out massive piles of gifts to put under the tree. By the time it is done, the entrance is completely blocked with gifts. The back door, is similarly barricaded with boxes, gift wrap and cookies.
I mention to my family that, in the event of a fire, we will all die, as we have left no avenue of escape. Everyone is tired and drinking wine, so this information does not seem to have much impact.
A few minutes later, my niece wanders sleepily into the living room to make an announcement:
While my smom and sister make with the cleanup, my niece climbs onto the couch, curls into the smallest possible ball, and passes out. Some time later, the rest of us manage to pass out as well.
Mostly a blur starting with toddlers kicking my door in at 7 AM to inform me that Santa had performed his stealthy duties while we slept. Highlights include:
- a great deal of tearing and crumpling paper
- my nephew having a meltdown because he was out of gifts to open
- my niece attempting to chew the face off of penguin
- my niece attempting to chew the face off of several dolls
- my niece having a meltdown because she couldn’t play with her brother’s toys
- my dog having a meltdown due to the stress of being in a strange, noisy environment with two small children, one of whom is going through a “chew the faces off of things” phase
- a dog bite puncturing two of my fingers (related to the item immediately above this one)
- friends chilling at my apartment, playing A Murder of Crows
- friends from out of town visiting
I wake up early because my intestines are telling me that my niece shared whatever horrid illness she had with me. Twelve hours of liquishits ensue. (Thanks, Allaena)