Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Ho Ho Ho!!!

It was your typical Christmas. Things started out fine, by mid-afternoon I was in a foul mood and by the time 8 pm rolled around I was sick of my family.

It all started Sunday night when we went up to Lawrence to see my 2 brothers that I still have contact with (we’ll get into the other one later, he never ceases to piss me off). Last year and this year we’ve done this sibling thing where the 4 boys and their wives get together the day before or around Christmas. Of course, only 3 of us actually make an effort to attend, but again, another time. We’re supposed to be there around 7 and really, we don’t feel bad about being too late because the brother that’s hosting is always late to everything. However we were supposed to be there at 7 and we left the house…AT 7. Didn’t really matter because…we didn’t eat until 11. That’s right. 11 pm. How European. Except this is America, jack. We like to eat fairly early. 9 is the cutoff. So we eat and leave and get home around 1.

Christmas Eve was nice. We ended up going to the 4 pm mass, which started off on the wrong foot but was nice all things considered. I figured we’d have to get there pretty early, around 3/3:15 to get a seat because they had 8 ushers assigned to the upstairs (there’s a mass downstairs too). We left at 3:15 and the parking lot was jammed to the gills. I dropped Shayna off and said “Go get us a seat upstairs!” I found a parking space not too far from where I usually park. I run to the church knowing that it’s insane and finding Shayna will be like finding a needle in a haystack. I walk in and all of a sudden they start O Come All Ye Faithful. I glance at my watch because I know it isn’t 4 yet. Then I start getting ired because I don’t know where Shayna is. Of course everyone is standing up and it’s impossible to see anyone. After waiting 10 minutes and one reading I wonder to myself “…maybe she’s downstairs…” so I meander down there. Sure enough. Then I snap at her because I’m mad that we’re not upstairs and that they started the mass a half hour early. The best part about having mass in a school cafeteria? No cry room for the babies. And it was just so impersonal down there. I felt closer to the Nativity last year in the auditorium of a cruise ship. I almost felt like I had to go to another mass because I was so distracted by everything else going on. I think it was because you couldn’t see the cantor, lector or priest. Anyway, next year I’ll get there at 2:30 and Shayna will meet me or we’ll go to the 6, 8 or Midnight. I’m not a fan of Christmas Day masses. I like to sit around in my pj’s and robe, sipping coffee reading my paper while Shayna makes monkey bread (which was delish btw).

After the daycare service that was called a mass we went home and had dinner, just the two of us. Shayna made a turkey breast, home made stuffing (which beats the snot of Stove Top any day of the week) and sweet potatoes. Probably something else but I forget. We each opened a present. Shayna wanted to start this thing of exchanging an ornament each year. I knew she put more thought into hers because my mom delivered it to her. I got hers at a Hallmark store. Nevertheless she was pleased with hers. It’s called Sweet Times Together. Kind of hard to describe but I’m sure if you’re that interested you could do a search and find it. The one she gave me was hand painted and has the words that are engraved on our rings. I DID NOT cry. I just thought it was very sweet and it got me in the ol’ ticker. After that we watched the Barenaked Ladies with the Boston Pops Orchestra and went to bed.

Woke up, opened presents. Here’s where it gets messy. We left our house a wreck because we were due over at my parents to open presents with my STL brother. They had to work yesterday so they were leaving around 12 or 1. We get over there and open the presents. Whilst doing so two giant dogs and their family were playing out on the golf course (which backs up to my parents’ house). Susie did not like this so she was out there trying to chase them off. I stood out there for a while and realized either she was going to jump or go under the fence. Here’s the thing, when she gets going she becomes oblivious to anything and everything around her. I go back inside thinking, well, hopefully nothing bad will happen. But it did. I go back out a little later and she’s on the other side. She had just broken free. I started walking over to her and she took off towards the miniature ponies. Normally she’ll hang around the big dogs and try to be like them. Not in this case. She takes off. And off. And further off. I end up chasing her nearly a ½ mile down the street. We (me and the boy from the family that was playing) finally catch her and go back inside. I sit down and Shayna tries to hand me a present. “I AM NOT in the mood for any presents right now.” I overcome my foulness and open the rest. So Rick & Kirsten take off and we go to see my great aunt. After an hour there we go back to my parents where Shayna takes a nap and I need a drink. Despite Shayna and I mentioning all day that we have to go back to work tomorrow after 4 days off we eat at 7 and we get home at 8:30 to a house that has an assortment of presents everywhere. It was not fun coming home to that.

And then Oliver gets a hold of some foil used on the monkey bread and when Shayna tries to get it from him he tries to take off her arm (at least that’s what I was told, Shayna doesn’t normally exaggerate so I believe everything she said). At least we had a new HDTV (I won a 19” at work and wrapped it and gave it to Shayna) and DVD player to watch in our room.

I almost forgot! So Tuesday night we’re discussing with my sister-in-law how we weren’t expecting a thank you note, or any form of a thank you from the brother and his family that we never see on Christmas even though they live 5 hours away (their reason this year was because the 2 boys are a mess after the car ride – yeah, I remember those loooong car rides to Hannibal and how I got sick to death of watching Shrek or any DVD for that matter in the back seat. Oh, wait, we had nothing. We sat in the back and stared at the corn out the window. DO NOT give me this crap about how they have it rough in a car for 5 hours and all they do is watch DVDs or play video games because I won’t buy it for a second). We talked about how if you’re opening the present in the presence of that person, then no, a thank you isn’t necessary. Nice but not necessary. The only time a thank you note is necessary is if you’re not near that person. Example: Shayna’s parents send us all their presents. We’re not there, they’re not here. We write them a thank you note even though we talk to them and say thank you that day. Even though Tim and I were raised under the same roof by the same parents he’s gotten it in his head, from his wife, that simply calling someone and saying thank you is enough. Better than nothing but it is not the proper way to thank someone for a gift that they took time out of their life to get for you. So I say while we’re talking about this that I’m going to holler at him about it and how he needs to have them write something. He calls last night and I’m caught off guard, moreover I didn’t really want to do it over the phone. He immediately puts the boy on and of course I can’t go off on him after talking to the boy. Augh. The next time you’re here…probably in 2009, I’m gonna let you have it!

With all that said I look forward to this weekend and doing nothing but sitting on the couch and watching football.

On to a Happy New Year!

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