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Christmas Weekend

Sunday the 24th was an easy ride home. There was, thankfully, not that much traffic headed to the Eastern Shore of MD earlier in the day. I had planned to travel early enough that this wouldn’t be a problem, but I had contingency backup plans if it had been a problem (the service roads are a godsend). It was smooth sailing all the way to the house.

When I got home my sister let loose my father’s border collie, Pete, who enthusiastically greeted me at my car door. He was very excited to see me, tail wagging and a HUGE dog smile on his face which seemed to scream excitedly, YOU’RE HERE! IT’S YOU! YOU’RE BACK! YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!! He always happily wiggles and squirms when I go to greet him, all excited like. I was greeted next by my gold cat, not so originally named Goldie. He’s older, sad, and gotten thinner, concerning. He’s 12, or will be this September/October. It was pretty much the same sort of greeting, but Goldie is much mellower than Pete is. It was more --- purr, purr, purr, purr, butts head against face, purr, purr, purr, purr. Rinse. Repeat.

Sunday night was mostly relaxing. We got chinese for dinner and after dinner we put up our tree. Or, more specifically, my sister Loretta and I decorated the tree. I got a bit nostalgic going through the Christmas ornaments, as many of them are left over from when my mother was alive. I had a very hard time going through them, to the point where I started to get choked up and needed to walk away. She’d saved every ornament I had made as a child, and finding that box hit me particularly hard. Also finding some of our nicely crafted wooden ornaments haphazardly broken was hard too. They were some of her favorites. I concentrated on the newer ornaments and left most of the decorating to Loretta. I also showed off my new computer for my father and Loretta. That night I jumped online and played a bit of World of Warcraft, which is somewhat difficult when you’re on a 26,400 dial-up connection!!

Christmas day was a hubbub of activity. I woke up at 10 am to the sound of a vacuum running on high gear. The animals were in hiding as I came down the stairs and Pete came running over to me looking to be rescued from the big bad montner (spelling intended). This dog is afraid of almost every loud noise thing ever, including bells and thunderstorms, and likely his own shadow if he saw it. We opened gifts soon after. I received the second season of Grey’s Anatomy, which complimented the first season I’d gotten earlier in the way as a gift from stephdray and adamdray, third season of Stargate SG1, first through third seasons of Smallville, and the first season of Roswell. So, I now have lots of things to watch. These gifts were from my father, Loretta and my housemates Nancy and Scott, who’d sent stuff with me to open on Christmas Day. I also got gift cards from Loretta for iTunes (yay) and for Barnes and Noble, and a gift card from Barnes and Noble from Nancy and Scott. So, lots of book money!!

People started arriving around oneish. The first to arrive were my sister Susan and her husband David. We did the usual meet and greet and then we ushered them into the living room to pass out gifts. I guess because they thought I liked doing cheese and vegetables each holiday, they decided to give me a cutting board, with various cheese knives and a cake dish with a cover for presentation (and other uses). I don’t exactly enjoy getting saddled with cheese/veggie duty every holiday, a tradition I originally started and my father has decided to continue and I get stuck “continuing” for him, but the gift set was nice – and will be nice once I get my own place again and can actually do entertain for myself again. That’s what I miss most about my apartment. Not having a place to keep it, I left it at home with my father for now. They “helpfully” ate the cheese and crackers as I was making the dish, and so there was much unfounded warning about chopped off fingers if they didn’t stop.

My sister Sandy and her husband Mike were next to arrive. More gifts were exchanged and from them I received a gift certificate to Atlantic Book shop. Yay book money! I need to go to DE to spend it, but that’s fine. Tax free shopping and the Atlantic Book shop actually has a decent selection of books on writing. I’ve been meaning to make a trip over there again too, which works out. They also brought with them the makings of yams, for those who were so inclined to eat them.

Following that my sister Sherry arrived with her youngest son Shawn, and later her husband, Perry. There were no gifts to exchange with Sherry, though I had gifts to give her. First, I gave her the gift I gave her last year --- and told her that she needed to remember to take it home this time, because we keep forgetting to give it to her when she manages to come over. She told me “Well, if you stop giving me gifts, then I’ll stop forgetting to take them home.” I scolded her with, “Well, I’m not going to stop giving you gifts. /You/ don’t have to give me anything. But, /I’m/ going to keep giving, because that’s what I do.” And it is. I have a personal rule that absolutely no one goes home without a gift of some sort, be it a gift card or an actual object. And thusly, I proceeded to hand over my gift for /this/ year. She gave me a sort of exasperated look, then finally opened it….

And her face absolutely lit up. You see, my sister is an avid baker. She absolutely loves baking cakes and pies. I remember when I was much younger, she would always bake me a specific cake, a kitty cat cake because I loved cats, and decorated it and everything. It was a complicated cake to make because parts of it had to be cut up and put together to make it look like a cat. It wasn’t just decorated that way. I remembered this, and every holiday she comes, she brings a dessert of some sort – usually pies. So, I got her a book entitled “250 Best Cakes and Pies”. The look on her face was priceless. She leaned over to our sister Susan and asked, “How did she know to get this for me?” Then, she told me, “I’m never going to forget to take home another Christmas present again!”

Out of all of my sisters, Sherry’s been hit the hardest with my mother’s death. Yeah, I know I make it sound like I have it really hard, but she’s… found alternate ways of dealing that involve substance abuse of one sort or another. We’ve tried to talk to her about it, but she never wants to listen. Coming over to the house is especially hard for her because… ah…. we’ve done nothing really to change things. Everything is the way… well… the way she left it before she died. It’s been 10 years now, going on 11, since her passing. My father keeps saying “we” need to do something about it, but the most we do is look over her stuff, reminisce and then respectfully leave it alone. None of us really wants to go through it. So, for Sherry, I’m glad that she found something to be happy about this holiday season, and that this season she was sober during the holidays. It made it an especially nice Christmas that she enjoyed my gift. I’ll have to remember to give her other such things in years to come. Plus, it now makes shopping for her easier!

We ate dinner, chatted, and generally had a good time. Eventually people toddled off to their own homes to finish celebrating with their extended families, and it was just myself, my sister Loretta and my father again. We settled down for the night to watch some television, and consequently started getting Loretta addicted to Grey’s Anatomy as I started watching the first season set of the new DVD’s I’d just gotten.

And, that was my Christmas weekend.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
snarlingbadger
Jan. 10th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
*snugs* Yay for good family time.

And hoobah for another Grey's addict. (:
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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