Monday, December 26, 2005

Thank god THAT'S over

As much as I love Christmas - and I do - I am always ridiculously happy when it's over. This year is no different. I can't wait to get that damn tree out of my living room.

A synopsis of my holiday celebration, in three acts:

Act I: Christmas Eve
The Kid was with his daddy, so I was able to sleep in ridiculously late and take a long, hot, private shower. Lovely as my leisurely morning (okay, technically it was afternoon) was, it forced me to scramble later in the day when it dawned on me that I was to have a house guest for the evening and maybe should, I dunno, pull my shit together. (You know it's bad when said house guest calls to see if there's anything she can bring, and your unhesitating response is: "toilet paper!")

The house guest was my mom, who somehow convinced me to have Christmas Eve dinner with Helen. Helen is a woman my mom used to clean house for, through some volunteer program. She was moved to a nursing home about a year ago, but my mom continues to visit her weekly because that's the kind of woman she is. So I had nursing home cafeteria food for my Christmas Eve dinner (Mmm Mmm, good). I recognize that this is a nice thing for my mom to do, and I suppose I'm happy to take part, but I couldn't help but be a little irritated that I was spending Christmas Eve with someone else's crazy relative, especially given that Christmas Day was to be spent with my own crazy relatives. Seems like I should get one day without crazies. But that's what the holidays are for. Fa la la la la.

Not long after we got home, The Ex dropped off The Kid and the crazy Christmas chaos began. Riley was already bouncing off the walls, high from present opening with his other family, and the idea that Santa could pop down the chimney at any minute was nearly too much to bear. We baked (burned) Santa some cookies and then filed downstairs for the annual tradition of hot cocoa and the 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol." Except Riley doesn't like hot cocoa or "A Christmas Carol" so tradition was altered slightly to allow for apple juice and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Act II: Christmas Day
So worn out was Riley, that at 9:30 I finally went in and woke him up. Santa was good to him, leaving lots of presents under the tree and a stuffed stocking, complete with ship-in-a-bottle tree ornament hanging from it - which I dropped, and smashed to bits. Riley assured me it was okay but for the rest of the day, any time he handed me one of his new toys he'd say, "But DON'T BREAK IT, Mom."

We didn't have much time to lounge before heading off to North Bend for dinner with the family. The term "family" is used loosely here, in order to include my paternal grandmother. (She's my grandma and I love her, but I'm not at all fond of the woman. In the least. Not even a tiny bit. Not even if I close my eyes and pretend she's Johnny Depp.) Riley apparently felt the same way, and cowered whenever she even looked at him. I'm glad to say his good manners won out in the end, and he thanked her prior to and after opening her gift, and gave her a hug goodbye at the end of the evening - though it was timid and a little forced. All in all, he faked it with her much better than I've ever been able. Due to a power outage earlier in the day, the turkey wasn't ready until almost 8:00, so with a worn out four-year-old as a convenient excuse we were able to scoot out not too long after eating dinner. Which is not to say that I don't enjoy spending time with my North Bend family. Quite the opposite in fact - I wish I was able to see them more often than I do. BUT, I had forgotten that there would be no coffee shops open on Christmas morning to serve me up some caffeine, and I was half-asleep most of the day. Throw some turkey on top of that and it was all I could do to keep from slipping into a coma.

Act III: The Day After Christmas (also known as "Mommy, can you please put my new _______ together?" Day)
Add a continued lack of caffeine to one-million tiny toy parts that DO NOT fit together as the directions would lead one to believe, and the result is: "You're saying a lot of bad words today, Mommy." But we both hung around in our pjs all day and played with (or swore at) our new toys, so you'll hear no complaints from me.

Tune in later this week for ACT IV: Boxing Day (also know as "Why is Mommy forcing me to give away my old toys?" Day)

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