This will be the first Christmas in 5 years I will spend with family. Well not exactly “my family”, it’s actually the in-laws. And from what my wife has prepared me for, it is a madhouse. Now, before you go “Scrooging” me out for not spending the previous years with family let me shed some light on the how the holidays are spent at my family’s house.
That’s right. You heard me. My family does not get together for the holidays. At least not since I was 15, and that was 1985. And I still remember the powder blue track suit I received that Christmas, that would ensure that I would not get laid until my college years. We’ve skirted the issue around for years that with all the siblings being married and having families, the days of being practical and getting together have long since gone. But secretly, we all know it’s because we really can’t stand to spend an entire day under one roof sharing egg nog and pleasantries, only to retreat to the bathroom at unnoticed moments to each practice our own brand of emotional scarification.
And…that’s the way it’s always been. We pass through our parents house like a band of gypsies, some of us passing each other, but never the whole family in one place at one time for the Holidays.
And that’s been just fine with me. Don’t feel sad or sorry for me. In fact, I respect that our family deals with it this way. Surely it saves valuable public resources that are spent are far more serious domestic disputes, than having to deal with a Jonestown Massacre scene at my parents house.
But this year my wife, and young son will be traveling to my in-laws house for Christmas. I hear, the whole extended family comes for Christmas, and possibly a few homeless people from the town. From what I understand, there’s enough people at Christmas that you couldn’t tell exactly who is related and who is the outsider.
Except for this year. I am the outsider. Being ushered into new traditions and family dynamics, as well as a whole new religious paradigm (my wife’s family is Mormon, I am not). Which means, no spiked rum cake, or a liquor cabinet that sits in some lonely hallway that I can pillage and take refuge with a stiff one in the laundry room. There are apparently no dark corners or refuge areas. I will have to face this Christmas head-on. The will be no shortage of crazy aunts and uncles, small children running around and screaming, and the usual Christmas discussions of who bagged the largest deer, or who’s plowing who’s driveway. There will be copious amounts of food to ensure my last days of 2009 are spent in a relative state of guilt, and more handshakes and hugs to safely guarantee that if I don’t come home with the H1N1, it’s not really been a good Christmas. There will be enough paper, wrapping, and bows to fill a small landfill. Somewhere in the crowd during the day I will be able to spot my wife, and I’m sure at some point someone will hand my child off to me, if only because he needs his diaper changed. There’s not enough rum-soaked egg nog in the world for this jolly writer. Not nearly enough.
So enjoy your Holidays, dear readers. As for me, I’ll be trying to find the opportune time to sneak a smoke out by the wood pile.