Starting Hibernation Mode…

First, I hope that you all had a great holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas or not it’s still a time to see people, have some fun and see pretty lights all around. I’ve, actually, had a blast with some salted in drama throughout the days. For a change of pace, since I usually write depressing or sad stuff, I’ll tell you about some of the good things…

First, I made the journey in record time. I shouldn’t be proud of this but I was shocked at how fast I made it to my brothers place. Then we pissed around for a while and I got to play with my niece. It is exhausting to chase after a 3 year old but so much fun. She’s addicted to Olaf from frozen and Buzz Lightyear. Which made Christmas shopping for her so easy and I believe I have mastered their voices now. A bit later in the day, Christmas Eve, we got dressed up and went to have Christmas Eve “fancy dinner” at my sister-in-laws mothers home, which is right down the street. There was about 15 people there or so. This is where we fill the “assigned stocking” of whoever they were picked to fill on Thanksgiving. Someone thought it would be funny to make me be the “stocking fairy” this year which basically meant that I decided who got who for the stocking.

When I moved back in the room and called each person in one by one to fill someones stocking I basically just stood back, helped when needed and secretly rolled my eyes about how uncomfortable my shoes where. Well, my sister-in-law is lucky enough to still have her Grandmother around. Her grandmother is a very classy, smart and witty woman, even though she’s well into her 90’s. She still has most of her mental capacity, memories and, the part I love, her sarcastic responses. Well, I had chosen someone who I thought would fill her stocking with care. Because of some hiccups, that was changed and the person who actually filled her stocking was a sort of dimwitted cheap woman. She’s only in the family by marriage but she thought that it would have been appropriate to put naughty panties in this elderly woman’s stocking. While we all have a great sense of humor, imagine if someone would have given some slutty panties to the Queen or Jackie O… Yep, so this became a laughing point and they were discarded but at least we will always have a story to tell. I wish I was able to convey the look that everyone got on their faces when they found this out. It was of both shock and disgust. The only phrase that comes to mind is, “People, know your audience!”

Moving on… After that whole debacle, my niece was becoming a bit overwhelmed inside with all the people, drinking, talking and just general chaos of the holiday, so in our nice Eve outfits, I took my niece outside and we laid in the grass, we ran down the street and played with sticks. Sometimes, having a conversation with a three year old is much more entertaining than 15 adults. Actually, every time. We then got to go home and relax for a little and I’ve actually forgotten what we all did. But then it was finally time to sleep.

I woke the next morning, on Christmas Day, to an onslaught of text and calls all wishing a good day with family. My first mission was to forgo the nice clothes and makeup and just snake my way through the crowd to the coffee maker where I was greeted with a great big knee hug from my niece. She was probably thinking, “Finally, someone who acts more my age!” Then it was on to stockings, paper being thrown out everywhere, giggles and sharing. I had realized that my niece and sister-in-law where wearing matching jammies but it was just cute until I saw my brother in his matching set too… That had me on the floor. I couldn’t catch my breath. It was the funniest yet grossly cutest thing, I think he’s ever had to do by force.

After that, we then hand out all the gifts to their owners. This process is not a small feat with 15 plus people. Then we all opened everything in about 20 minutes. Tearing through, showing everyone, ripping open another one. This is one of the first years that I can say I liked everything that was given but as every year, I had much more fun seeing everyone open my gifts.

See, being British means that we don’t openly show emotions. We don’t say the “L word” and we’re not, or at least I’m not, a hugely physical person when it comes to hugs and kisses. So, in our own fashion, we just buy expensive gifts. That’s our way to say, “Ok, I kinda like you now don’t touch me”. I’ve done this my whole life. I got this from my dad. But that gets passed down to whoever is in our “inner circle”. My BFF gets to reap the rewards of our inability express our emotions, my sister-in-law does too and if I EVER bring a boy with me, he will also get to reap these rewards too and the best part is, this never has to be reciprocated. Since I’ve spared them, this long, from my failed relationships, they will be so happy when I do bring someone that they’ll probably buy him a car or house or something. I am very well aware that the gifts, themselves, really shouldn’t matter and they don’t but it’s our process. This is how we do things in our weird, jumbled, family.

My brother actually thought that I’d be bringing a friend to Christmas and I understand why he’d think that since I don’t tell him what’s going on in my life. He doesn’t know that the friend he thought I’d bring and I don’t speak anymore. It’s a nice thought to know that he’d have been fully welcomed there without question and would have gotten his own room to sleep in too. As I said before, our Christmases are made up of many a friend, family and stray. Anyone is welcome.

After that there was a lot of sleepy chatter, mindless grazing and playing with snowball shooters that I didn’t realize would have been such a hit. I’d originally gotten them for my brother and I to have a “snowball fight” with but by the end of the day one of the shooters had been abused so much it broke and there were tiny snowballs EVERYWHERE! That was a blast because we all got to act like kids.

Then it kind of wound down for a while until all the younger adults started drinking and we decided to play Cards Against Humanity… The alcohol loosened up most to allow them to say some of those things. That was funny to see. Grown men, who attend church and give Christian books as gifts reading some of those answers. Luckily, I don’t get embarrassed so I was having a ball.

Boxing day, which is the day after Christmas, was a lot less crazy. I’d left my brothers and (tears) my niece, to go to my BFF’s and her new husbands new house with all her family. She and I exchanged gifts and I got to tell her that she’s coming with me to New York as my gift to her. My friend from the northeast is sending me there as a gift and I am paying it forward. I’m not sure I’d want to see that city with anyone but my BFF. It just wouldn’t be the same. Now, we have something to look forward to and plan.

I should have probably posted a bit each day rather than bombard you with everything all at once and this wouldn’t be so crazy long but I literally passed out each night. I didn’t even do my nightly rituals. Now, for the rest of this weekend and hopefully, the rest of this week, I am hibernating. I am in need of some r&r. When I got home today, after I’d dropped my stuff off and then gone to meet friends for dinner, I’d come home and put all my new things away, neatly and for the first time in days I’d gotten a chance to sit and I realized that I can no longer move. My muscles are sore. My back is hurting and my feet hate me but I wouldn’t have changed a thing over these last few days. I enjoyed myself more than I ever thought I would.

It’s almost 2 a.m. Sunday morning and can’t believe my eyes are still open. I’m going to sleep soon until I just can’t sleep anymore. I hope you all had a wonderful time and I’m sorry but not for this long post. This is one that I want to remember. More later.

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