Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but this Christmas just felt so….peaceful. I used to be so sad about not having family dinners anymore, but this year, my brother Ryan organized a pre-Christmas dinner at Calabria’s on the Sunday prior to Christmas. I suggested that we also invite our dad because he and our mom have been friendly over the last several years and they were both at Chooch’s birthday dinner last year, so I thought, why not, right? So Ryan cleared it with our mom, and our dad accepted the invitation!
It was really nice and actually didn’t feel as surreal as I imagined it would. Everyone talked and there were no bad vibes, even though it was the first time brother Corey and I have seen each other since Christmas 2016 (long story, but that whole business with my Pappap’s house and my aunt Sharon’s death that consumed almost all of 2016 really created a lot of waves and brought up some bad feelings). I appreciated that we could all be adults and sit at the same table together without any tension because life is too short so yeah, I’m going to show him a picture of Trudy 2019 on my phone even though he didn’t ask.
Our waitress was abysmal but it made my dad and me exchange smirks behind her back so that was fun.
It was really cool to have some semblance of a normal family dinner. If someone would have told me 20 years ago that one day this would be happening, I would have broken a rib from falling down an elevator shaft while laughing. I’m not saying that I’m trying to parent trap my divorced parents, but I’m not NOT saying it either, if you know what I mean. I have this daydream of my mom finally selling her house and moving down the street (literally) into his house. It doesn’t have to be romantic! They could be roommates with history, lol.
Anyway, this was an awesome way to kickstart Christmas though. Props to my bro Ryan for organizing this! Maybe next year I’ll see if everyone wants to come here for some strange broken family dinner thing.
I fucking threw a fit at one point though because I cannot wrap a gift to save my life. It’s pathetic.
“You know, my mom really failed me. She didn’t teach me how to cook, or how to wrap a gift, two things she’s fairly good at,” I sighed, kicking the roll of wrapping paper.
“I think it was me she failed,” Henry sighed.
I spent a good 25 minutes on Christmas Eve trying to get a picture of the cats together.
Waiting for Ho Ho!
I had a YouTube video of the Seoul subway jingles playing over and over while Henry was wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and I think I actually saw his will to live snap in half.
We kept waiting for dumb Chooch to go to bed so we could wrap up Doll with a light switch, because all Chooch wanted for Christmas was a Nintendo Switch. For once, we bought it nearly a full month in advance instead of waiting until Xmas Eve which is our usual MO. We had Chooch convinced all day that we tried to get him one but it was sold out everywhere, which was a partial truth because it WAS sold out at most places. Chooch, in desperation, goggled and found a Target in West Virginia that had one and wanted us to drive there that day to buy it, LOL, dream on, Sonny Boy.
Christmas morning finally came and Chooch was in great spirits! We had Doll, his actual Switch, and his Switch-related gifts hidden under the coffee table. I waited for him to open all of his filler gifts before saying, “OH WOW, LOOKS LIKE SANTA BROUGHT ONE MORE.”
He was like, “Oh wow. Doll. OK, good one, guys.” I waited until right before the tears appeared to give him his actual Switch. It’s my right as a parent to eff with his emotions on Xmas, OK?! IT MAKES HIM MORE APPRECIATIVE.
Literally the easiest Christmas ever. Thank you, Nintendo. Also, thank you greeting card side gig, for the extra $$$.
One of my presents was from the spider that was living in our kitchen for a hot two months! I had named him “Geomi-Nim” which essentially means “Mister Spider” or “Spider, sir” in Korean. Anyway, it was a huge South Korean flag which Chooch, I mean, Geomi-Nim, thought would be a great addition to my desk at work, except that it’s so big, I could potentially tent myself in with it. The ultimate privacy screen!
He also got me set of South Korean flag pins.
“$10 for both of those gifts!” Chooch proudly exclaimed. “Yeah, I tell prices.”
Anyway, it’s tradition for me to put ridiculous “from”s on the gift tags. This year included references to Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution. G-Dragon’s dad, the Seoul subway jingle, Onetrainops and Legend & Molly (coaster vloggers), etc etc.
At our Christmas party, Chooch asked Janna for wood for Christmas so that he could build a chair and now I regret not wrapping a tree branch.
He will, too.
OMG we haaaaate it when Henry eats bananas! IT IS NOT CUTE. I even have a “sexual banana time” jingle that I sing for these occasions. So when I saw this dishtowel online, I checked out immediately. Then we went to Branson, Missouri and Chooch and I exchanged Looks when one of the stores we were in had it because we didn’t want Henry to see it — the perils of purchasing trendy dishtowels.
Aside from Chooch’s damn Switch, we tried not to exhibit gross consumerism this year. We would much rather not blow our cash on things and save it to go places so hopefully 2020 will be action-packed with fun trips – that’s all I asked Santa for.
We spent way too long trying to take a last minute family photo to whip into some lame Christmas not-card (I posted the final version here on Xmas) and we surprisingly didn’t fight about this, whereas when we attempted to get this done the day before, you’d have thought the earth split into two and Lucifer himself rose up and dove into my mouth, that’s how guttural my yells were when nothing was going my way.
But it gave me another excuse to wear my favorite Lip Service blazer so it wasn’t all that bad.
So, this was the first half of Christmas! The rest of the day was just as great because I was with Henry and Chooch and the planets must have been doing the right thing because we were all amazingly in great moods and no one sniped at anyone all day?! This almost never happens. I think maybe we might all like each other.