Henry and I both had Christmas Eve off from work and it was really nice to just hang out and chill. Regardless of the pandemic, the holidays aren’t TOO stressful and busy for us because it’s usually just the three of us anyway. The last several years, we’ve gone to dinner with my mom and brothers but that’s usually just on a random night around Christmas. Obviously that didn’t happen this year!
Henry and I left Chooch at home and went to do some last minute Xmas shopping which wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be, though we did see a big fucking maskless douche-couple at Target. Which reminds me: the night before, we stopped by Wendy’s house to give her a tin of Chooch’s cookies and ended up having a really nice socially-distanced catch-up sesh outside of her house – it was the first time I’ve seen her (aside from WebEx video calls) since last March! (Actually, that’s not true – we waved to each other through my window last April when she dropped Sarris Candies off at my house.) Anyway! The reason I bring this up is because Shawn (her husband) was ranting about plumbers who came to their house and were free-lippin’ it and I was like “????” and then “…..” and then “!!!!!” because that’s the best term for it EVER. Fuck the free-lippers!
So yeah, aside from those two inconsiderate, selfish ‘MURRICA motherfuckers, we were able to grab the remaining things we needed with little to no conflict, and the lady who rang us at Target was amazingly In The Spirit and it was kind of nice.
I spent a good portion of the afternoon working on a work-related digital Xmas card and it turned out fine in the end but for some reason I was a maniac about it and Henry was like, “Please don’t burn down the house, I spent so much time painting the walls this year.” Once I got that finished and emailed, I felt like I could DO ANYTHING. Like liquid weight was just dripping off my shoulders. That’s the best feeling. It was like Xmas Vacation could officially start at that point!
I always wrap presents as they’re purchased since Chooch obviously knows they’re not coming from Santa. This is super fun for me because you can see Chooch going slowly insane for the weeks leading up to Xmas, as he tries desperately to figure out what’s inside each box. He guessed one of them correctly this time (he wanted stress toys and somehow knew exactly that’s what was inside one of the boxes and I was so stunned that he guessed that I stuttered which was a dead giveaway lol) but for the most part, it brings me great joy to watch him get curiosity twitches.
Anyway, my favorite part of this is thinking of who I can put on the “from” line. This year we had:
- Taemin’s Eye Patch
- Buddy (our fave squirrel)
- Crushed Ibuprofen
- Spoiled Almond Milk (he was in the middle of fighting with Henry about how the milk is always bad)
- Kat from Paperbackdreams (our favorite Booktuber, and the present was cologne from a company called Imaginary Authors)
- Library Security Guard P.S. Read a Fucking Book (the security guard at the library knows me by name and always chats with Chooch and me! He is so freaking nice!)
- Larry’s Son who Shovels Diligently (Larry is Chooch’s nemesis who lives on our street and his teenaged son was out there shoveling immediately after a snowstorm while Chooch was lazing about watching TikToks)
- Future Nephew (yes, Blake’s wife Haley is expecting their third child, and the gift was a stress ball, lol)
- Raine’s Dad (of SIDEWALK DRAMA FAME)
- Trump House Guy (this house up the street has all kinds of grotesque Trump flags and we hate the guy that lives there; the other day we were driving home from somewhere and Chooch and I pointed to a guy walking his dog and how we talked to him a few times and Henry was like “that’s the guy that lives in the Trump house” and I was like “is not” but he was like “is too” and OMG CHOOCH AND I WERE SO NICE TO HIM UNWITTINGLY!!!!)
- The Real Christina Goosterjuice (Chooch has been calling our cat Drew Goosterjuice and I was like STOP CALLING HER THAT, THAT’S MY NAME and he was like NO I MADE IT UP and I was like NO YOU DID NOT and proceeded to tell him about how when I was in high school, there was this guy named Dave Osterhus in one of my classes and I can’t remember the exact context now but there were several us sitting at a desk or table and someone was making fun of his last name and then someone else was like “yeah, and his cousin Christina Goosterjuice” and I was VERY LIKELY the only person who laughed at this and EVEN MORE LIKELY the only person privy to that exchange WHO STILL THINKS OF THAT FICTIONAL NAME TO THIS DAY and even NAMED A PAINTING AFTER IT which is how I proved to Chooch that he clearly picked up on that name from me, by googling it and showing him that the only result is a post from OH HONESTLY ERIN called CHRISTINA GOOSTERJUICE.
- The Mommy & Gracie Show (RIP) (this was the YouTube channel that started our obsession/tradition with watching birthday party videos on Thanksgiving but then GRACIE got older and decided that she didn’t want to be in MOMMY’S videos anymore and then MOMMY took them all down and now we can’t watch the infamous HASHTAG COOKIE PIZZA video anymore)
- That kid’s Woobie (SEE BELOW, RE: MR. MOM)
Drew sat near this bag, knowing it was full of treats, and would casually gnaw at the handles whenever she thought no one was looking. Little jerk!
Later that night, we started to watch Christmas Vacation because apparently Chooch has never seen it but it was clear that he was NOT FEELING IT right from the get-go so then I remembered that recently I was talking about Mr. Mom and Chooch had never heard of it so I was like WE SHOULD JUST WATCH MR MOM and Henry was like “goddammit” because it took him forever to find somewhere to stream Christmas Vacation for free but it only took me 5 seconds to see that YouTube Movies had Mr. Mom available so that’s what we did and I was so ready to flip a table and possibly a chair or two if Chooch ended up not liking it because my love for that movie is deep and complicated (OK it’s not that complicated but I have loved it since I was a young child and thought Michael Keaton was amazing and Teri Garr was so pretty and I HATED ANN JILLIAN AND THEN SHE WAS ALSO IN MY FAVORITE ADAPTATION OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND IT WAS VERY CONFUSING FOR ME and I also cried a lot as a kid over the Woobie because I was super-attached to a stuffed animal named Purple WHO IS STILL MY BEST FRIEND AND I STILL CANNOT SLEEP WITHOUT HIM AND IF YOU THINK HE HASN’T BEEN TO SOUTH KOREA, THEN YOU ARE A FUCKING STOOP).
Anyway, Chooch admitted that Mr. Mom was excellent and I knew he wasn’t lying because he was actually watching it and not fucking around on his phone and then I was like ARE YOU GOING TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS YOU JUST WATCHED A GREAT MOVIE WITH YOUR COOL AF PARENTS and he was like “let us not go that far, Mother.”
You know, it was just a really nice day which turned into a cozy night and I went to bed feeling content and relaxed.