Week 257: Christmas

If it was Mandy’s birthday last week, that means it’s Christmas time this week and I’ve got the pictures to prove it. With my sister and mother in town to visit this year things have gotten a little off schedule, and of course they went completely overboard with the gifts. By volume, our house is now 37% mold-injected plastic.

Of course all the gift giving failed to prevent Sister Amanda Francesca from remembering the real religious underpinnings of the holiday. She could periodically be seen walking around with her little first communion book, muttering “Jesus, Bethlehem, wise men” to herself. She’s the most pious of us all. Also, when Geralyn offhandedly mentioned that the cat hadn’t received any Christmas presents, Mandy grabbed the nearest gift –a pair of kid-sized winter gloves– and marched upstairs to present them to the slumbering feline. This would have been a much more generous act if they had actually been her gloves instead of her sister’s, but she got it mostly right.

One other lesson we learned this Christmas: don’t let the kids eat all of the holiday chocolate that they want. This turns out VERY BADLY.

Also, I think my mom is slightly regretting one of the gifts she gave. As I type this, Sam is marching around playing these little bath flutes that you’re supposed to fill with different levels of water so that they produce different notes. By “playing” I actually mean “blowing on it as hard and loudly as she can until her face turns red and she passes out, but just for a second and then she starts over again.” I’m thinking that those are going to have to be limited to use in the bathtub. While underwater.

After a day of gift unwrapping, chocolate binging, and playing with our various new toys, we headed out on Christmas evening for our annual dinner at this fancy-pants place that Ger’s godmother always takes us. It’s the kind of place where they punch you in the dignity if you don’t come wearing a coat and tie, but this standard seemed to be largely lost on Mandy, who just wanted to run around getting tangled up in old people’s walkers and giving the salad on the appetizer table another toss. By hand. It was somewhat less than relaxing.

By the day after Christmas we were all ready to get out of the house, so of course we went to the largest shopping mall we could find to poke around in the after-Christmas sales. The kids got to run around and try to get lost, so they enjoyed it.

While we were in the mall, though, a huge storm front rolled through and it started pouring rain. Faced with the prospect of her youngest granddaughter getting soaked during the dash to the car, my mom helpfully suggested that we keep Mandy’s head dry by fitting a plastic bag over it, which seemed to me to be a fairly extreme way to solve the problem. All in all, I’m pretty sure Mandy would prefer a little dampness to suffocation. Since only one of them is really a short-term problem.

But, all that aside, merry Christmas!

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