Home for the Holidays Part II: Let the Celebration- and Gift Negotiation- of the Season Begin

written December 25, 2009


Fa-la-la-la-la-la la la!!!

Our Christmas morning is just about a wrap (horrible dirty puns…), and wanted to write.  Amazingly, I was not up until about 7:40.  I knocked on Sonya’s door: “Quit knocking, okay I get it, it’s Christmas,” she yelled, so I went downstairs to spread my cheer.  Dad was just emerging from  his downstairs room for coffee.  A round of showers later, with Mom also warming breakfast, we were nestled in the living room by 8:30.  We took turns, with Sonya going first.  Mom got me a brief history of the Middle East, Sonya got me a packages of Starbucks coffee (which Dad is now in the process of raiding), and I somehow received  some Man of Steel jammies.  Did you instantly know to pass this along, or this a reference to my room being as icy as the Fortress of Solitude???  As you can see I quickly shed my usual mild-mannered identity…

Dad liked his Earth book, Sonya her Cats book, and Mom her crosswords.  I also now have a new camera!  Mom said it because Tiffany could now get hers back, but I know you would phrase it differently.  =)  The coup de gras for me was of course the Bears jersey, but I couldn’t help having some fun with Mom.  I pulled it out of the box upside down, and exclaimed, “Mom, I didn’t want number six!”  Mom assumed a horrified look as we laughed.

The last gift was tucked in the back of the tree, and emerged at the very end.  Mom and Dad opened it “together,” pulling out the small assortment of fruit  They didn’t say much, and assumed that was it, Christmas closed.  I said that it was symbolic, but they weren’t biting at what it could mean.  So I nudged them on about the storm and the need for something new of the backyard, at the same time telling Dad they were small and wouldn’t consume the newly sunshiny yard in shadow.  They were both utterly concerned about the problems and hurdles of new trees.  Mom said they be too big, and finally that too people could not eat three trees worth of fruit (as our fridge is stocked with the stuff).  I was not rebuffed.  The entire morning as some small squabbling ensued and directions were offered on just how to open a gift correctly or in what order how to dispose properly of papers, I just sat and watched.  Just commonly, at peace that this is my family, and to record it all not for therapy but for the days too soon ahead when I will wish I could return to now.  Dad was sort of self-reflective in the same vein last night, recalling for me his childhood Christmas Eves when his side of the family would get together.  My mood today was acceptance.  I think that is why I was able to parry most of my parents apprehensions about the trees.  Too much fruit!! (You can freeze it, or I will take some)  They need lots of care!!! (Clouds do that)  The roots!!! (Taken care of).  I believe I was asked several times by quite crumpled faces whether or not I had ordered them already.  It will be okay, and they will eventually come to accept the gifts (does Hallmark make cards for such moments?)  I seem to recall a Raymond episode just like this.  Once they are planted it will be fine.

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