Monday, January 5, 2015

No, No I Don't - Christmas, Part One

Someone in my Writing Goals group asked if we blogged over Christmastime, and like a completely self-deluded moron I said "hmm, I dunno, I just finished posting every day in November and it felt pretty good, I might see how long I can keep the momentum going."


A couple of weeks later, I gestured feebly from beneath a mountain of butter, flour, Christmas card glitter and wrapping paper - a gesture that was meant to denote "um, no, on second thought I'm pretty sure I WON'T be blogging at Christmastime." I managed to get one Christmas-themed book reviewed but didn't finish the one in which the title character's name is Billy Freaking CHRISTMAS (sorry Chicago Review Press, I'll get to it as soon as I can).

We had a great Christmas. I always think travelling at Christmas is a pain in the ass, and I'm a bad guest - I'm always surreptitiously turning down the thermostat, I can't wash my face without getting water everywhere (I maintain that this is largely due to poor sink design), I hate being surrounded by people with no means of escape and if it's Christmas I'm usually sporting a loud tubercular cough. But my husband hadn't been home to Thunder Bay for almost twenty years, our kids aren't small anymore, and last Christmas I actually remember thinking that everything was almost a little TOO quiet and easy, and maybe it was time to bugger it all up and make things interesting.

It wasn't even that interesting, as Christmas trips go. I mean, just watch a December episode of Good Luck Charlie or any Christmas movie ever - travelling at Christmas should involve getting snowed in/held up/robbed/ and/or separated from the rest of your family, with an option on unplanned pregnancies or at least a good knock-down-drag-out family fight.

Our planes were mostly on-time, no one fed their son an elephant-sized dose of Valium and then sat in front of us, our baggage all made it the same time we did (this was my biggest fear), my mother-in-law readily agreed to bump the temperature down a degree, we had our own room in the basement for when I needed a breather (and to muffle the coughing), and the sink was poorly designed but I just mopped up after face-washing and it was fine. There was one 'naked-in-the-snow-except-for-a-Fentanyl patch' incident, but it was someone's patient, not a family member, so beyond some marked interest in the actual size of a patch of Fentanyl, it wasn't a big deal.

Being in a house full of doctors at Christmas does carry its own particular vagaries. You hear phrases like "please stop saying anuresis at the dinner table" and many of the gift tags were barely legible: Eve kept picking up presents and saying "who's Sack Pill?" (it was Santa Bill) and "This says To Lapa" (it said to Laura).

Our house has three levels. Sometimes it's too easy for us all to retreat to our introverted corners and only meet for meals. Some enforced togetherness isn't the worst thing.

Neither is Maple Leaf lounge hot chocolate

And just look at this heartwarming sibling love and closeness

This lovely woman is my mother-in-law. I guess this is why she never wants to look directly at the camera. Sorry, Barb. 

Chestnuts! Roasted on an open....Weber grill. They were really good.

This is my brother-in-law and his wonderful girlfriend, who we adore even though we found out over the holiday that she's not only an MD PhD who makes children feel better and is trying to cure malaria - she's also really freaking good at Scrabble.

 I have never had Christmas dinner with this particular collection of people before.

Fruitcake. With a pig on it, because if you had a pig and a fruitcake, wouldn't you want them to be together?

There were three hundred percent more bow ties in this Christmas than there were in all the ones that came before. 

And finally, there was a flaming pudding (it didn't actually have my son's head in it, I'm just a really bad photographer).

Then we came home. And aside from the fact that I kept forgetting not to pack hairspray in my carry-on (if you noticed some Air Canada Security Agents with particularly full and bouncy hair this holiday season, that's all on me), everything went pretty smoothly. It was all quite merry and bright, if not terribly white. Hope yours was too. 


Pam said...

Looks pretty damn amazing, as spending Christmas with in-laws to the north goes! I mean, wow, piggy pudding! Flaming things! No one ended up in jail! Pretty awesome all round.
Merry 2015 Allison. Looking forward to all your posts and seeing you lots in the new year. Xo

Lynn said...

Hee! That picture of the flaming pudding really DOES look like Angus is on fire. :) So good to hear you had an awesome holiday!

Julie L said...

that really does sound like a lovely Christmas. And I bet you were not frowned at when you pulled out a bottle of wine from your bag. :)

Happy happy, Merry merry and all the bestest for 2015!

Nicole said...

I love all your photos. It makes me feel like I'm actually there and not here, where it is very white and snowy. SnOMG

You'd love my house. We keep the thermostat at 19 degrees, 16 at night. SOMETIMES when I'm particularly freezing, I might turn it up to 20 but then I feel immense guilt about it and put on a sweater.

Hannah said...

I love your Christmas. It sounds 100% full of win, except for the Scrabble, because oddly enough for someone who has a fairly large vocabulary I FUCKING HATE SCRABBLE THE MOST.

l said...

Love love love! You capture the fun and absurdity so very nicely. Thanks for introducing me to all these aspects of Christmas!