So this is Christmas

Another holiday season down the shitter. Whee.

Actually, it wasn’t too bad. I did one nice gift each for my mom and grandfather (I couldn’t do anything last year, so I tried to make up for it), and I also loaded them up in the car one night and dragged them to go to see the Festival of Lights in Wheeling, W.Va.

I’ve seen the lights dozens of times — it’s a driving tour through a golf/resort area. Mostly, I’ve gone down there with friends and gotten shitfaced drunk for really cheap. Ah, those were the days. 😉

In any event, a woman we saw at the Festival (we stopped to use the restroom near the planetarium, and you cannot even enter the building without paying $7 per person) stopped us on the way in and handed us three admission tickets. Wow! I was blown away — I seriously never expect anyone to do anything nice, so that was a lovely Christmas surprise — thanks to her, we got to go in and see a cute little (OK, it was sort of hokey, but still) laser light show and we also walked through the little zoo area.

They were so happy for the road trip — my family doesn’t have a concept of hopping in the car and just doing whatever comes to mind. I’m the spontaneous one of the bunch — I’m also the only one with any spunk left, unfortunately. Hence, I sort of tossed everyone into the car and didn’t really say what I was up to. Funny how you go from being the little kid who’s dragged everywhere to being the activities director.

And my grandfather, who’s turning 80 in February, was just thrilled. Everyone in my family has this bad habit of doing favors for others till their energy has been sapped and they have nothing left over for themselves.

I’ve watched this my whole life, this catering to people who mostly don’t deserve it (and I’ve been guilty of doing it more often than not). So, whenever I have a few extra bucks or a little bit of energy to spare, it’s important to me to give them little adventures here and there. Because I don’t see anyone else doing it for them, although I see people lined up and still asking for favors when they have so little to give.

‘Tis the season for me to even the score, if nothing else. Or, said better, the season to say thanks for having me and for giving me the best life they possibly could, even though they always wish we’d had more or done more or that we’d somehow been able to live better. This is my way, then, of giving them a little bit of what they wished they could have provided for me.

In any event, as my family ages and the aches and pains begin/continue in their intensity, I pick up more and more responsibility in making sure the holidays are pulled off. Mom did well, though, cleaning/decorating the house and doing a tiny sugar-plum tree and doing the food-shopping and baking cookies she knows I like. The woman’s a saint.

This was my year, however, to cook my ASS off — my back is KILLING me. Everything has to be “just so” with the women in my family — and so it was. Sheesh — I’m exhausted! We did a ham, a turkey, a lasagna, cookies, stuffing balls and various other crap. Not to mention the hundreds of miles I drove to/from Pittsburgh and then the little Wheeling odyssey in between.

And then there was that much-needed trip to Mineo’s for the city’s best pizza and tiramisu and then to Kazansky’s for pastrami and latkes. Mmm, good pizza and deli food — can’t get that down here in D.C.

I don’t sleep in strange places (and nothing gets more strange than my family!) so I was sleep-deprived the whole time, except for that time when we were zoning on the couch and Mom’s neighbors dropped in and woke us up. Grr — I’m NOT friendly when I’ve been awakened, just FYI (my friends are lovely and SCHEDULE visits). My hatred of being awake is only surpassed by my loathing of hearing from bill collectors. 😉

Anyway, nothing really profound to say — just that I never have time to visit with old friends when I’m in town, and that just sucks. Mom’s neighbors stop by her place all the time, which I’d never think to do to anyone (seriously, e-mail/IM totally counts as a visit in my eyes). In my own ‘hood, nobody here even knows my name (I prefer it that way) and thus I never have to worry about an unexpected knock at the door. (And, damn, I seem to have outgrown those 2:30 a.m. knocks at the door. *wink, wink*)

When I’m in Pittsburgh, I just wish I had time to go see MY friends instead of having to act like I’m awake and alive after full days of slave labor under Mom’s surveillance. 😉 Although I’m certain I could make time for a big, special event, like oh, say, a wedding!

Because we’re speaking of old friends (and events), I want to wish a hearty congratulations to Chris and Judy, who got engaged at midnight on Christmas Eve (awwwww ….)! I have always loved the two of them as a couple, and I wish them all the best that the world has to offer.

So, holy random theater entry. Whee. Hope your Christmakwanzakkah was tolerable and maybe even merry — and may 2006 bring us gifts every day of the year!

One Lonely Response to So this is Christmas

  1. antiochan orthodox church :

    A fellow dies, goes to hell, and is surprised when confronted by a room full of beautiful blondes and kegs of beer. He asks a nearby demon if this is really hell, and what was so bad about the place.

    “Well,” said the demon, “the kegs all have holes in the bottoms, and the blondes don’t!”