As I recall, I had no problem waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning when I was a kid. Now that I have grown into an irresponsible adult, I cherish much more dearly my sleep time. Even so, I stayed up late on Chrismas Eve reading my Krakauer book and woke up early Christmas day, before my niece, feeling very sleepy.
I walked downstairs and locked my eyes onto a plate of muffins which were artfully arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree. I ate the one in the position of the tree trunk. This provoked heavy fire from my sister for eating before breakfast and for disturbing the artful muffin placement.
We have known each other for over thirty years now. My sister should be aware by this stage that if I am conscious, I am almost certainly hungry. Also, I feel that the right and just place of any delicious muffin is in my stomach, and that I’m only doing what’s best for them by devouring them.
Sometimes it seems that as a nutritionist, it is her opinion that people should be fed entirely on soy milk (or as my brother in law Chuck calls it, “bean squeezings”) and rope fibers.
Breakfast was an hour and a half away, I was informed, so I began a surreptitious assault on a plate of chocolate covered pretzel things in order to survive. Soon I got the call to go into action and collect my niece from her room.
“Do you want to change her diaper?” my sister asked.
I love my niece. She is the most beautiful little person, with an excellent disposition. I believe her to be intrinsically superior to every other child ever born. I like throwing her into the air and zerberting her face, not to mention singing songs with her. Diapers, however, are parent territory (or “Parentorry”). I have so far avoided every single diaper change of hers and I intend to avoid them all.
Here you can see us expressing as a team my opinion of diaper changing.
On the way out to my sister’s home on Christmas Eve, I passed a bank offering a free Snuggie with each new account. I sent a text message to my friend and fellow blogger Hess to inform her of such as I know she’s a great fan of the Snuggie. Little did I know that the following day I would myself be the happy recipient of my very own Snuggie. It is impossible to overstate my delight.
Later, after a highly necessary nap, we all drove to my cousin’s house. On the way, Chuck spotted a prodigious spiky mullet atop the passenger in an adjacent vehicle, which I tried to photograph.
Once at my cousin’s house, we joined with a dozen or so other family members in laughing and exchanging gifts. All joking aside, I am blessed with a truly great family. I can’t wait to be with them whenever I can. Those who are married have had the excellent presence of mind to marry remarkable people and to have good kids with them. So, our group gets bigger every year, but stays awesome.
Cousin Mike, as a great example of the impressive personal awesomeness of my family, was in the kitchen preparing a huge pot of jambalaya. Anyone who has eaten jambalaya knows that the ingredients list is actually just a list of some very tasty foods. Just like the Spice Girls, each member is individually incredible but even better as a spicy whole.
Dinner eaten and gifts exchanged, I was pressed into service to install a battery in my cousin’s fart machine. I’m not sure who gave her the fart machine for Christmas, but I gathered that it was a recent gift. It consisted of a speaker unit and a remote control to trigger the farts. Clearly, as someone who runs a business vaguely associated with computers and spends a lot of time on the internet, I am an excellent choice to install a battery in a fart machine.
As the cousin in question is best friends with my dad and of the generation ahead of mine, however, it’s not for me to question her motives. We’re southerners, after all, which means that we eat jamabalaya, we respect our forebears, and that we are unerringly polite.
Fart machine powered up in the kitchen, my cousin and I snuck back into the living room to put it into action. She carefully placed it behind my dad’s boyfriend Steve’s head, on top of the cushions in his chair. I was still holding the fart remote. She gave me a look that said “hit it”.
I hit the button, and Steve yelled good-naturedly and got out of his chair to reveal the fart machine. Everyone laughed. I hit the button a few more times for effect.
Soon the kids took over the fart machine and it found its way into cousin Mike’s back pocket. He pretended not to notice it being jammed there. The kids hit the button, and peals of farts erupted. Mike made a great show of embarrassment to the delight of all, and the adults laughed at least as much as the kids.
Looking at the above photo of the women in my family, it occurs to me how lucky I am to have them as examples of what women should be like. They’re well read, highly educated, stylish, graceful, beautiful, and (I suspect) in charge. This doesn’t mean that they’re above having a laugh at a fart machine, however. You’re the best, ladies.
Between spending time with them and with my niece, getting a Snuggie, eating Jambalaya and the fart machine, I can’t imagine a better Christmas.
I hope yours was as good as mine!