Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas is In The Bag

On Christmas Eve morning I awoke to Jasper sitting up in bed whispering loudly (and that is not an oxymoron - you would have to hear him whispering to know what I mean but let it suffice to say that when Jasper whispers, it sounds like it probably hurts), "Happy Christmas Eve, Dude." He calls me dude. He used to call me honey. Now he calls me dude. Sometimes he says, "Mom, Dude....did you see what (insert tattling here)" Because he has older brothers who breathe the word "dude" as if it were some sort of uncontrollable tic. Hence the five-year-old and the duding thing.

We spent the day preparing our Christmas Eve feast (tamales, guacamole, Spanish rice etc), doing some last minute wrapping and even some last minute shopping. It was really a very nice and festive day.

When it began to get dark and the kids were frosting Santa's cookies....we were anxiously anticipating the arrival of The Guests (my dad and sister). My sister doesn't have any children and this works out well for my kids, who are the grateful lone recipients of my sister's holiday shopping and over-indulgence in the latest, greatest toy-buying excursions. She thinks I had so many kids to make up for the fact that she didn't have any. When I became pregnant with the 5th, my sister was like, "Really. I probably would have only had one kid. You can stop now." **But how many times do I have to say it? We're just sexually irresponsible. We really aren't trying to make anyone else miserable with our mass production of the offspring. That has just been an unexpected bonus.

Anyway, my sister might as well be Santa for all the excitement her arrival stirs up. She usually arrives carrying a Great Big Bag of poorly wrapped presents (my sister has never been bothered with attention to details); sometimes more than one Great Big Bag.

This year was no exception and her entrance was met with, "Auntie's here!" and the resulting stampede of little people trying to peek in the bag.

This Bag.

Yep, my people. She brought their goodies in an Abercrombie bag of ummmm....great proportions. Really great. Proportionally speaking. And all I could think was, "Good Lord don't rip the *&%ing bag! I WANT that bag."

I said, "I can't believe you brought their gifts in that bag."

And my sister, the one who isn't much for details, said, "What's wrong with it? It's just a bag."

Just a bag?? On whose bag-o-meter? This, my cheerful Christmasy friends, is THE BEST BAG I HAVE EVER SEEN. Just a bag, my a$$.

And the children? Noticed the bag. My sister continued with the innocent "what?" business.

I was reminded of the time my mother had hastily prepared a gift bag for my little 7-year-old cousin's birthday. When she handed the kid the gift bag everyone became very quiet and my mom was like, "What's the deal?" Then my aunt pointed out that the bag said (in bright, bold letters), "BIRTHDAYS ARE A BITCH". My mom was mortified. "I just grabbed a bag! Honestly!" she stammered.

Since our family loves holidays even more when they can somehow be made inappropriate, the bag continued to make the rounds for years and years after that day, showing up at basically every family birthday party. The first time it failed to show everyone participated in accusations against each other in the form of, "You had the bag last time! What did you do with it?" You would have thought the family heirloom diamonds had been lost.

Anyway, the Abercrombie bag was soon emptied of its various presents and I then informed my sister that I was keeping the bag. I really don't get out to malls much and when am I going to have another opportunity like this? Huh?

"No, I'm taking it home with me," she said.

"No, you're not," I said. "You didn't even give me a birthday present so I'm keeping the bag."

"I told you I was combining your birthday and Christmas presents!"

(Mean trick I have been subjected to basically MY ENTIRE FREAKING SAGITTARIAN LIFE!)

"No, sorry. The bag stays. Ellie take it from your aunt."

I sent in Ellie because the kid has no fear. She was successful in retrieving the bag, although it suffered some minor damage in the scuffle.

"Aha!" I said like the World's Greatest Dictator. "Take it to my meditation nook."

Now Ellie is smirking. "Are you going to meditate on it?"

"Just do what I say. I have very little joy in my life. Also? The most wicked thing I ever do anymore is toss a can into the trash instead of the recycling when nobody's looking. And even then, I usually dig it out later because I start feeling guilty. SO GO PUT THE BAG IN MY MEDITATION NOOK AND DON'T GIVE ME ANYMORE GRIEF ABOUT IT!!"

I won. The bag is mine. I am so wicked. Merry Christmas to Me.

After the wicked bag scuffle, my dad came limping/dragging in. My dad broke his leg, recently. He's doing better but he's still on a walker and using a wheelchair. And yes, I'm sure this is entirely inappropriate and offensive, but we have been calling him Tiny Tim. 'Tis the season and all that. But instead of cooperating with a "God Bless Us, Everyone!" he bellowed, "Somebody bring me a shot of tequila!"

La Chaim! After this he broke out into If I were a rich man....biddy biddy biddy.......just teasing. He didn't really. It would have been cool, though. 'Cause he is looking the part.

We had fewer gifts under the tree this year. We're trying to be more moderate. (Stop laughing)

Jasper, being the youngest, made the most impressive haul. 'Cause his toys are all relatively cheap and he is freaking easy to make happy. "Oh my God!! Crayons!! Thank you!!" followed by tears of joy, actual weeping, etc.

Jasper likes to give as well as receive. And you never know what you're going to get when you're on the receiving end, either. Last year Jules noticed that quite a few of his turtles from his turtle collection were missing and I noticed that quite a few of the wrapped gifts under the tree were there ya go.

Ellie is madly saving money for her Seattle trip so she made gifts. She's learning to crochet and knit and so Camille and Jasper received scarves.

I got some little wash cloths. She tied them up and they looked adorable.

Ellie made a decent haul, although it was mostly practical things. My dad got her a graphing calculator she needs for calculus.....we bought her a metronome to replace the one she broke....that sort of thing.

The boys did well, each receiving mostly games for their Nintendo DS's, the X Box, the PlayStation, and the Wii. Yes, we are that kind of family. Sigh. Jeff says Joel can't do anything around the farm that can't be accomplished with his thumbs :). After Ellie played some Bach for my dad on the piano, Joel showed off by playing Halo on the X Box. My dad applauded after both performances.

From Jeff, I received a bottle of Repasado Tequila in a pretty blue bottle with two little sipping glasses (not shot glass per say, this stuff is meant to be sipped - it is REALLY good). What can I say? He likes to get me drunk. I got him a new pewter ladle he'd had his eye on. What can I say? I like to watch him cook. He loves to cook. I also got him the latest Clive Cussler book because when he's not cooking or hemming a dress or sewing on a button he likes to read manly books.

So after all the eating and the giving and receiving and the rounds of tequila and utter nonsense...we all began to hastily prepare for Santa's arrival...jammies, tooth brushing, setting out cookies and milk for Santa, carrots and apples for the reindeer....and of course....turning off the electric fence. Welcome to Guantanamo, Santa! That's right. We have an electric fence. And we had to turn it off because we ARE NOT GOING TO GO DOWN AS THE PEOPLE WHO KILLED SANTA.

Why do we have an electric fence around our yard? Well, nothing says "welcome" like the buzzing of an electrified fence. Also? We are having a small problem with the wiener dog known as Schnitzel. She is really, really old. And she apparently cannot tell when she is emptying either her bowels or her bladder. In other words, the dang dog is incontinent. And my husband has banished her during the day to the (gasp) yard because he felt that disastrous early morning squish beneath his foot one too many times. The banishment resulted in Schnitzel's scratching at the door. Incessantly. And that resulted in irritation on my end and massive scratches on the door's end. Hence the electric fence to keep her off of our front porch. I, personally, think this is overkill. And so the dog is usually still in our house, safely guarded by an electric fence.

All I can say is God help me should I ever become incontinent. My guess is I'd be tossed outside on the other side of the fence. Fine. Just make sure I've got all my belongings in my Abercrombie bag.

Merry Christmas, My Friends! And Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, and Anything Else I Might Have Forgotten.....

Signing Off as a Merry-Making Sardine Mama


  1. I laughed so hard I almost cried!! And I love that picture of your dad! Thanks for sharing your Christmas experience with all of us.

  2. How on earth did you get your dad to let you put his picture on your blog? Or, does he not know......

    (it is nice to still have little ones, even if they are a pain at times. Matthew had tears of joy and gave me a big hug over one of his gifts.)

  3. That bag!?
    The man on it is so smooth south of the border that I can't help but picture what he would look like naked.
    All I can imagine is a sexless Ken-doll style bump.
    Because he is so smooth.
    Meditate on that.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. Sounds like you hasd a very good Christmas.
    My Mom's birthday is a few days before Christmas.
    I always send her something for her birthday and then i send something a bit later from Christmas (little Christmas celebration)
    Marry Holidays!

  5. Hey..I recognize that bag! It passed around our family to deliver presents. I think my aunt kept it, in the end.

  6. I'm the bringer of the "bag" and next year I'll be REALLY cheap and buy another $6 pair of jeans, wrap it up and give it to her!

    I provide LOTS of entertainment for my family and I often hear, "Wait 'till I tell your sister, dad, Jeff, etc." followed by maniacal laughter, especially when ignoring or sympathy would be more appropriately received from normal people. Oh well, I'm looking for signs of discomfort from all of them and then they're going in the "home!"

  7. Carol, you are so dang hilarious! You need to be raking in the big bucks for this writing, not that money is what it's all about, but that you are that good. Your dad, Tiny Tim? I almost bust a gut laughing.