Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas! Where's the Internet?

The Matriarch's DSL service was spotty at best and never seemed to be working when I was able to sit down and blog, so I just decided to wait until we got home. Sorry if you were missing me. Did any of you even read this blog this month?

The holiday event in NH was fine. We left Wayfarer House (without Karla, who went south to observe the holiday with her given family) at 7pm on the 23rd, which was about as early as I could get home from school and get the car packed. The two-hour drive was uneventful, which is just the way I like it. The kids watched a movie on Wifeness' laptop in the backseat. Wifeness read her book and nodded off. I plugged into my psipod and grooved to 80's music until the battery ran out. I knew I should have charged a battery before we left! Once in NH, Wifeness and I unloaded the car of luggage and gifts while the kids cuddled with the grandparents. It wasn't long before everyone was in bed.

The 24th started later than usual (thanks go out to Grampa, who gets up early with the kids), and I went out after breakfast in search of some final holiday purchases. A note to the DPW of Portsmouth, NH: It was NOT a good idea to dispatch the bucket loaders and dump trucks to clear the snow near the malls, thereby closing all the access roads down to a single lane, on Christmas Eve. I'm just saying. I don't mind the traffic, but it seemed unnecessary.

Christmas Eve night traditionally involves Chinese food and relatives, and gifts for the little ones are exchanged. To my great relief, there were no "noisy toys". The girls got books they absolutely love, and clothes they'll wear and enjoy. The adults got to chat and relax without drama or tension. A good evening, by any standard.


I would like to tell you about Christmas morning by recounting a conversation.

SiSi: Papa?

Papa: [grunt]

SiSi: Is it time to get up?

Papa (fumbling for watch and realizing that it's 3:12am): No. It is NOT time to get up. Go back to bed.

Time passes...

SiSi: Papa?

Papa: [grunt]

SiSi: The clock's not working!

Papa: What do you mean it's not working?

SiSi: It's not moving! It's barely moved in, like, a long time.

Papa (fumbling for watch and realizing that it's 3:24am): [Sigh] I'm setting the alarm on this watch. Do not come out of your bedroom until it goes off. Do you understand me?

SiSi: Yes, Papa.

Papa: No, I mean do you really understand what I'm saying to you?

SiSi (in a softer voice, tiptoeing out): Yes, Papa.


Wifeness and I offered a special present to her folks this year: We would prep, cook and clean up from this year's Christmas feast. It is usually something that they do (they host this event, and as a result, have viewed it as their province), but the last couple of years it has seemed to leave them completely exhausted. We're used to doing such events, and we thought it would be helpful to take this very draining commitment off their list. It turned out to be the most wonderful gift we could have given them. They were able to sit, relax and enjoy the family gathered to them in a way I don't think they've been able to do for wome time. We talked about it afterward, and I'd like to see it become something we do from now on. They've earned the right to pass the torch on this.


The Wayfarer family has a tradition of visiting the Chili house on Boxing day for waffles and bacon. It is the last event of our Christmas observance in NH, and one I look to with enjoyment every year. It is a chance to relax with people I love in a manner that is wholly forthright and easy. Chili and I both value this kind of social experience and, I think, are grateful for every one of these we get.

It was nice to see you, too, Auntie, even if it was only for a few minutes!


We're back home now. The suitcases are unpacked. Laundry and dishes are underway. Piles are making their way back to the right drawers and shelves. I spent an hour or so knocking heavy snow off our elderly neighbor's hedge and shaving ice off the driveway so it will melt smooth tomorrow (it's expected to hit 60ºF!) I'm going to relax tomorrow, or what passes for it at this time of year. The floor needs to be vacuumed. Someone needs to go to the grocery store. You get the idea. There is just not much time before we have to start prep for the New Year's Eve party. Fatty's is doing English food this year! Are you coming?

1 comment:

Mrs. Chili said...

I love - absolutely love - our Boxing Day tradition. There's no pressure, no stress, and GODDESS but the bacon you brought this year was amazing (I'm writing the name brand in my phone so I can recreate the experience).

It seems to me and my unscientific observances that this was a particularly good holiday for a lot of the people I love. The planets must have aligned.

Sadly, we will not be attending Fatty's this year, either. New Year's is at Chez Chili this year, and we're expecting a lot of chosen family to welcome the turning of the calendar with us. I expect a full report of the events, though.

Oh, and tell Wifeness for me, please, that the peanut butter balls are THE SHIT.