It’s only the fifth day of Christmas, but for many, Christmas ended at 12 pm on the 25th. Driving on Christmas night to my parents’ house, I was attempting to find some Christmas music on the radio to add to the festive air. I couldn’t find any anywhere. Interesting phenomenon. Christmas is still on here at the Borer house. I didn’t do all this decorating for one day!
Also an interesting phenomenon: Our house seems to have grown smaller since our return. Could it possibly be from the tremendous haul that Linus and Eliza made the last three days? I predict a trip to Goodwill in the near future to pare it back down to the essentials. (Not of new presents. Just old stuff, probably David’s.)
But it was a good Christmas…midnight mass was great (nice homily, Fr. Andrews), the kids were relatively well-behaved, we got to see all of our families, and no one killed one another. I’ve always said that each individual family is a culture all its own, complete with its own set of values, foibles, strengths and weaknesses. This is apparent to any person who is an in-law. Adjusting to the various familial cultures takes years, and often assimilation is never fully completed. One finds they have two options: 1) either retreat into one’s self at family functions and grit one’s teeth until the gathering is over or 2) grin and bear it. I find it often helps to peruse it all with a scientfic, detached, almost clinical gaze, noting the many intricacies of social grace and awkwardness, and looking for various subtleties in reaction among the various family members. Not only does this practice distract the observer from undue annoyance, it also is quite hilarious, and serves as an excellent reminder of what NOT to do or say in certain situations. (Not the least of these being to fake a snore as one awaits the play of the new daughter-in-law as she learns to play Pitch. Ahem.)
But, all told, it was fun to be with family. And my brother, Jon, and my beautiful new sister-in-law, Mollie, were able to make the long drive to come join us. We don’t often get to see one another, so what did we do to mark this momentous occasion? We went bowling, of course! (Another clinical observation: My bowling abilities seem to have a direct relation to the level of the beer in the pitcher. I start pathetic, get better, peak, and then go back downhill. I did win the first game, though. But I won’t say the score; it reflects poorly on all of us!)
Fun times. We also got to visit my great-grandparents as well as do some after-(during)-Christmas shopping. There are some fabulous deals out there. It almost makes me want to suggest postponing Christmas gatherings until after Christmas just to take advantage of them. We also discovered that it’s not good to let Lindy and Mollie shop together, as we probably spend more than we should…
But for now, it’s back to day-to-day existence, and the kitchen renovation looms. It will be a mess, but let’s hope the final result will be worth the effort.
It was great hearing from many of you! I love, love, love Christmas updates and hearing how you’re all doing. Merry Christmas!