Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Memories 2012

I’m a sucker for Christmas.  That’s why I drag it out, waiting until the tree becomes a fire hazard before getting rid of it by throwing it into the neighbor’s backyard.

I felt kind of bad last year when I came home from work to see the neighb busily sawing away, placing the limbs of the dried-up tree into some of those lawn bags that you find…wait, where is it that you find them?  And what do you do with them after you’re finished filling them with lawn debris?  I wouldn’t know, because the hubs and I don’t use them.
Anyway, I felt a little guilty as I stood in my driveway, watching him work so hard to get rid of my tree.  But then I was all like, wait a minute, it’s been in your yard for two months, and you’re just now doing something about it?
Lazy asshole.
In my attempt to lengthen the Christmas season just a bit more, I’ve saved my Christmas Memories post for today.  My New Year’s Resolution post will come next week.

On Christmas Day, my Facebook status update looked like this:

My older sister and I got into a huge screaming match last night about how the Christmas gift exchange should work.  No punches were thrown or tears shed, but my family members all agreed that with the copious use of ‘bitch,’ it was a big enough fight to count as our annual Christmas knock-down dragout.  Last year’s was about coffee; this year’s was about the gift exchange.  I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what next year’s will be about.  Merry Christmas, my peeps.

I’m pretty sure I would have let my older sister’s stupid rules about the gift exchange slide (WHO doesn’t agree that person #1 should be the last person to go so that they get a chance to steal from someone, too?) if she had called me a bone, too.

Let me back up and explain.

My older sister and I were sitting on the hard wooden bench that has been a staple at Dad’s kitchen table for years.  I guess when you decide to have a gazillion kids, it’s easier to throw them all on a slab of wood to feed them their fish sticks and macaroni and cheese.  And dammit if it’s not a bit sentimental now, so we won’t let him get rid of it. We all remember how easy it was, in such close proximity, to slap each other in the head, and how fun it was to point and laugh at the slapee, knowing that at any moment, the person on the bench crying and clutching the side of his/her face could be us.  We had to live in the moment, enjoying the other sibling’s pain, thankful that we weren’t the receiver that time. 

Ah, memories.

As I sat there sipping my wine, telling my older, pregnant sister how delicious it was and how much it sucked that she wouldn’t get to have any for like 6 more months, our younger, skinnier (but totally stupider; there’s always a give-and-take in life, isn’t there, peeps?) sister sashayed into the kitchen in a skin-tight, cute black cotton dress.

“Dude, look how skinny you are!  You’re a bone!” my older sister marveled.

I was jealous.  I work out like a motha 6 days a week, training for races and kicking ass at Boot Camp classes while my little sister stuffs her face with spaghetti and chicken nuggets.  “Why don’t you ever call me a bone?” I asked my older sister.  “I want to be a bone!”

My older sister, never one to mince words, looked at me--specifically in the direction of what, in my mind, is my washboard-like stomach.  "You’ll never be a bone.  There are not enough 10k’s in the world to get rid of that thing.”

"Yeah, seriously," Mom agreed, munching on peanuts as she walked into the room.  "It's pretty big. You could be at least three months."


After our heated fight over the gift exchange, my Mom won $200 on a scratch-off from my younger sister, and I slapped my youngest brother for no reason.  (It takes a lot of years to realize which sibling has too kind of a heart to slap back, but I’ve got it down to an art now.)  After he got over the shock, I said, “Do you remember the year you got Dad the scratch-off for Christmas and he won $1,000?”

“Yeah,” my youngest brother said, rubbing his sore cheek.  “I was pissed!  If I’d have known that, I’d have kept it for myself.  That selfish asshole didn’t even share it.  That’s why I stole his washer and dryer that day he was at work.  Next time I’m having them check the scratch-offs to see if they’re winners before I hand them out.”

Because that’s the point of giving scratch-offs, right?  You want the person not to win? 

I leaned over to give my little bro some wise, older-sisterly advice.  “Listen, douchel, that’s why, if I ever give someone a scratch-off, I put a little note in there that says if they win anything over $100, it’s required that they split it with me.  I make them sign a waiver before they even start scratching.”  Damn right I do.

My favorite parts of Christmas this year, though, happened at my grandma’s house.  She’s 80, and my 4-year-old insists on calling her “Old Gramma.”  I have no idea why he does that, except that I told him her name was Old Gramma.  Every single time we come to visit, he tears through the house screaming, “Old Gramma!  Old Gramma!”  It always gets a pretty good laugh.

This year, like every year, we played Rob Your Neighbor.  My aunt labeled her Rob Your Neighbor gifts To:  Rob.  I will admit that I had no clue what it meant until my cousin explained it to me, but that didn’t stop me from making fun of my little sister when she asked who Rob was.

“Oh my gosh, you are such an idiot.  Rob isn’t a person.  Rob, like Rob Your Neighbor…get it?”

My little sister smiled and shook her head.  “How embarrassing!” she said as we all laughed, even though I probably wasn’t the only other one in the room that also hadn’t gotten the reference.  The point was, she had indicted herself, so she was fair game to make fun of.

“Jeez, Shay,” Dad said, watching me laugh at my sister.  “It’s almost more embarrassing now that she’s learned how to sound out words…”

“Oh, shut up, you guys!” my little sister complained.  “I swear, you make one mistake during White Elephant, and you’re labeled illiterate for life!”

“Don’t blame the elephant,” I retorted.  “You were illiterate way before the exchange.  By the way, how do you spell elephant?”


Dad nodded his head. “Yep, that’s what I thought.  She gets that from her mother’s side,” he explained, even though we were at Mom’s side, celebrating in the presence of all of the people he was making fun of.  Hey, it’s only been 21 years since the divorce, my peeps.  Those wounds are still fresh, so of course Dad still comes to Mom’s side’s celebration.  It’s part of their healing process.

The best part was when my cousin, who got married two years ago, announced that she was pregnant with her first child.  We all oohed and ahhed and congratulated her, even though I was really thinking, “Duuuuude.  That sucks.  Pregnancy BLOWS.”  I was getting ready to say it out loud when we all noticed that Old Gramma was crying on the corner of the couch.

My cousin jumped up and ran to the couch, sitting next to Old Gramma.  “Oh, Grams,” she said with a smile, “you’re too sweet.  You’re so happy for me that you’re crying!”

Grams said something out of the side of her mouth that I didn’t catch, but I saw the puzzled expression on my older sister’s face. 

"What?” I asked.  “What did I miss?”

My older sister looked at me, then back at Old Gramma.  “I heard that wrongly, right, Grams?  What did you say?”

Old Gramma looked right at my cousin and repeated her sentiment, forming her lips exaggeratedly around the words like we do to her because she’s so old that we’re afraid she can’t hear us:  “I said I’m crying because I don’t want there to be any more kids. I have enough great-grandkids running around here on Christmas!”

Holy shit. 

Well said, Grams.  We don’t need any more of those diaper-shitting, snot-nosed bastardos running around.  I mean, they totally ruin Christmas with their happiness and that sparkle in their eyes as the Christmas tree is lit up and their innocent love of Santa and the baby Jesus and the elves…

Speaking of elves, I’d say the Elf on the Shelf has nothing on our Christmas sock monkey, right?

Don’t worry, I returned the monkey to his normal sitting position before any of the kids could see his perverse pose (but after I snapped a pic, of course).  We don’t know who’s responsible for feeding the poor monkey some hard alcohol and manipulating him to degrade himself in this way, but I’m pretty sure it’s got Old Gramma’s name written all over it.  I’d say she was trying to tell us exactly what she thought of all of her future grandkids.


Oh, and maybe you can help me out a little bit with something.  My brother-in-law walked into the par-tay wearing this sweater:

Trouble was, it wasn’t an ugly Christmas sweater par-tay.  It was just a regular old Christmas celebration.  Before I realized what was happening, I gave him a compliment:  “I love that sweater!”

My brother-in-law looked at me with a puzzled expression on his face, very reminiscent of the one his wife uses when she’s trying to read a book.  “I can’t tell if that was a smartass comment or not, Shay.”

I looked back at him, blinking, equally puzzled.  “I can’t, either.”

My youngest brother yawned, bored.  “It’s sort of a funny sweater, but on the verge of edgy and cool.  It’s a perfectly executed outfit for either way.  So predictable.”

And he was right.  My brother-in-law is one of those guys full of that sweet kind of self-confidence, which he needs because he has been known to say things like, “But Shay, Neil Diamond is one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our generation,” after his phone’s ringtone exploded with Sweet Caroline and I tried to make fun of him.  Everyone nodded, agreeing, and instead of jumping on board and mercilessly teasing him about it, they all turned on me and bashed my barely-there knowledge of anything Neil Diamond.

This year, during the gift exchange, he had us all fighting over an old Boyz II Men Christmas CD after he said that he was so in love with the group that he’d hardly been able to part with the CD after buying it specifically for the Christmas exchange.

So you can understand my confusion about the sweater.  Is it totally nerdy, totally cool, or a purposeful mixture of both?  I’m inclined to agree with the latter, only because my brother-in-law told me so.

Since I’ve always been more of a follower than a leader, perhaps you, dear readers, could tell me what I think of the sweater…


  1. You seriously crack me up! I'm conflicted on the sweater too...I like it, I hate it, he's a nerd who's cool? I can't think about it anymore so I'm letting it go.

    Now the scratch off's...For years my husband put Powerball tickets in our friends' xmas cards. my heart would pound- I swore that they would win and I would end up hitting my husband for his stupid generousity.

    It all ended when a friend said he promised to split it with us if we won. He asked how much I would expect, I said "at least half". He thought I was a greedy bitch. So I showed him a greedy bitch...I let my husband continue to buy the tickets but I never stuck them in the cards again. I pocketed them. He caught on after 3 years when a friend mentioned not receiving them anymore. We never did win, karma is a bitch.

  2. Here's my take on the sweater: I like the collar, but I don't like it at the same time. The print isn't really manly, and the color in the pic makes it look almost like a pinkish red. If he is cool, he can pull it off.

    1. Unfortunately, Nikki, he is cool enough. I just hope he hasn't found this blog yet; I don't want him to know that I think he's cool. I prefer to call him a douchebag in person. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Found your post on the featured list on Bloggy Moms. Had to stop by your site. This was one of the funniest posts I've ever read. I too, am bummed about Christmas being "gone" for the year...thanks for the laughs!

    1. Thank you so much!! I thrive on positive reinforcement since I so obviously don't get it from my parents and/or siblings. I guess you get what you give, right? :) I headed over to your blog and tried to comment and follow, but I was unable to for some reason. I will get back to it later in the day and hopefully be able to sign up. Thanks again for reading and commenting!!

  4. Ha! Love that you yourself aren't even sure if your comments are snarky or not! Totally my kind of gal :) I'm with you on the sweate3r confusion--that's a tough call.

  5. LOVE THIS BLOG! (and I'm not just saying that. I'M NOT!!!!) Seriously. As a gal who saves potentially explosive topics for the holidays, just to push my sister's buttons, I can relate.

    1. Angela--I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm heading over to see your blog right now.