The holidays at my house are never exactly like those from a hallmark movie. Although to be honest these days, whose are? My brothers and I are all over the age of 20, so there’s no tearing apart wrapping paper fanatically for new toys. My parents plan on moving soon, so this is the last Christmas in the house I’ve lived in for 15 years, which one would think it’d be a little more special, but really it’s not.
So what is special about our family Christmases? Quite a few things, actually. We have one odd tradition that seems to turn heads when I try to explain. Christmas celebrations last three days in my house. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, AND the day after Christmas. The 26th of December is actually our biggest holiday gathering, my dad’s side of the family gets together. We drink and be merry. I have one of those families that when outsiders meet them, the phrase “Liz, I LOVE your family” is often uttered. We’re that family.
To paint a picture, I’ll introduce some family members.
Uncle Nat. He’s a car salesmen. That would speak for itself, but I must delve into specifics. Every conversation is him trying to sell something. Whether it be a car to my brother, or his idea for his new book (it’s been “in the works” for years) Simple Solutions to the World’s Problems. Use your imagination on that one.
Uncle Bob. He comes in tow with my Aunt Bonnie–not a real aunt, because they’re not married, but still my aunt nonetheless. What also comes in tow is their giant yellow lab, Mack. My dad insists on always calling the dog “Matt,” which is my brother’s name. It was funny one time, and then never again.
My grandfather. He’s my only living grandparent. He is the greatest man ever. His voice reminds me of James Earl Jones. He says what’s on his mind, regardless if it’s politically correct, racist, or impolite. He’s like Clint Eastwood, but aged a lot better. He’s a WWII veteran from Guadalcanal and in his late 80s…the rules of society don’t apply to him anymore. And yet he still puts up with my dad forcing him to watch Band of Brothers or The Pacific.
So long story
short slightly less long, the holidays are about getting together and sharing time with close friends and family. And that’s exactly what we do. We talk, we laugh, we drink, we talk some more, we compare my dad and his brothers’ hair loss, and we laugh some more. It’s not quite Normal Rockwell. But what does Norman Rockwell know? The people in his pictures all look like my roommate when she’s had too much to drink–completely red in the face and all too giddy for real life. SO, I’m thinking my family would probably make Norman Rockwell jealous.