I actually love Christmas. The Jesus part of Christmas. All the other stuff- I could do without. Of course the most stressful part for me is the annual get together with the in-laws.
But this year - after only 12 years of marriage, I have finally figured it out. Even though they say we are NOT going to exchange gifts- they don't mean it. That is actually code for "Bring gifts. Something nice preferably."
This took me a long time to figure out because my family is not like that. No- in my family we are serious when we say stuff like that. We are honest. And rude. The rudeness is the downside- the upside is you always know if you are supposed to bring a gift or not.
So- I did finally figure it out and we arrived at the chosen in-law house with family gifts for all! It was the first family Christmas party that didn't end in angry tears and humiliation for me. As it turns out, I am a very slow learner.
The highlight of the in-law trip for me was a very serious game of Family Feud. (Did you know you can get Christmas Family Feud questions off the Internet? Genius, I tell you!) I had the brilliant suggestion that we play in-laws against the siblings.
They actually took the bait!
So- we line up. My husband, his mother, brother and two sisters on one side of the room. Me and my sister and brother- in- law on the opposite side of the room. We also played with two teenage children to get even numbers, despite the fact that technically they weren't in-laws.
This was a genius suggestion because I know my husband and his family- they aren't real trivia freaks. However- my sister -in -law and my brother- in -law and I are all readers and we remember stuff. Plus we had the advantage of all coming from different backgrounds so we had a different set of info and customs coming into the game.
Just as I suspected, we totally humiliated them.
It may turn out to be the best moment of the holiday's for me....maybe of all time.
There was homemade cheesecake (my husband's sister is a domestic goddess) which was fabulous- but still, it paled in comparison to a public, in-law spanking.
I could really talk about this all day, but I am going to go ahead and move on.
We drove home. Luckily in Northern California there are lots of windy roads, so there was vomit. This seems to happen a lot on family trips.
When we arrived home I took in a less than beautiful sight.
The dining room table was covered in "stuff." You know, trip stuff. Dirty clothes. Presents. Food. Wrappers. Things that need to be put away at 11o'clock at night on a Saturday. To the left was another treat for mom- a car seat, freshly covered in grade A, travel puke. Yum.
My daughter (the one who spewed) said:
"I never want to drive there again!"
I agreed in a most grumpy tone. Hubby, while busy playing video games or something useful told me I was being negative.
He is lucky to have survived.
To his credit, he did get up and help me get everything cleaned up after I gave him the look of death.
It is two days until Christmas now. The children just discovered all the stocking stuffers hidden in my closet. I think I said something about how Christmas is now ruined. (If anybody leaves a comment about how this was just deserts for lying to my kids about Santa, I will delete it. Oh yeah, I will.)
It will be OK though. All the in-law's survived and I still got to enjoy the sheer pleasure of public humiliation on the part of those I have married into.
Today I overheard my mother in law telling somebody that we (my sister- in- law, brother- in- law, and I) only won the game of Family Feud because of cheating and technicalities and freebies on the part of the judge.
For the record that is totally untrue! TOTALLY UNTRUE!
We won fair and square. And by over 300 points. Boo YA!