Anyway, on to my post. Christmas this year went better than usual, exept for Momma being so sick. For the past 25 years (at least), my family always had Christmas Dinner together, while my paternal grandparents had Christmas Lunch over at their place with all the grandkids. As a child, that kinda sucked. "I know that Santa Claus brought you all these cool new Transformers and G.I. Joes, but you can't open them and play with them now; we got to get ready to leave". By the time we got back from the Presleys, we were late trying to get things ready for our family gathering. By the time everyone left from all that, we were all exhausted. Frantic, crazy hollidays have always been the norm around here.
However, this year was somewhat different. My grandmother decided, on a whim, that they wanted Dinner this year instead. My mom's parents told her during her and my dad's first Christmas together to let his side decide whether they wanted Lunch or Dinner, and they'd take the other. When my mom's parents died, we had our own family gathering at that time instead, with cousins and aunts and the like. It's been that way for at least as long as my parents have been wed, if not longer. We were kinda pissed when she called us to tell us that the plans have been changed (for the first time in over a quarter century), as we already had plans for that evening. I still don't know why this was changed - probably because it would be easier for one of her other, more favorite children (my aunt and uncles). She said it would just be easier that way, since people wouldn't have to tear out of their homes quite so early to get together for Lunch. Heh, you should have thought about that back when we were kids and all we could think about was playing with the fun stuffs Santa brought us just hours before. More than likely one of the other families couldn't make lunch, so they changed it completely fore their sake. Rearranging everyone else's plans to make things easier for one of the "favorite" families has happened more times than I can count in the past two decades, so I'm not the least bit surprised.
To keep things short - we simply did not go. We have had our Christmas Dinner every year, and already had plans to do so again this year. One person in particular (Pam, I think...but it really doesn't matter who) scheduled lunch with her husband's family because she knew that we were having supper, and since that side of her family had all already made plans for lunch, it was too late to change things now. This is the first time I can ever remember simply not going over there. Since we're the black sheep of the family, no doubt the gossip was all about us since we didn't show. On the other hand, this is the side of the family that has openly called us a "nest of vipers" before, and just last month at Thanksgiving was more interested in seeing Daniel's pet fish than my fiancee's engagement ring. Daniel, of course, is one of the "favorites", so therefore seeing his pet fish is more important to that side of the family than the first grandson getting engaged. It's the first time anyone new has been brought into the family, and since I'm a good seven or so years ahead of any of the other grandkids (except for my brother, thespacecow), it'll likely not happen again for quite a while. It's really shitty, especially for moongoddess8 who was lookingforward to showing off that expensive diamond to everyone...but I guess that fish is more important to them all than our family is. [Side note: Daniel is 15 or 16 now, so this isn't the "Ain't that Cute?!?" reaction that people give little kids when they want to show something of theirs off. Just thought I'd mention that, since most of you don't know Daniel. Lucky you.] =P
On the plus side, however, it made for a very nice, slow paced Christmas. We woke up, and the four of us unwrapped presents. It was too bad that moongoddess8 wasn't able to be there with us from the start, but having to drive over from Mississippi, she wasn't able to get over here before noon at the absolute soonest. After the four members of my immediate family dined on homemade M&M cookies and milk, and unwrapped each other's gifts, we had plenty of time to take pictures, play with our new stuffs, and lounge around at out own leisure. Around 10:30 or 11:00, Rod and Dorothy came over from next door. Gator and Mel were off at her grandparents, so luckily it was just them two. More chat, more gifts, more munching on horribly fattening sweets of various kinds. Laura called to say that she'd be late, so after Rod and Dorothy left, we all went to take naps. RJ got on the computer, I think, but the rest of us lied down. Mom is still unbelievably sick, so she needed some rest after spending all that time up and about. Myself, my back was absolutely killing me. For most of the morning, it felt as if someone was jabbing me in the spine with a sharp knife, twisting it as the blade pierced my flesh. So, I doped myself up on a Darvacet and hit the sack to try to rest up. [Note to self: find out who just got a VooDoo doll of me for Christmas and rip their ball sack off.]
It was so great not having anywhere to go or anything to do till suppertime. We woke up and got ready, and Mom Dad and RJ all left for Pam and Timmie's place. Laura still had not arrived, so I waited behind for her. She pulled in, coincidentally enough, just as the others were pulling out. She came inside, and I helped her with her bags. Also, I gave her her present (since I got the same thing for other people, and didn't want to ruin the surprise). Since we are both so hideously broke, we decided to make each other's present this year. I originally had several things in mind, but they all kind of flopped. One present was something that I found out that someone else was going to buy her. One couldn't be done in time. I didn't have the supplies to make one. Another couldn't be attempted due to incliment weather. Finally, I decided to cook something for her. Her and my mom both tried to make pecan pralines the year before, but the results weren't quite successful. Since we kinda had started that last year and it was memorable, I decided to attempt it on my own. Of course, the odds were kinda stacked against me, since pralines are one of the hardest things to try to make from scratch (or so I've heard). However, they turned out amazingly well. EVERYONE went on and on about how great my nuts were. Everyone else makes pralines, but my recipie is for "sugar nuts". Heh. Laura seemed to love her present, and mentioned several times how she couldn't wait to taste my big, delicious nuts. That tended to be the running joke of the night. ^_^
Anyway, we grabbed everyone's presents and headed over to Pam and Timmie's. Laura drove, since I was still slightly messed up from the medication. Of course, I opened the door with a hearty "Merry Christmas! EAT MY NUTS!!", and began passing out the leftovers from Laura's present. (After filling Laura's heart-shaped Christmas tin with the biggest and the prettiest ones, there were plenty left over, so I boxed them up and passed some out to everybody). Mom, Pam, and everyone really seemed to love them. Either they turned out amazingly well, or they were trying not to hurt my feelings, as I often joke abouth ow much I hate cooking. Uncle Ralph was there, and I think that might have been the first time him and Laura had met one another. The evening was spent listning to Doctor Demento records, eating seafood gumbo (shrimp and crab and oh my God was it yummy!) and playing foosball. Again, I am not worthy to play the same table as Pam - she has trancented mortal bounds and plays that game as well as the blind, dumb, and deaf kid plays pinball. And that was after not touching the thing since April! Do not, under any circumstances, play her unless it's two on one and she's got one hand tied behind her back...and even then, you better be lucky. >_<
It wouldn't be any kind of a post-Christmas post if I don't brag about what all I got from the big guy, so here's a rundown of my cool stuffs. I'll LJ-cut it so that I don't bore anyone.
From my folks, I got the most and best stuffs, obviously. Plenty of candies and other stocking stuffers, and some cash that's supposed to be for presents but will be for January's bills instead. Also, some nifty black boxers with dragons all over them. One of my favorites: "Devil's Advocate" on DVD - they was going to be "The One" (which is a damn good movie, IMHO) but they were sure that I would have already had that one, so it turned itn obeing Gator's present instead. Two CD's: the Family Values Tour CD, and Godsmack: Awake. Got a pair of dice made out of marble or some other stone. They're huge and they're heavy...paperweights, most likely, but I'm still going to try to roll these 2d6 for my Greatsword damage in Jason's D&D game. It'll likely also do 2d6 damage to the table, so maybe not. Heh. They also got me a book about dealing with people I can't stand, since I had such a hellified semester this time around. Funny gift, if not useful. Perhaps the coolest thing was a Black Knight doll, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Best thing is that the limbs actually come off! That has to be one of the coolest toys I've seen in years. ^_^
thespacecow got me a fauyx Highlander sword. I love that series, and I'm slowly but surely starting a sword collection, so it was a matter of time before someone got me a dragon-head katana. Cool as hell - I just wish I still remembered all those sword kata that Sensei Collier tought us that semester when everyone there (aside from myelf) was blue belt or higher. [Interesting side note: our Grand Master was the one who directed the swordfighting scenes in Highlander III. Horrible movie, but excellent sword work.] moongoddess8 made me a wall hanging with various Confererate stuffs. Big battle flag in the center of the frame, with pictures of Lee and Jackson on either side, and replicas of Confederate money across the top and bottom. To all the Yanks that read my journal, you probably aren't able to understand this kind of a gift, but trust me when I say it's pretty damn cool. Especially when you're the direct decendant of a famous Civil War leader. ::smiles:: Only problem is I don't know where the hell to hang it. My room here in Mobile is really tiny, and with a black roommate, putting it up in my dormroom isn't likely the best solution. I'd like to hope that after 150 years, black folks would get used to the fact that white people have culture and heritage of their own, and understand that the antebellum South is as much a part of who we are as the Afrika tribes are part of their history. However, since most people overreact and automatically think that owning a Confederate battle flag automatically makes me a Klan member intent on lynching every black or Jew I see, then there's no need for me to do anything that might stir unreasonable people up into a riot.
Rod and Dorothy got me a slick-tastic knife. Doesn't look sharp enough to be used for anything, but it's nice and shiny and has a really interesting design. Blades open out from both ends, and the handle itself has a design carved into is. All metallic and angular and overall cool. Aunt Joyce got me a new belt, something that I've been needing for ages. The one I'm using now was a gift to me back when I was in like 8th grade. Pam and Timmie got me and laura out first present as a couple. It was in one box, so I was wondering how we'd unwrap in and who would take it home, since I live in Mobile/Tuscaloosa and she lives in Pascagoula. However, it turned out to be a pair of matching his and her Geneva watches. They are uber spiffy cool! Me and laura both love silver, and it's so cool that they match. Also, her watc hbroke just last week, and I noticed that mine was starting to tear last night. They spent way too much on us.....you really shouldn't have. Other than that, I got Wal-Mart gift certificates that, like the cash that my parents gave me, will be put towards food and bills respectively instead of toys and books and DVD's. However, RJ already spent his cash online, so I'll just pretend that some of those DVD's are ours to share - at least until I move out next year and go out into the big, scary "Real World" (TM).
I don't know what to expect from the Presleys. Dad left out an hour or so early for work so that he could drop by and tell his mom and stepdad Merry Christmas. I'm sure they got us something, and it usually tends to be one of the more....interesting, let's say...gifts of the year. One time, she got me the same present as her dog. And bragged about it to everyone, too. She made sure that everyone there knew that her first grandchild got the same present as her dog. Heh. One year, I got a free Tony the Tiger baseball, free with five proofs of purchase. (A baseball was a decent present, even if it was from Frosted Flakes, so that one is actually higher than most on the present-o-meter). One year, I got a hot pink hairbrush. First off, I'm a B-O-Y. Male. Equipped with fun dangely parts. Second of all, I had no hair at the time. I had a 1/4 inch crewcut. Thirdly, it wasn't even a comb, but one of those big poofy brushes that guys don't even know how to use. Don't get me wrong - I'm no selfish prick that only cares about presents - but it is kinda insulting when someone just throws something at you, without even stopping to think about you at all. Like they always say, "it's the thought that counts". With those people, you're not important for them to think about as long as they get something for you to unwrap so that they say that they got you a present. Either that, or they let you know that they think about you on the same level as they think about their dog, and make sure that everyone knows that you were thinking that. Bah.
Anyway, that's about it from our holliday. It was fun and relaxing, even though I hate to see momma so damn sick. Still got a week and a half left before we gotta pack up and move back to college, so hopefully now that no one's in a rush I can sleep late, hang out with my Mobile friends, watch TV and spend time with my laura. Happy Hollidays, everyone! I hope your Christmas was as enjoyable on average as mine ended up being! ^_^