We woke up to gentle music playing and our little angels had made up breakfast in bed...oh my...they are only 8, 5 and 3. Down the stairs we went with lights all a glow....For St. Nick had been here and I didn't even know. We opened the presents one by one and the children laughed with glee....we then left to my parents where the rest of my family would sing and be merry. Our last stop would be at my Uncle's, where all the relatives would gather around and sing "oh holy night" It was too beautiful to even......"
Gotcha didn't I? You really believed me, huh? Sorry....I am jokester like that....
On Christmas morn, I thought I heard the pitter patter of feet. Then, I soon realized that our bulldog was just sounding her horn (she is so gassy) and off to grab the Febreze I went. I raced to get dressed before the children woke up. I didn't want them to see that I looked like death. I put my hair up and dabbed on some makeup. I went to the closet to sit and meditate before the craziness was sure to insist. Soon the door hit my face while my husband let out a yell "What in the heck (hell) are you doing in there". He went to grab his keys, because he thought his wife had gone batty and it was time to take me some where. I assured him I was not...at least not right then.
The children woke up with foam coming out of their mouth...the excitement was too much for them to take. We had a blanket wrapped around the top of the stairs to give the subtle hint to be patient for mom and dad. We tore away the blanket and down the stairs they ran. The stopped abruptly to say "Where is mine?" For the next hour, presents were ripped open and I was smiling...for I knew the trick was to put ear plugs in and it was all for the best.
Everyone was happy, until it was time to eat.. (mind you, it is only 8am and we had been up for quite some time) The screaming and fighting started just as I knew it would. There is something comfortable about the familiarity of it all.
Then, the race begins...we head to my parents with all of our other presents and a group of grumpies in the back because we had to leave the house and our presents behind. I tell them how much fun it will be with such false glee.
There was 13 of us in a small condo trying to move around to hug the other... The children decided not to eat, because the presents looked to them like meat. The carnavores gathered around the Christmas tree stalking it as if it were prey.
It was time to let the chaos begin again. Noises at a deafening level were all about...soon, the children would start to fight. I am still smiling, because no one notices my ear plugs.
As it is every year of my 30 something years (did I mention EVERY YEAR?) My father gets in a panic because it is noon and we must hurry to be at his brother's (my uncle) at half past 3:00. Which honestly, is less than 5 minutes away. So, with 3 and 1/2 hours to go, I thought we were in the clear. But, as tradition stands...my dad would wait by the car and bang on it to tell us "WE ARE LATE!!!" Forgot to mention that we still had 30 minutes to go and my Uncle could care less if we came on the dot every year at 3:30.
As the bell struck 3:31 and I am helping my mother find her things and because she has gout that causes her to walk very slow and in pain. I am now panic stricken because I hear the beeping of the car horn and I revert back to childhood...."Mom!! Hurry....Dad is going to be so mad!!!" The remaining 12 of us try to get out the door, when my nephew comes in to tell us that Dad had taken off in the car. Side note here: He is an amputee, just had quadruple bypass and is not supposed to be driving for a while.
My siblings (except for my other sister who is in Florida...boy how I wished she was here...we always make her go first) and I look at each other in shock and awe and I start to take off my boot and run after his car. With his one good leg, the van left me in the dust. I am wishing that I could give him a good swift in the butt.
I held my Mom's hand and muttered underneath my breath. She was too out of breath to hear what I had to say. That is a good thing. The convoy of our family arrives only 2 minutes after my father. The siblings and brother's in law made a pact that we were not speaking to him. But, of course...my little crew quickly proceeded to tell their grandpa exactly this "oooooooooo you are in trouuuuuuubbbbbllleeeee" And ran as fast as they could up the stairs to become the INFORMERS to tell us what they said.
The weather outside was frightful...almost 65 degrees. We are next to Virginia people...we are not in Florida...why is it so hot!! I take off my jacket and try to take off anything else I can, but, of course that wouldn't be prudent on Christmas day (or any other day for that matter). Again, I began to glisten and fume as my father was telling his brothers that we had plenty of time to get ready. Oh, if he only knew what my mother had gone through to get to this day. My face is as red as blood and I proceeded to go where my father was. I told my uncles it was time to eat. He said "go and get your father something to eat". I smiled and said "He is your brother, you were with him first....you go get him something to eat". I turned and walked up the stairs and looked back to make sure my uncle wasn't there....because I couldn't believe what I had just said and I broke out into a run for fear that I would get in time out. I clung to my siblings and we were like children afraid to go downstairs. We ate until our hearts content (don't worry....my mom made my dad a plate but had it delivered through my nephew). I tried to be good with my eating...protein first and well...they said it was dinner time...so, I tiptoed to the chocolate truffle and put it on my plate. I can hear in the background my uncles and cousins yelling about the election and corrupt politics. I roll my eyes as I do every year since I was old enough to understand that Christmas time at my fathers side of the family meant yelling and arguing and someone walking out.
My attention is diverted back to the truffle....Hmmm....that bite went down pretty good, I say. So, I took another and well, lets just say I took off running..... again. So glad that there was a bathroom nearby.
Time for presents to be open....20 some odd people in one room and my face is red and my belly swollen from being so sick....I watch the madness as if it were a slow motion picture film.
Wrapping paper went flying and all the children giggled with glee. I sat next to my brother and sister and we held each others knee to wait for Ashton Kutcher because we know we've just been punked .
Finally, my dad asks if I will ever speak to him again. I say "as long as you never leave my mother again." I stick out my tongue and he tries to hit me with his prosthetic leg. I am so glad that we are back to being normal again...
It was late that night, and all of the presents we had gotten were in the back of the car...we waved goodbye and gave our thanks. We get the kids in the car and within a few minutes, they look like they had been gassed as they all had their mouths open, eyes closed and drool coming down their face. My hair and my nerves were completely frazzled...well...let me show you, I looked something like this:
Hubby and I just smile at each other and I look out the window with my Zune in my ears....thinking....
"Thank goodness this doesn't happen but just once a year"