Wishing you and your families and friends a joyous holiday...give peace a chance! Hope your extended family time was warm and wonderful, drama-free and that the togetherness didn't drive you all bananas. I'm proud to say I made it through Christmas Eve and Day on only one anxiety pill. A new holiday record, though we have yet to get through New Year's.
It's admittedly a difficult time of year for alcoholics. So much of holiday celebrating is centered around alcohol--champagne, wine, spirits, loaded punches, but my family is overly compensatory by not having any alcohol served at our family gatherings. Not that them having wine with dinner would bother me, but I spent many a Christmas totally loaded, and though it's been almost 4 years since I had a drink, it's still on my mind during the holidays. But I made it through another Christmas soberly. So yay me.
On Christmas Eve, I received a gorgeous pair of Tiffany-designed earrings from Kate from the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art. They're sort of blue-green and have gold flecks in them, and match my eyes, Kate said. They'll go nicely with all the various shades of blue scrubs I wear, and will match with my fancy clothes too (not that I ever go anywhere fancy anymore, but you never know, the day could come again someday...), Kate knowing what a lover of jewelry I am and Kate having exquisite taste, I'm deeply appreciative.
Speaking of being a non-conformist female who's in love with jewelry, I'm going on public record admitting I opened a present from my best male friend that I wasn't supposed to open until after I receive my Christmas gift from my Tatus for reasons my friend didn't explain. I'm sure the two hadn't been co-conspiring and he told me, "Look, I know you're excited about getting his present and you love the guy, but don't open my present until after you open his." Understand that it took all of my strength to open the signature-required, insured Fed Ex box and saw the small, wrapped gift box and didn't tear it open immediately. I promised him I'd wait, but curiosity and impatience overwhelmed me, not to mention my overly curious friends (it could be days--a week or more before Tatus and I exchange gifts!). I shan't reveal what the content of the gift was yet, but he wrote in the card that he "upped the ante" on the gift representing the past, present and future of our friendship that he bought me for Valentine's Day in 2010. I was, in a word, flabbergasted.
Our family had a (mostly) relaxing, humorous and cozy Christmas. My brother's divorce was finalized the day before Christmas Eve, so this was the first holiday season without my oft-difficult (now former) sister-in-law. Steve and his son (and their border collie, Sadie) spent the night and just ate and relaxed and ate more and relaxed more at our house the entirety of the holiday without walking on eggshells worrying about the reactions and opinions of his erstwhile wife.
Saw the extended Miklasz clan (my dad's brother, his wife, and my cousin and her husband) sans my loony aunt spouting off at me because I'm an alcoholic and have texted at the table before (good), though she bought me a pair of utterly useless mittens...my mom made me my own fuzzy fleece giant Beatles blanket (awesome), I got my brother 4 pairs of his favorite drum sticks (always handy from drummer to drummer) and he bought me long underwear to keep me warm under my scrubs (necessary), Luke and Jake got all sorts of cool stuff (Jake got the Limited Edition Flaming Lips Strobotoy with USB memory stick containing their 6-hour long song, a toy you can trip and strobe lights with (perfect for him), Luke got a decent haul from me and a helluva lot from his dad and clan, and my mom only freaked out once, after dinner tonight when she was exhausted. The rest of the time, she was busy enjoying the spiffy new China teapot all of us kids chipped in on and bought her that doesn't drip, has an opening big enough to thoroughly clean and is in a floral pattern she found beautiful.
We made it to church to celebrate Christ's birth at the early service and were disappointed that the "candlelight" portion of the service included only a handful of fake candles and they didn't even dim the church during "Silent Night," the real candles reserved for the brave souls who went to the 11pm service. The service in general felt more obligatory than celebratory, but I'm cutting the new pastor some slack since it's his first holiday with our church.
Surrendered my bed to my nephew and slept on an air mattress in the office underneath my new Beatles blanket from Ma, which wasn't the most restful night of sleep I've e'er had but was over at 6:45 am anyway and I got up to have my tea and cigarettes in peace before the rest of the clan awakened. Fortunately, my brother's dog decided she could wait to out for a potty break until my brother woke up from all the rattle Ma and I were making downstairs.
Luke left at noon to go to Dad's where he apparently received a motherload, making me look like the cheap parent (I am, after all, the poor one!), all of which he showed me when he came home briefly tonight (with his charming little boy trapped in an old man's body personality) before he left with my brother and Jake to spend the next 3 days in De Kalb over break. Got to see Craig briefly, who I'm honestly sort of miffed at. I bought him a gift from Luke for Christmas--a book he really wanted--and he got me....Luke's lunch ticket for the month of January. I'm mid-process being accepted, due to my low income, into the free hot lunch program, but until then I have to pay for school lunches, and Craig bought Luke a handful and said that was MY gift from my son. Call the LAME ASS police.
It wouldn't be Christmas without a noir photograph my nephew took of me in my dorky hat! I look overly pensive.
Now, onto New Year's Plans...I have Luke this year, so we'll probably go out to dinner and hang out at home, and surely he and I will make it until midnight...Ma, not so sure. Missing my friends in Oklahoma and the chance to see them play with Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band, but hoping my one-degree-of-separation from Yoko garners me a special message via my buddy...
So overall, Christmas was great. My mom's already asleep, exhausted from preparations, cooking and blankie making for all the kids, and her 6 varieties of freshly-baked cookies (I'm telling you, I'll crack 120 lbs by New Year's if I keep eating the way I'm eating!). I have a paid holiday off of work tomorrow, hooray, for which I'm thankful (as I was with my Christmas bonus, of which I'm deeply appreciative and it was more than I felt I deserved, but our practice is very good to we loyal workers).
A non-material gift for my Tatus, a song I put on one of the CD's I made for him this year--his birthday CD maybe? I dunno if he actually bothered to listen to it, but it's by my friend's band (from years and years ago, back when my friend still played drums for them, before he started to play keyboards and guitars) and certainly rocks and reminds me of him, because he's a scientist....
Again, Merry Christmas everyone! Christ is born!