Christmas starts tomorrow. I got my hair done today for the occasion (yeah, it's still getting darker) and have finished buying, wrapping and bowing all of my gifts. Gatsby is heading to the PetHotel for day camp tomorrow and I am heading with Ma and Pa to Alexandria for Christmas #1.
Christmas #1 will be the most difficult. Two grandparents who don't really even know that it's Christmas. We'll get to the assisted living place at around 11; the first words out of my grandma's mouth will be regarding my hair. She'll want to know why I've ruined it (or something to that effect) and will point out a picture of me in my blonder days and remark how pretty I was. Ayuh. We'll eat some broiled chicken in the dining room (I've eaten there at least five times and have yet to eat anything besides broiled chicken. Kick ass potatoes, though) and then open presents. Grandma will be overwhelmed and Grandpa will want to take a nap. We'll take our leave at around 3pm, exhausted. Hopefully my dad and my grandma won't fight because, well, it's Christmas.
Christmas #2 is my favorite. At around 3pm on Christmas Eve I'll bundle up Gatsby and take him to my parents house. We'll have some drinks and hang out....for about eight hours. We eat dinner, open presents, eat pie, open presents, play with the dog, play with our presents, etc. I'll head home around 10pm, full, fat and tired, and totally satisfied. I might even go to midnight mass. Well, I guess for us Lutherans it's called "candlelight service." Either way, it could happen.
Christmas #3 is still up in the air in terms of its goodness. On the 25th I'll be, for the third time, trundling up to my parents' house and then to Buffalo. My aunt and grandpa are a guarantee. My cousins and my grandpa's girlfriend are optional. Cousins would be cool...grandpa's girlfriend will be a lousy way to end Christmas. She only talks about herself, and she never, ever shuts up. Every story that anyone manages to squeeze in gets turned back around to her. She squeezes my grandpa's knee and calls him "honey". This makes me gag, and gagging is not something anyone should have to do on Christmas day. If, however, Grandpa's girlfriend is not attending the festivities, then I'll get to hang with my grandpa and catch up with everything and pretend that he does not have a girlfriend. We'll open some presents either way, and at around 3pm (my whole life revolves around 3pm, yes it does) I'll head home and collapse in a satisfied heap of post-Christmas goo.
Tonight I'm still plowing through books. I'll hit 50 easily--I'm still trying to push to 55 or 60 by New Year.