It was A Very Watson Christmas, which is to say if strangers had peeked in on us they would have been kinda' skeert, but those of us who have been gathering for as many years as we recall quite enjoyed ourselves and feel fairly satisfied during this reflection phase. Today was among our less structured days. Which is to say with very little planning, our Christmas just sort of unfolded and evolved and then we left town just before my parents did the same. (My brother is having a fairly bizarre sort of surgery at the University of Birmingham, possibly tomorrow but possibly not; my folks spent Sunday night in AL and they'll do the same tonight, after having returned home to fit in a semi-traditional holiday. That, too, is "very Watson" of them.)
The most blog-worthy highlights of Christmas of 07 are, for me, those categorized as "Lessons Learned." So with no further ado, I'll tell you a few of the things I've learned (or relearned,) having spent a day with my parents, my sister, her husband, and their 22 month old:
- No matter how much you're enjoying the peculiar kind of bonding that occurs the last week of the year between you and my family, it is never a good idea to share your delight in all that is uncouth and unholy about Robert Earl Keene's Merry Christmas from the Family video on YouTube. Trust me. They don't want to see it. They don't find it funny. They never will. And they're not necessarily that pleased that you decided to bring it into their home on Christmas day, either. So see if you can't just not make that mistake again, ever. 'Kay...?
- Even the most remarkably happy baby in the world will eventually crumble under the weight of an explosive meltdown (or, if you're really lucky, a steady stream of them,) when faced with too little sleep and too much sugar.
- There's something about a holiday in my family's house that triggers a pre-adolescent, sibling-esque reaction between my brother-in-law and me. It's time to stop fighting it and let it be. We are, at least 15 minutes out of every family gathering, guaranteed to become children when dealing with each other. Period. (But for the record? He started it.)
- Just because my Dad didn't wear a Santa tie (the one that plays music when you push that little button,) for 39 other years doesn't mean he can't start now!
- It doesn't matter how much you've bonded, shared, connected, or otherwise trusted my sister, you CANNOT trust her. Don't let your guard down. She'll nail you and tell the whole family about your klepto phase. As was evidenced in the conversation that unfolded here, begun while she was drying some dishes while my mother washed:
Joy: Do you know where this fork came from? (Holding it up for all to see.)
Mom: No. Where?
Joy: Melody stole it.
Mom: From you?
Joy: Oh no, not from me!
Me: Um, excuse me. What are you doing?
Joy: From a restaurant!
Me: You WILL not say which one!
Mom: She WHAT???
Joy: She stole it! From a restaurant!
Me: I, um, went through a phase 20 years ago. I stole some flatware.
Mom: Stealing? We taught you better than that!
Me: I know. It wasn't about you. I'm sorry. I can't explain it.
Mom: Are you over that phase?
Me: Oh yes. For almost ever.
Mom: My daughter. Stealing from restaurants.
Me: (to the untrustworthy sister) What did I ever do to you?
Joy: (Giggling.) Don't know what came over me. Saw the fork. Had to say it.
Me: I wonder whatever happened to the rest of 'em? I kinda' liked that flatware.
Joy: I'd say so...
And those are just a few of my own recalled highlights from this year. I hope your own was also lovely. And that you're gonna' get some rest, too...sometime!