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Xmas: Keeping the cross in Christ.   —   Holidays

Christmas is like a wedding. You get yourself all worked up over the event, spend tons of money and time planning, and then it's all over in one day, leaving you feeling slightly empty in its aftermath. This year we spent Xmas with my in-laws. It was pleasant and survivable which was more than I'd thought it would be, so, success! My mother-in-law goes all out for Xmas. We're talking ten foot tree, huge holiday dinner, half a dozen bottles of champaign, and enough Xmas music to kill an elf. And the amount of presents this woman buys ... my god. She could save a small country from starvation and homelessness with the amount of money she probably spends. Nevertheless, it's appreciated and of course exciting to open 30 gifts all with your name on them and all more expensive than any working 20-something New Yorker like myself could afford. This year there was ten of us for Xmas day. All the kids and their spouses were there this year, probably wrangled with the idea that it would be our last Xmas with his family for a very long time. The pile of gifts was intimidating. It surrounded the ten foot Xmas tree completely sometimes stacking up to three feet tall and spilling out onto the living room floor another four feet. When we dolled out the gifts to the individuals, people were trapped by their stacks, unable to move for the next two hours of present opening. It was exciting, I can't lie, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, but wow... cashmere sweaters, leather purses, jewelry, movies, books, art, gift cards, clothes, music, body lotions and soaps and perfumes, afghans, kitchen appliances... the list keeps going. It's a good thing we'd rented a car because otherwise we'd have never made it home with our goodies. Thank you Santa!

The next day we awoke in our very own bed in Brooklyn and sleepily traipsed into the living room to another large stack of gifts from my family and from each other. Xmas day #2! Tons more goodies to open and thank-you phone calls to make and toys to play with. The kitties also received gifts from Santa and not long after opening them Commodore was passed out on his new heating pad with a catnip toy grasped between his paws. Tsunami was far more interested in the boxes than in his automatic laser toy that I'd spent $20 on, to which Adam delivered somewhat of an "I told you so".

Last Friday evening was my first Xmas present from Adam, we both dressed up and went to a fancy dinner complete with candlelight, wine, and desert. Then it was off to see The Nutcracker! Terrific view in Orchestra seats we sat back and watched the next two hours of Xmas magic unfold in the form of ballet and wonderful stage props. It was beautiful and the music was enchanting, a perfect Xmas gift and a great start to our Xmas vacation.

Today however, is the last day of Adam's time off work and my first day back at work. My six days of vacation went by in blink of an eye and being at work today seems more cruel than usual. I wish Santa would have given me an early retirement fund. Maybe next year.

Posted 12.27.2006 11:00:07 AM

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