The Christmas tale continues. Here's the first installment.
TUESDAY: Christmas, of course! We woke up at 9 and moseyed downstairs once my mom had passed us. We don't do Santa much anymore, as the Brother is going to be eighteen in a few weeks. My mom does fill the stockings with little gifts, though, like wind-up toys and Christmas candy (Daddy fills her stocking with Lindt chocolates and scented soaps). Inexpensive fun things. This year was kind of lame because Daddy was down watching TV when we woke up, and then we sat around waiting while my mom put breakfast in the oven and they watched MORE TV- and not even something Christmasy, they were watching a robot movie. Grr. But they stopped when Mummy and I finished making breakfast and we opened the stocking gifts, all wrapped in tissue paper. Then, as breakfast cooked, we started the other family presents-- I gave my sister a scarf, my brother a book about numbers, my dad a bottle of special olive oil and my mom a little cosmetic bag for her purse (she needed one, her old one broke) and an organic candy bar.
My parents gave me lots of stuff-- this is what they do instead of buying me stuff I need or want at other times. So I got a Leatherman tool, and plush microbes from ThinkGeek (syphilis, malaria and mono), and Age of Mythology for my computer because I am a myth geek and have wanted it for years but couldn't afford it. And I finally got a new hair dryer to replace the one that broke. Shrewd's making me a scarf but she's been sick and couldn't finish it in time. I don't mind, though. The Brother gave Daddy a collection of Agatha Christie movies, including The Man in the Brown Suit, which is a movie that Daddy taped off the TV years ago, but which was then accidentally taped over by Shrewd. Daddy loved it and was disappointed as hell. He was thrilled, as was Shrewd, who is FINALLY out of the doghouse.
Soon breakfast was done. Christmas breakfast for us is almost as big as dinner. The traditional family Christmas breakfast is an egg casserole (part veggie and sausage, part sausage only, part veggie only), cinnamon rolls hot from the oven, homemade tea breads and fresh-squeezed orange juice. We finished presents after breakfast, then cleaned up the wrapping paper so that the house would be ready when Ryter arrived.
Ryter came soon after, and we talked and helped with dinner until it was time to eat. Dinner was tenderloin with peppercorn sauce and stuffed scrod with Newburg sauce; sweet potatoes, my mother's famous cloverleaf rolls, peas, broccoli, shrimp cocktail, sweet baby carrots and probably something else I forgot. It was wonderful, as my mom's cooking always is, even without the traditional popovers Shrewd usually makes (she was too sick to handle food safely).
Ryter opened my gift and I opened his; I gave him a T-shirt of Emperor Constantine Paleologos and he gave me a collection of Phillip K. Dick novels. My parents also gave him some maps of the White Mountains for hiking in the spring, and he gave Daddy a bottle of rum, for general over-21 consumption. The Brother and Daddy played with their new mini RC helicopters.
After we cleaned up from dinner we played Trivial Pursuit (Daddy and Mummy against the Brother, myself, and Ryter) and my team lost miserably. They got lots of easy questions. We had pie and cheesecake for desert and split up, Shrewd playing with her brand new laptop (boy did she need it), the Brother and Daddy playing Scrabble and Mummy setting up her new vacuum cleaner from my grandmother, while Ryter and I hung out, watched some Bones, and then said our good nights.
It was a marvelous Christmas all around.