Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas Time Was Here

Christmas Day was, all things considered, a pretty awesome day for us.

The boys have been off school all week, and they let us out of work around 2 o'clock on Tuesday. Tuesday night (Christmas Eve) I had no chorus rehearsal, so we engaged in the ancient Jewish Christmas tradition: Chinese food and a movie. Grandma sponsored the Chinese food from the kosher Chinese place in town, and The Wife and I went to see the second Hobbit movie.

Side note: the funny bit was, when Grandma went to go get the Chinese food, it took her around forty-five minutes to get in and out of the restaurant. Apparently, a large portion of the Jewish folks in town were there, waiting for their food. The rabbi was there, the cantor was there, everybody was there... which I find hilarious. Stereotypes are awful, awful things, but they come from a grain of truth.

Side note 2: loved the movie. The real Hobbit story is quite short - about half of the length of "The Fellowship of the Ring." They're interspersing The Hobbit story with information from the appendicies of the Lord of the Rings, from the Silmarillion, from additional short stories written or plotted out by J.R.R. Tolkein, and just plain conjecture. For instance, while I enjoyed the whole Legolas thing in the movie, he never shows up in the actual book.

Christmas morning, everybody in the house slept in. It was Wednesday, which is my normal workout off day, so I didn't even have to talk myself into taking the morning off from exercising. No one got out of bed until 7:30! That was a brilliant treat. The Boy spent the whole night in his bed (for once), and The Baby spent until around 2AM in his own bed, so The Wife and I actually got some sleeping room. We had a relatively normal breakfast, except for the fact that we were all sitting together and eating at the same time (as opposed to The Boy and I, then followed by members of the family one by one as they wake up).

Side note 3: The Boy has decided that he wants to stop sucking his thumb. This came concurrently with awful, terrible dry skin on his hands. So, at night, he puts liberal amounts of hand lotion on his hands, then wears gloves to bed. He didn't have to unconsciously suck his thumb more than once to realize that a mouthful of lotion and fuzzy glove is not worth it.

We Facetimed with my father for presents opening. We tend not to get the boys very much in terms of gifts, mostly because 1) we're poor, and 2) they've already got more toys than they can play with. I bought The Boy some comics (which he ripped up before lunch was over... sigh) and a Peanuts treasury edition; Little Bear got a Superboy costume (on sale from for, like, $3 with free shipping) and a Superman comic digest; and The Baby got some wooden trains and a Thomas the Tank Engine pillow pet. Grandpa was quite generous, too, with the kind of gift that folds (not talking about laundry, here).

The Wife got me the greatest Christmas gifts ever: she made a brilliant, beautiful lunch, with a turkey leg, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin bread. It was delicious!! Afterwards, she sent The Baby and me upstairs to nap and took 1 and 2 to "Mitzvah Day." A mitzvah, for those not "in the know," is the Jewish term for a good deed. In this case, they joined #Mitvahdaypgh to bring cookies and songs to a couple of seniors homes. Cool thing? One of the ladies they met was a Holocaust survivor; The Boy regaled her with an enthusiastic belting of some of the prayer songs that he knows.

Side note 4: we're dealing with some significant attitude issues with The Boy lately. "No, I don't want to go! I'm not going to do ANYTHING!" - that sort of thing. It's the same sort of loud, stubborn complaining that I did when I was a kid. Karma is a real bi&&h.

Christmas evening, we went to Grandma's house for a holiday party she threw for some friends. One of them has multiple boys, just like we do - a bit older and a bit younger than mine. There was a glorious, terrifying, exhilarating Royal Rumble of Wrestling occurring in the living room. It was a Christmas miracle that no one got hurt, but all had fun and no egos were bruised. Little Bear and I left the party early; he was exhausted and starting to misbehave. We went home, did a puzzle (a nice, calming one-on-one activity), and got ready for bed. Of course, I didn't get to sleep until the other side of midnight, thanks to sleeping late and taking a nice nap in the afternoon. Can't win 'em all.

SIde note 5: I'm aware of the irony of using "Christmas miracle" to describe a bunch of Jewish kids not getting hurt wrestling on a floor of couch cushions. It was an intentional word choice. Just sayin'.

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