Really, people? You wonder where I get my kindergarten love of punny humor?
Christmas was fun in a Ben Stiller Christmas movie kind of way. You know, the kind where getting there is a pain in the ass, the hide-a-bed doesn’t have sheets, your brother doesn’t mention he’s bringing his dog until the giant hairy beast comes bounding through the front door, the restaurant you talked to about reservations for Christmas eve doesn’t happen to mention they closed for the holiday, and there are four towels for five adults.
Christmas was also sentimental and sweet in all the good ways that makes us pay $9 for that kind of movie in the first place. We were all together, including my brother’s lovely girlfriend. (She’s pretty fantastic, and possibly blind. That beard was the topic of much conversation.) We had way too much to eat, including my mama’s Christmas tradition of sticky buns. We took long walks and spent a lot of time catching up. I held my mom’s hand as much as possible and threatened her with orangutan kisses — with my impression of the shit-throwing zoo animal included — every time she thought about putting on her cranky pants. We went to the movies. (True Grit. A-) We shopped. (REI, bookstore. A+) We played a lot of board games. (Apples to Apples, Scrabble. A)
And I didn’t cry. Not once. I usually cry when I finally get around my family. I’m crying because the time has finally arrived and crying because we are soon going to leave each other again. This time it was easier. I suppose five years since our family dispersed across the southwest, I should be okay with the goodbyes. (I’m not. I’m just getting a bit tougher.)
The drive home was also one of the prettiest I’ve ever taken. I took the other route through Heber and Payson. The Mogollon Rim is simply splendid. Rocking out to podcasts and CDs, watching the changing vista, I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.
Santa came to Santa Fe, where my dad says he summers. I didn’t see any reindeer, but there was plenty of green chile and cheer.