Christmas, baby

The whole having-a-birthday-on-Christmas thing really isn’t that bad on the whole — really! — but the bit that I could truly do without is the mad dash I have to make every year to get ready for Christmas. I spend the two weeks before my birthday and the day of my birthday in this frantic state where I spend all my money and I spend all my time thinking of stuff to buy, stuff to make, then buying stuff, making stuff, wrapping stuff, transporting stuff, directing traffic and working longer hours to ensure smooth production on the holiday. It’s exhausting. And my actual birthday will be spent traveling to my parents’, cramming in as much family fun as possible in a few hours, and traveling back. Interstate 40 isn’t the most fun place to be on a regular day, you know, but I feel like I need to be there.

When you have a birthday on Christmas, you can’t just get your friends together to go out and toast your latest year on the planet. People’s time is reserved for family and nothing is open anyway. That’s the second worst part.

Other than those two things, it’s not so bad. Really.

Holiday holy lord

xmas3

Christmas at my parents’ was even more hectic and insane than I could have imagined. I was up at 5 but wanted Ray to get plenty of sleep since he’d taken the night shift, so we ended up not leaving until well after 10. I managed to get a shower and blow dry my hair — the latter of which is reserved for special occasions now — and get a non-pajama outfit on, but Holden decided after our final feeding of the morning to puke on my shoulder. No big whoop, I thought, and wiped it and him off. Except that he did it again, this time in my hair too, at which point I had to change shirts because for holidays I’ve always tried to have a one-puke limit on my clothes. And that was when I was single! (Rimshot.)

Anyway, we got to my parents’ after noon, and there was a huge spread of finger foods laid out (Ray was so grossed out by the term “finger foods” — is that a regional thing? I would feel like a phony calling them hors d’oeuvres). Holden was passed around quite a bit and Ray and I were on edge thanks to my parents’ idiot yipping dog that kept making like he was going to jump on the baby (that for some reason they wouldn’t put in the basement … grrr) but did fine except when he got hungry and wanted to nurse. It was loud — my family yell talks — and crazy and we were only there six or so hours but it made for a long, exhausting day. I didn’t even have a chance to eat any of my birthday cake, and no one got a picture of Ray, Holden, and me like I wanted. Bleh.

My sister made us a sweet DVD of photos of me and Ray as kids and of Holden. I asked her to send me the file so I can see if I can upload the little movie. It’s pretty cute. It made me cry. I am a sentimentality factory these days. Oh please, more like always.

I suck at my birthday

Every year, I’m all, This year I’m going to get people together the week before Christmas for birthday drinks! And every year I do nothing of the sort because Christmas insanity and work obligations settle like lead and by the 23rd I feel like I am underwater, and the time just evaporates. I have never gone out to celebrate my birthday. Ever. In 29 years. It’s weird watching other people do it. It looks like fun. Some day I have got to figure out how to get that done.

Christmas decoration infestation 2010

Oh god, it has begun in earnest. Behold, a tree!

christmas tree

It’s a pre-lit model, something I never ever ever thought I’d ever buy, ever. It always just seemed … blasphemous. But Big Lots was out of their unlit trees when I went, so I just went down in size half a foot and opted for the pre-lit, as it fit my budget. And now that I have seen the foolishness of my ways, I dare say I will never buy an unlit tree ever again. Can someone confirm for me that the inventor of the pre-lit tree got a Nobel prize? Please?

I didn’t put a tree up last year because, for one, I didn’t have one. For another, I was scared of what the cats would do to it. I am happy to report that, aside from a few sniffs and branch bats here and there, they seem to the mostly uninterested. Granted, we are less than 24 hours in, so tomorrow I might be reporting a different story.

Of course, I have added various accouterments, including the front-door wreath, a fancy table runner, some icicle lights in the office, and Granny’s ancient candleholder thingy that was passed on to me. But the big show is the giant wreath mom and dad let me have, which I put outside on the chimney. In the words of the funny lady who plays Miley Cyrus in the SNL skit that Ray and I CANNOT STOP QUOTING OH MY GOD, it’s pretty cool.

giant wreath   ice lights

runner   front door wreath   granny's old candleholder thing

I used a concrete nail to secure the big wreath out front. Did you know you can’t buy a singular concrete nail? True story. Relatedly, if anyone needs to borrow a couple hundred concrete nails, hit me up.

Day 361: Noel

Day 361: Noel

The family had its Christmas Day giftapalooza Sunday when I could be there. I got digital photo frames for my parents, grandmother, and sister, and everyone seemed to like them (especially when I loaded up jump drives with hundreds of photos so they didn’t have to do the heavy lifting, although some people didn’t hesitate to critique the photos I had chosen for display; note to self — Grandmaw does not appreciate my “art” shots). My haul was more generous than I deserve, as always. Among the gifts was a huge set of fancy knives from my parents, so I pity the next hunk of meat or vegetable stalk I encounter, because I am going to cut the everloving hell out of it.

Mom made an outstanding cheesecake for my birthday cake and we ended the evening with a couple of games of Scrabble and a couple of glasses of pink bubbly. Pretty fine.

So that’s it, then. Another holiday season in the books. They are coming faster and furiouser these days and I can’t even pretend to keep up.

I’ll try though. The goal is to try.

[Project 365]

Complete Christmas coverage

I totally forgot that I took these videos on Christmas day. In the first one, my brother’s friend David tries to act like it’s been sooooo long since he played the quads, so he hands the sticks over to Evan. In the second one, you can see (provided you can see anything at all; we played that thing all day and into the night) a pointed lack of children playing the Wii. Also, you’ll notice my brother flipping off the camera and pantomiming masturbation in the background. We lead rich lives.


Little drummer boys from Lindsey Turner on Vimeo.


Wiiing in the dark from Lindsey Turner on Vimeo.