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so this was christmas

Christmas 2003, come and gone.

And now I sit here, surrounded by discarded wrapping paper, crushed up boxes and piles of presents that have to be put in their proper places. I have my annual Christmas sickness; this year it's laryngitis with what appears to be bronchitis, maybe even swollen glands. But I really don't mind being sick the day after Christmas. It gives me an excuse to just sit on the couch all day playing with my new toys.

This year it's the GameCube and I've got an extender for the controller so I can lay there all day, propped up with pillows and covered with a blanket and just hit those buttons and curse at the games. Just like the old days!

I miss the old controllers when your only choices were up, down, left, right, A and B. Now you have as many choices as a pilot looking at an instrument panel. If you want to use this weapon, hold down X while simultaneously pressing Y, using your pinky to quickly hit the Z switch. North, west, south west. I did that in my dream last night, leading Link around the bushes, killing spiders and other assorted pixelated creatures.

The son is in the other room playing Double Dash. By the end of the day, he will be complaining about a cramp in his hand. The daughter is on her GameCube, playing Super MonkeyBall2 (thank you Stacy and family, you made Christmas spectacular!) Is there not something creepy about a game in which you guide a monkey who is encased in a plastic ball through all kinds of mazes and games? In Monkey Billiards, the monkeys themselves are playing pool and they are cueing up and smashing their pool sticks against other monkeys in balls! Bizarre. Even more bizarre is the fact that when I turned off MonkeyBall last night (I couldn't play because I kept questioning how the monkeys could breathe in those balls) Bubble Boy was on one of the ten thousand cable channels. All I needed was the Simpsons episode where Bart is in that bubble and I would have had a bubble trifecta!

Anyhow. There are movies to be watched as well. I got Christmas Vacation and the Back to the Future boxset, Justin got Winged Migration and Ninja Scroll and Nick Cave's God is in the House DVD. Before all that, though, is my Very Special Present of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Space Ghost Coast to Coast DVDs. Before Link, before Sonic, I deal with Meatwad.

What else was there? CDs for the kids that I will probably borrow and CDs for me that the kids will probably borrow. My parents bought the son a new stereo for his room (I think it goes to 11) and thankfully, my parents are smart enough to have bought him headphones as well.

We've got books; The Art of Simon Bisley and the Zombie Survival Guide. We've got wonderful trinkets - Nightmare Before Christmas champagne glasses, jigsaw puzzles, Peet's Kona coffee, a new coffee grinder.

And we gave. We gave an awful lot, which is my favorite part of Christmas, depsite the cost and stress. I aim for the perfect presents for my family. I doubt they are ever perfect (everyone knows the perfect gift is either cash or a brand new car), but they are always well-received and bring smiles to faces and yes, Christmas is all about the smiles and sharing. I love my family, love them fiercely. I am of the firm belief that nobody has a better immediate family than I do. Make that extended family; Christmas Eve was our annual (started even before I was born) get together at the aunt's house, and there was the exchanging of gifts and eating of stuffed squid and the exuberance of all the kids. Lots of kids. So many kids. If I ever invite you to my aunt's for Christmas Eve, bring Excedrin.

December 25th may be gone, but Christmas is not. Not until we have opened and assembled the last present, not until we have tried out every single gift given us, even the clothes that don't fit and the games that look lame, not until we have stuffed our faces with leftovers for as many days as it takes to get rid of them, not until a drunken, rousing rendition of Christmastime in Hell with my sister, and not until New Year's Eve when we toast to my dad's birthday and the changing of the year, is Christmas really over. Even then, the spirit lingers a bit as we take our time dismantling the tree and get ready for the three events that mark the real end to our holiday season; the Super Bowl and both the son's and daughter's birthdays.

11 and 14. That's the ages they will be before the school winter break comes. They are mini adults. I think I'll take them to see Peter Pan this week to give them a gentle reminder: don't be in a hurry to grow up. In fact, don't ever grow up. Once you do, not only will Christmas lose its magic, but so will life in general.

Me? Nope, I haven't grown up yet and I guess at this point - 41 years down the road - I won't. And even if start to get old and crochety, if I start to ignore some of life's wonderful magic, there's always Christmas morning to bring back the twinkle in my eyes and the kid in my heart.

It's been a wonderful Christmas. It still is.

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» Christmas Continued... from University Blog
I have disliked, for some years, how, after December 25th, Christmas is over, and it seems that those great things that were affiliated with it - happiness, a joyful atmosphere in the community, and kindness towards others, as well as all the great dec... [Read More]

Comments

You got an extender for the controller? Get thee to the electronics store and get the wireless controller. I can play my GameCube from next door if I wanted to.

:O You got Gamecubes and no Wavebirds? You missed picking up the single best wireless controller on the market?!? AUGH!!!

Everyone was out of Wavebirds. EB World is saving two for me as soon as they get them in stock again.

Cannot. Live. Without. Wireless controller. :-)

To the first person on my BLOGROLL, Merry Christmas!!!!! And thank you for a year of great reading!!!!!

Bryans

PS My son got the WIRELESS controller for GAMECUBE, it works from anywhere in the room, no cables, no muckey-muck!!!

Hmmm... this was not really an electronic Christmas, bit more of a handmade one. I've taught my daughters the joys of crafting, so the 20 y/o crocheted scarves for her grandparents (they may be in their 70's, but skiing at Mammoth is still on the agenda!), we all filled that out with turtlenecks, gloves and assorted ski thingies. The 22 y/o (and mom to my identical twin grandsons) tried her hand at soapmaking, and my 24 y/o wants me to teach her to sew (she crocheted afgans for friends... easy to do when waiting at a Charlie-spot in an ambulance..she's a paramedic). The 16 y/o was the only one not into crafting this Christmas, but definitely into baking. Mmmm...it's a nice thing to teach your kids how to cook!

All of us are still kids at heart at Christmas, and that is ever renewed by kidlets. The twins are 15 mos old and not quite into the season beyond babbling and pointing to the Bright and Shiney Lights (and having much more fun with boxes and tissues than what was IN the boxes) but we are all looking forward to sharing Santa Claus with them in the years to come.

Hope all was the best and merriest of times for everyone!

Ooh, ATHF. That's the one thing I didn't get and was really hoping for. Guess I'll just have to order it myself, as I wait and hope for a Sealab DVD to go with it.

I'm glad that you had a great Christmas... And that it was at least better than mine...

And I am glad that Christmas is not over for you... I would like for it to not be over over here either. It would be neat if they still kept playing the Christmas songs, and everyone kept their decorations up, for at least another week or two.

To Michele, and everyone else reading this:
Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!!

I am glad you had a good one...at least someone did. I am so relieved the bloody holiday is finally out of the way and we can now get back to real life. Hopefully this flu I got from Xmas revelers who don't cover their mouths will be gone by then too.