Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Cheer, Presence Thereof

"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers." - Daniel J. Boorstin

As soon as I published the post I wrote yesterday, I began to wish I hadn't. I could have deleted it with none of you any the wiser. However, it was how I felt at the time, and I wanted to be honest with all of you.

That being said, my mood has improved considerably over the past 20 hours.

I will admit that I was unfair yesterday, but I maintain that I did have some good points. Both of you in the comments were also right.

So here's a summary:

We went to my aunt's house for a traditional Polish Christmas Even dinner, ate more gingerbread than should ever be consumed in one sitting, and met my cousin's girlfriend of more than one year.

Christmas Eve is the one day that I enjoy going to church, and the fact that so many of my neighbors were there to support my sister singing her solo of "O Holy Night," well, it was even better than normal. 
After she finished, the pastor lit a candle from the altar, and the ushers lit theirs from his, proceeding down the aisles to pass it along to all of us at the ends, who then handed the flame to our neighbors. The lights were turned off. After Nicole finished, the entire congregation sang "Silent Night" in the darkness with candles illuminating all of our faces. By the last verse, our organist had stopped singing and it was just a bunch of people singing a-capella. It was beautiful, and I loved it.

We went home and messed around for awhile and opened our one Christmas Eve Present each (despite it being after midnight), and then went upstairs to go to bed-- all in the bonus room, as is our tradition. I've slept in some interesting places by being required to be in the same room as them. We agreed that if two of us were awake post 6:30, we could wake the other up (which means that they agreed to wake me up). 

Cut to morning. Dad was next door until almost 4 helping them mount their new TV on the wall, get the PS3 set up and all of the games installed, and Mom always has trouble sleeping. We take our stockings into their room and open them there (during which I manage to spill a cup of water all over their floor). Chocolate oranges, flash drives, and loads of socks each, plus a writing magazine for me and one or two other things. We're all joking around with each other, not arguing, not angry, not spiteful, just happy and together and whatnot.

Enter living room where the rest of the presents are.

The award for the Most Creative Wrapping goes to Dad, for using all of his Crystal Light tubes from the past year taped together in twos to make tubes.
The award for Best Present (so far) also goes to him, having made me a wand on his lathe. Then, upon seeing how much I loved it, he began to tear up. I ask him why, and he says "because I spent so much time working on it and thinking about how much I love you." So that makes it The Best By Far I Don't Care What Other People Did. That is what Christmas is about, people. 

Right now, my grandma and 9 year-old cousin are over, and we're getting ready for our Fancy Christmas Breakfast, with bacon and pancakes and goodness. Then it's off to my other aunt's for more presents and cookies and stuff.

For Sarah (who is 11), I decided to give her my copies of a series she likes. I own(ed) 5 of the books, and wanted to wrap them separately. To make it more entertaining, I included scraps of a poem called "You Know."
Book 1: "You know it was Olivia when the poem is slipped in post wrapping."
Book 2: "You know it was Olivia when the present is badly wrapped."
Book 3: (which came with a shirt inside a hat box) "You know it was Olivia when the present is in a container that doesn't match its shape."
Book 4: "You know it was Olivia when it has WheezyWaiter references." This had a picture of Craig Benzine himself drawn by me (which means a stick figure with a beard) and a speech bubble on the cover of the book with Wheezy-isms written in. This she found very amusing.
Book 5 (wrapped just as a book without a bigger box): "You know it was Olivia when it's a book."
Then, as an afterthought, I wrapped up my copy of Twilight with "Actually, you know it was Olivia when it was a book you didn't want" along with some wooden stakes for stabbing vampires. I have a history of giving them books I don't want anymore, so as to make space on my shelves for ones I do want. I have limited shelf space.

So in conclusion, I'm in a good mood, I like Christmas again, and it's time for me to go because while I love my laptop, that's not what the holiday's about. :)

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