Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas: Round Three

Sorry for the long silence.  I’m currently on a whirlwind Christmas tour across North America.  After kicking off the Christmas season in Austin, my husband and I flew to Florida to visit my parents and then to Western Canada to visit his family.

Yesterday, I was planning to write a very touching blog post reflecting on family traditions and the spirit of Christmas.  I was even going to incorporate this picture of the hand-carved jewelry box that my great-grandfather made for my great-grandmother for their first Christmas as a married couple...

It would’ve been an incredibly moving and inspiring post – perhaps my best one ever.  But it was a long day and by the time I got around to it, I couldn’t even bring myself to type “Merry Christmas.”  I only managed to get as far as “Merry Chr” before I fell asleep.

In my defense, I had just prepared a vegan Christmas dinner for eight people in an unfamiliar kitchen with only two small pots.  It was like my own little Top Chef holiday challenge.  And every time I felt overwhelmed by the threat of an impending gravy disaster or having to mash eight pounds of potatoes in one tiny bowl, I would take a sip of red wine.  Two hours and two bottles later, I was in no condition to reflect on anything.  But fixing dinner was the least I could do.  My in-laws, who normally skip the whole Christmas tree tradition, had gone out and purchased an artificial tree in my honor, knowing that I'm something of a Christmas fanatic.

Anyway, now that Christmas is officially over, it seems that the moment for deep reflection has passed.  So I’ll just briefly summarize my various Christmas activities and traditions by region:

Austin: combining heavy drinking with holiday movies, and scouring the stores in order to accumulate an infinite supply of soy eggnog (it's highly addictive and lasts a good two months in the fridge)

Florida: decorating our seven-foot freshly-cut Christmas tree specially imported all the way from North Carolina, drinking piña coladas and pumpkin beer poolside, eating crab melts and carrot cake and spritz cookies, and assisting my parents with all of the newfangled technology (iPods, Kindles, all-in-one remotes, and wireless printers that won't print)

Canada: having real snow on the ground, the vegans outnumbering the non-vegans and hijacking Christmas dinner, Christmas crackers, lemon squares and snowball cookies, and a lot of extremely competitive board games

Ah, you gotta love tradition.  Well, however you celebrate, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

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