Wow, it’s tough to know where to begin about Christmas.  It was big and messy and overwhelming, and because of that this blog post is going to be big and messy and overwhelming, too.  Is there any other way to do it?  (Seriously, if you know how to have a neat, tidy little Christmas please send me tips.)

Christmas morning started with our traditional breakfast sausage, where Rocco demonstrated both his drive for efficiency and his love of sausage in a new eating technique:

After breakfast we all emptied our stockings and applied our new chapsticks, sampled our new chocolates, wound up our new wind-up toys, and tried on our new t-shirts.


I guess Santa was trying to make up for any damage Kevin did by wearing this shirt around all year.


I can barely remember the time when that shirt was funny.

I dug a rainbow-tape-pooping unicorn out of my stocking and it fell instantly in love with the Handicorn that Kevin pulled out of his stocking.


So much for marrying your opposite.

The kids emptied their stockings, unwrapped all their gifts and sat there amidst all their new stuff, wondering vaguely where the floor went, when Rocco looked at me sadly and said, “Mom, I don’t think Santa came last night.” 

After two months of buying small but thoughtful gifts for him and imagining how excited he would be about each one, then topping it off with the #1 item from his Christmas list (a giant Lego set), who can blame me for strangling him just a little bit right then?

P.S. Here’s what it looks like on Christmas morning when Santa DOESN’T COME to our house.




Leo, on the other hand, was the other end of the spectrum.  Here’s how happy the chapstick alone made him.


Actually, that might just be a chapstick thing.  He was ho-hum about the friggin’ cotton candy maker Santa had left him below his stocking.

(He came around when we fired it up a few days later.)


Vincenzo opened half his stocking, found a book in it, and had to be continually reminded to open his stocking after that.


His new hat helped him focus.


My favorite moment of Christmas, though, I’m not sure if I can explain properly.  It started a few weeks ago when my mom sent out a group text to “us kids.”  We adult children have always done Santa Bags for each other, filling each other’s Santa Bags with gifts under $10.  My mom sent out a text  saying she wasn’t going to organize them this year, though.  The text looked something like this:

I keep forgetting to let everyone know I’m not organizing Center Biggs this year.”

We have been laughing about Center Biggs ever since, saying Christmas wouldn’t be the same without ol’ Biggs, calling Mom/Dad’s house and asking for Mr. Biggs, walking in on Christmas day and saying how different it felt without Center Biggs here. So it was only fitting that for Christmas I ordered her something very special to remember our dear Center Biggs by.


Of course, by the time Christmas had rolled around my  mom had sent out another text to my SIL in which she mistexted, “White goes with everythong,” which kind of took the pressure off of Center Biggs to be the primary source of humor.  I told my SIL I thought it was sweet my mom is passing on some of her motherly advice to her DIL.  And my mom is very lucky that this mistext was sent out too soon to Christmas for anyone to run out to Victoria’s Secret for a last-minute Grammy gift.  Granny panties ain’t what they used to be.

You know, I should have made this whole post about my mom, because just after we were laughing about white going with everythong for the fourth time, my nephew came in with a broken pitcher and an apology to Grammy.

Ari: Grammy, I’m sorry I broke your pitcher when I threw a pillow and it hit it.
Grammy: Oh, that’s not a big deal, Ari.  I didn’t ever use that pitcher.  It was nothing special to me at all.  I think I’m even glad you broke it.
Me, gaping: Mother!  I gave you that pitcher!  That was a gift from me!

As Grammy tried to assure me she actually did have some kind of relationship with the pitcher and it wasn’t as unloved as she had made it out to be, my brother had to go and mention that  he was the one who gave me the pitcher in the first place.  Everyone looked at me. 

Everyone: Is that true? 
Me: [Looks down shamefully]
Mark: For your wedding!

I guess I had it coming, after making Grammy the butt of so many jokes.  This one’s on me, Grammy.  Merry friggin’ Christmas.

The day passed way too quickly for how long it had been anticipated, sung about, and planned for, and suddenly it was dinnertime.  We had watched the National Lampoons with my boys on Christmas Eve, which may have been a mistake because when my dad asked who wanted to say grace before dinner, Rocco said, “I do!”  We all looked expectantly at him.  “Grace!” he said, and I piped up in my best old-man’s voice, “The BLESSING!”  That is why Kevin and I were snickering during the whole prayer.  My mom says we are a couple of eleven-year-olds trapped in adult bodies, and we can’t argue with her.

There it is, my big and messy Christmas post.  I’m sad it’s over (Christmas, not this post), but then again there’s only so long you can listen to the same 10 songs and watch the same 3 movies over and over again before even you admit that it’s time to move on.

Is it okay to look back over my shoulder while I’m moving on?


Ham and chicken crepes
Sweet and sour broccoli Ramen salad

2 thoughts on “Christmess

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