Anyway, moving on. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. (If you celebrate Christmas, that is, of course. If you don't, then I hope you had a lovely and leisurely Sunday and Monday.) My own Christmas was fine--pretty much same old, same old. My dad didn't need a CAT scan like he did two years ago, so that's a plus as far as I'm concerned. I suppose it's a bit strange that, in my family, the bar is now set at "any holiday without a trip to the emergency room is pretty OK," but that seems to be the case. We're Midwesterners, after all. We don't have a lot of drama or wellsprings of emotion to separate one day from another, and I guess that's the way we like it.
I suspect that since I told you all about us nearly having tacos in a biker/sports bar on Thanksgiving, you are likely just dying to know what my family planned for Christmas dinner, right? Well, OK, I will tell you. We had KFC. Again. Day-old KFC, of course. It seems the Colonel is becoming a holiday tradition for my family, and I can't decide if that's delightfully quirky and whimsical or just plain shameful and sad. Since I have never been mistaken for a "foodie" (in fact, I don't even like the word "foodie"), I'm actually not going to think about it too much. I will say this, though. The Colonel's biscuits are delicious little lumps of starchy heaven when fresh-served from the restaurant. A full day plus a half-minute or so in the microwave later, though? Not so much.
So. Day-old biscuits = not good. That is what I learned this Christmas. Here are a few other things I learned as well.
- My older sister has a crazy, anal-retentive neat-streak of which I was entirely unaware. Saturday night I unwittingly mortified her, and I'm afraid to tell her that the comment that provoked her revulsion doesn't even scratch the surface of how animal-like I really am. I didn't tell her about the mildew in my water glass or about how infrequently I scrub my bathtub or vacuum my living room. No, what she found so unbelievable and disgusting was my admission that I sometimes go to bed in the same shirt I wore the previous day. Only my basic knit-type pullovers, that is. Not any fancy button-ups or scratchy wool sweaters or anything. And I do pull my bra off first, so I fail to see the big issue here. "I don't wear it again the next day or anything," I explained, but this did not matter to her. In fact, she was actually more at ease with the scenario of re-wearing the shirt she slept in than with letting the dirt particles and dead skin of the day into the [presumably hermetically sealed] comfort of her bed. So. Me: Devil-may-care, fall-into-bed-wearing-whatever Girl. My sister: quite the opposite, it seems. Who knew?
- Eggnog has nine grams of fat per serving. Nine. A serving, by the way, is half a cup. The mug I drank it from held far more than half a cup (even after I added the rum). Perhaps I should combine this with something else I learned recently, which is that it really is possible to say "I've gained a full ten pounds in the past week" and truly, actually mean it. Ugh.
- Home Alone 3 featured both bitchy Caroline from Sixteen Candles ("Chug-a-lug, Pooh Bear!") and a preteen Scarlett Johansson. Also worth noting (though not really something I can say I "learned," as I've been aware of it for quite some time), my father will watch any movie, regardless of target demographic or cinematic quality, if it in any way features Christmas and if the calendar is currently turned to November or December.
- The ancient Santa my dad got as a child is just as terrifying now as he was 30 years ago (and even 30 years before that). And yet, my mother insists on displaying him at least once every five years to remind us just how horrible he is. See? Gah! Nightmares... (Metalia, I say this dude is every bit as frightening as the gigantic chocolate Santa near your office. Don't even try to tell me otherwise.)
Family legend says that, when my father received this Santa as a gift some 60-odd years ago, he was so displeased that he punched Santa's nose. As you can see in the photo, it never popped back out. I am convinced Santa still creeps around the house at night hoping to one day exact his revenge. I do not intend to be there when this occurs.
- Where gifts are concerned, it truly is the thought that counts. Maybe saying this means I am undoubtedly a full-fledged adult, or maybe I just recognize this fact when it's clear that a gift really involved true and meaningful thought. Case in point? Even though I got a new pair of Danskos for Christmas (a ridiculously expensive pair of shoes that I can't believe my mother actually purchased for me without having a heart attack or going to Confession to ask forgiveness for such frivolity), the gift that meant the most to me was a set of magnets that my little sister designed and assembled herself, based on long-running inside jokes between the two of us. Don't get me wrong; I love the Danskos.* But every time I see "Good Morning Egg" on my refrigerator door, I am going to smile and think of my little sister. (It's OK, by the way, that you have no idea why.)
* As if the lesson in #5 weren't proof enough that I'm an adult, I think wanting a pair of shoes that cost more than a month's worth of groceries, but wanting them for their comfort and arch support rather than their designer name or trendy style pretty much seals that argument as well.