The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

December 25, 2007



OK, that's not true. I'm stirring. And I think I can hear the mice or leprechauns or whatever they are in the crawlspace beneath my apartment's floor stirring too.

It may be I'm the only blogger on the planet who's actual writing a new blog post tonight, on Christmas night.

It's the peculiarities of being single, with kids who don't live with me full-time, and everyone else doing their family thing, and our big family thing falling, as it always seems to, on Boxing Day.

My highlight of any Christmas Day is when I go pick up my kids and bring them over here to exchange gifts and just to be what we are and who we are and make jokes and have fun and throw in lots of hugs.

And here, more or less, is how that went with my two munchkins, who are no longer, really, munchkins, although my daughter does a good impression at barely above five feet and my son always puts on his goofiest pose...

A scene-setter:

My daughter phones me at around 11. She sounds grumpy on Christmas morning. My son, from his bedroom at their mom's place, has phoned my daughter, in her bedroom at their mom's place, at 9 a.m.

She's been out til 2:30 or so on Christmas Eve. He didn't know she was in her own bed, at home, sleeping. He thought she was at her cousin's house, with her -- gulp, boyfriend -- looking after their house as they vacation in Florida.

Son: "Hey, when are you getting up? Want to open presents now?"

Daughter: "Harumph!"

At 11 a.m. or so, I get a phone call from a cranky woman. It's time for me to go and pick them up.

They arrive. Son gets phone call from latest girlfriend in Thompson, about a seven-hour drive to the north of here (takes after his dad with the long-distance relationships, apparently), disappears into his bedroom.

He emerges.

We open gifts, etc. Daughter suggests we play a game. This is partly about how I DID NOT MANAGE to find her The Game of Life, Twists and Turns version, as she had requested. Instead, I bought her a crock pot.

At twice the price.

As a result, she's a crank pot (not really, but it's really fun saying that).

She more or less forces son and I into playing with her the original Game of Life I had bought her several Christmases ago.

We appear to have no choice. She's the banker, of course. She's the controller, the dictator, the rule-setter, the omnipresent one.

Of course, she decides she'll go to university. Son and I decide we'll go the career route.

I finish last, she finishes first, as women always do, and goofy teen son is somewhere in the middle, having sabotaged me at his every opportunity, both of them laughing hysterically at my every cataclysm.

But not before I have my own fun knocking her little car and family and kids off the track from time to time, and stealing my son's career and higher wage only to see him steal it back.

Still, it's a forgone conclusion...I end up with $1.2 million, if lucky; she's got well over $2 mill. Son ends up somewhere in between.

I make her clean the game up, nonetheless, asserting my parental authority.

Then he goes to his room to play with his new PSP game (and the game I got him FOR that), while daughter, who IS Mother Christmas in my eyes, curls up to watch some TV with her resplendent Christmas tree earrings.

She poses with the wallet she bought me, for which I will have to try to earn money to fill...

In the meantime, I force my son to let me take a pic or two of him playing on his PSP (PlayStation Portable).

My daughter forces me to try on the green penguin PJ bottoms she bought for me...along with the "Perry Como" slippers I asked her to buy for me...

Then I force my daughter to pose for a pic with me, but I forget to smile...

It being very difficult to do two things at once for any male, after three or four pix, I finally figure out how to both smile and take the pic at the same time...

Then, of course, comes the most fun part of all, me trying to take a pic of all three of us at once...

My son and I both laughed hysterically at this opening attempt...

This one was way off-centre...

This one might have worked except for my daughter dangling her tongue...

This one was too close-in and cut off my son...

But this one, despite my unkempt, unshaven and nosehair-ridden reality, worked.
I hope you had a truly FUN Christmas, filled with laughs, love and memories.

And to you all, a toast -- from one penguin to another... a terrific 2008.


  1. I really enjoyed this. When are you planning to write your first novel? It will be riveting.

    Your son looks eerily like mine yesterday -- the perpetual toque-from-the-stocking on head. As for his girlfriend, has he heard the Tragically Hip's "Thompson Girl"? Coincidentally I loaded it on my new MP3 player yesterday. Your daughter always looks so happy and impish in photos. And where did she get those awesome PJ bottoms? I would love to get those for any of the multitudes of men in my family.

    Ah -- Christmas in the modern family. My parents and my husband's parents split up in the years before we married and Christmas was a highly-stressful tag-team event for years. It's gotten better recently though the reasons aren't happy ones (death, disablement and estrangement). Still, it's easier to coordinate Christmas. I'm glad to hear you have a good attitude about it all and have managed nicely. Hope your Boxing Day is fun.


  2. *right clicks and saves penguin pyjama/Perry Como slippers photo*

    Here's another hug. Can you ever get enough hugs? I think not.

  3. So what if you were only one blogging? You posted this! I liked going throgh it, the photo and all. You got great kids. They got a great dad!

    Now if you had invited me, we would have shared tea(I hate coffee!) instead of YOU blogging!

    However, men never know anything..

    Now come do the hoopla. Long time I tagged you for one! Consider it my Christmas present, Chris,,if I may call you so!.

  4. Andrea:

    I'll write my first novel when you paint your first masterpiece in the Cistine Chapel or the Louvre.

    Glad you enjoyed it. The penguin PJ bottoms are appropriate seeing as I am starting to look like one.

    My daughter is an awesome and very happy imp, my son a What Me Worry dude and it's all good.

    I almost misread disablement to be dismemberment, which would have been extreme but, yes, modern.

    We have to do the best we can and, at some point, accept what is.

    I had a chance to go over to HE's mom's place last night to be with their lovely family, but it just seemed like such an intrusion.

    Yep, our big day is today, five families getting together with our mom and dad, about a dozen nephews and nieces and their BFs or GFs, pure craziness...but fun.

    All the best to you too Andrea. Thanks for the hugs and here's some back acha.


    Hey! That pic is copyright and can only be used by permission! Can never get enough hugs, no...

    Here's one back...

  5. Gautami:


    However, if you and had sat down for tea, maybe I would have done a blog post on that...right before your very eyes!

    I would have taken pictures and everything.

    I'm just getting ready for my family's own version of Boxing Day Madness, so I'll get over to your place tonight or tomorrow...

  6. Thank you for sharing the details and pics - I loved it all. I especially love those PJs.

  7. Anna:


    But now I'll actually have to wear those things, which is OK if I want to look like a Christmas tree. :-)

  8. Sounds nice :) Actually we had a friend over and played Monopoly last night, it was really fun! After I lost, we all played Trivial Pursuit, which I also lost. I'm used to losing at games, I don't play to win just to have a good time with friends.

    Anyway, like I said, let us know in time for next Chrissie and we'll try to come and visit!

  9. Those pants are terrific WW, really. I think you should wear them on your next date. Honestly, would I kid you? ;-))

  10. Stace:

    I also suck at board games...well, at any non-athletic games, actually, altho don't do too bad at Trivial Pursuit, sometimes.

    And I ALWAYS play to win...

    I think you have a standing invitation, you and Aidan, to visit any time.


    Ha Ha Ha!!! OK then, I will!

    And this, coming from the Croc Queen of the United States?

    I gotta get back to work now...

  11. I think christmas's (I don't know the plural form, something like this ?) are overrated :-) and the beautiful wallet ... that needs to be filled : I sympathize with you :-)

  12. FYI, WW, I gave my crocs and all my ugly shoes to my cousin. I only wear fashionable shoes now, with heels. :-) Pththth!!

  13. Hildegarde:

    Christmases (that's how I'd make it plural) are maybe overrated, or maybe over-celebrated, or over something...

    My wallet always needs to be filled because it's almost always empty, except for plastic, of course...

  14. Laurie:

    Ooohhh, the high-heels, tootin'-falootin' Montana cowgal now, are ya?

    So we'll call you what now (Montana Madamoiselle?), and hand over the crown for Croc Queen to your cousin?

  15. What wonderful shots of you and your children. It is nice to see ...



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