Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Gift of Christmas Presence

How’d you like that play on words in the title? Yeah, gird your loins, you have a long ramble ahead of you.

December came in with gritted teeth and a bad attitude. It spent the first couple weeks picking at scabs and spitting in our food. It brought in lingering sickness that is still trying to ruin shit half way through the month. But despite all of that, things have settled down and the month is beginning to behave itself. School let out for the two-week winter break and we started it off with a bang. It was Tam’s idea to have all the children over on that first Saturday in order to get all of our holiday baking done. All six children in one house. All those bodies. All those recipes. All those dirty dishes.

It didn’t turn out quite the way we’d planned, which was fine, considering we’d somehow forgotten how tall some of our offspring have gotten now that they’ve moved out. Fudge was made, along with nut toffee (yay for candy maker Spawn! The girl is magic with a candy thermometer). Tam’s son, Beans, made snickerdoodles, and her daughter, The Hair, made strawberry marshmallows. My male offspring didn’t make anything, but they did contribute their brawn when it came to stirring, lifting, and tasting.

That night, we got to see the living room filled with grown male offspring sleeping in various places: Middle Minion on the couch, Most Minor Minion on the floor, and Beans in my recliner (which, by the way, is much shorter than he is).

It was an awesome time, one that I will not soon forget.

* * *

On another good note, the former Lord Of The Manor announced his engagement. He even came over and gave us all the details, including the part where he dropped to his knees to pop the question. After he left, I turned to Tam and said, “He never got to his knees when he asked me to marry him. Maybe he knew what he was in for and wanted to be sure he was ready to run for the hills.”

* * *

Humor played a part in the holidays as well. One day Tam stood up and I heard a strange “hiss.”
“What was that?” I asked.
“I farted.”
“Why is it when you fart, your ass imitates a cat hissing, but when I fart my ass imitates heavy machinery or agitated water fowl?”
“Not always. Sometimes your ass sounds like a perturbed pachyderm.”

My phone hogged most of the humor points, however, as it began altering my texts to the point of total ridiculousness. For instance, I have wished “many gassy years” to two people. I was thinking “happy,” but my phone had other ideas.

I told my ex he could come over on baking day and “nag a infidel or two” and he thought I wanted him to have a “chat” with our children. What I really meant was he could “snag a morsel or two” since we were making all those goodies. I tend to refrain from calling anyone, especially my children, infidels. I’m not even sure why the hell that word is in my phone in the first place!

Poor Middle Minion was offered a supper of “turd scrub” salad, when in reality it was “tuna pasta.”

It changed Spawns name twice, once to “Prawns,” and again to “Spaz.”

ASAP is Crap.

More is Nope.

From this: “Yes, it might make more sense to talk face to face,” to: “Yes, it MIGHT nclo Nope rose to talk dad to dad.”

And: “Orange on baker Annie’s” was “Orange no bake cookies.”

My phone. It hates me real bad.
* * *

I took Spawn to the mall. I did not go into the mall because I didn’t feel the need to be on the six o’clock news. I’m not a big fan of crowded malls and cranky shoppers and immersing myself in the midst of them rarely ends well. Besides, I needed to go elsewhere for my last gift, so we made arrangements on where to meet and off we went. I arrived first, so I sat in the car and watched stuff happen.

At first it was pretty dull, people getting of the bus, drivers looking for parking in the rapidly filling lot, and finally, the parking lot cop directing said traffic. This guy was awesome. He wouldn’t pay any attention to the pedestrians, so he’d wave cars around the corner just as the crosswalk was occupied. Fortunately, the drivers were paying better attention and there were no casualties.

But the best part happened when some dork stopped in the middle of the intersection, rolled down the passenger window and asked the cop for directions. The cop, being of such awesomeness, answered the question, using his hands to emphasize his point. The very same hands he had, only moments before, been using to direct traffic… you can see where this is going probably better than the cop did. Fortunately people were careful and again there were no casualties, but the intersection began to resemble something out of a cartoon or Keystone Cops movie.

* * *

For Tam’s most important gift, I placed an order with a bookstore a mere three-hour drive away. One of the options I had was free shipping. I like free shipping, so I selected it. I placed my order on the 12th of December. On December 20th, it still hadn’t arrived so I got online and attempted to track the package. According to the website, it had made its way to my fair city on the 15th, but after that, no one seemed to know what was happening. I figured they handed it over to the sloth division of parcel delivery, either that or they took it for a lovely tour of Seattle, going up to the Space Needle and showing it a nice time.

I was in a panic, attempting to find my package and the USPS was not much help at all. When I called them, I was treated to 35 minutes of “hold,” listening to the same irritating messages over and over. Finally someone deigned to pick up the phone and it took the woman seven minutes to make me feel like an idiot, infuriate the hell out of me, and verbally shrug her shoulders telling me it’s not their fault.

And they wonder why no one wants to use them any more?!?

The good news is the package finally arrived on the 22nd, nine days after it was shipped from Portland. I was all excited for Christmas until I realized I still had to wrap that stuff.

* * *

For the majority of gifts, we broke out the craft supplies and went to town. Tam has been staining and painting small pine boxes for people, making them unique to each person. When she’s not staining things, she’s creating the most marvelous sculptures from modeling compound. I’ll try to put up pictures later, but that requires breaking out the good camera and I no longer have a computer that accepts the memory card it uses.

I, on the other hand, have been working with my favorite medium, paper, making note cards and wall hangings for friends and family.

We’ll be hosting Christmas breakfast for my side of the family and Spawn has requested cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. Sounds pretty damn good to me, but I’d better get busy. Tam and I will be finishing up the baking Friday and Saturday (Christmas Eve! Ack!) and I will attempt a new recipe for peanut butter and bacon cookies.

Yes, peanut butter and bacon. Cookies. Happy Holidays! Have some cholesterol!


  1. Sounds like a ton of fun for one and all. And thanks from the bottom of my heart for being one of the recipients of Tam's lovely box filled with your beautiful handmade cards.

    Wishing both of you and your extended families a most joyous holiday season. See you next year!

    Sagacious Woman

  2. I want to see what your phone makes out of cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns.
    Hope everyone has a Blessed Yule,
    Love & Hugs,

  3. Hope you all had a magnificent Christmas. Those boxes and handmade cards sound lovely. Presents like that are much more meaningful than shop bought ones.

    But I can't stop laughing over this image, Karen - 'I did not go into the mall because I didn’t feel the need to be on the six o’clock news.' I shouldn't laugh because some of the violence associated with the post-Christmas sales is horrendous; but it is funny.

    Love to you and Tam. Peanut butter and bacon rules!!!


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