Soft, fluffy places...
This was the first year ever that I had the entire fam at my house for Christmas and, as far as a holiday with a house-mostly-full of women (one mother, three sisters, four nieces, and one lone brother-in-law) goes, I think it went pretty well. I didn't get the annual Christmas day nap, but a couple of glasses of Mad Zin and a valium later, it didn't really matter that much.
The good news is I didn't burn any of the food, nothing caught fire (even the one in the fireplace that refused to start, the only low point of my day was spending an hour on and off on my knees in front of a stack of logs that wouldn't catch even if I poured lighter fluid on them), no one got drunk and confessional, and I didn't have to bitch slap anyone the entire day.
Other than the fire, the problems were fairly minor. Unless you count the necklace of hickeys on my 15 year old niece's neck, the unusual pot belly on my 17 year old high school senior niece, who also has a strange maternal glow about her (and her barely turned 40 mother looking a little shell shocked whenever the subject of babies or pregnancy came up), my own Valley of the Dolls Neely O'Hara moment on Xmas eve after eating a special cookie and popping a couple of happy pills passing out on the couch sitting up with my stocking in my lap, and being stuck with half of a really fatty looking ham that I won't eat, but which will sit in my fridge until I toss it out in a few weeks because I feel guilty about poor children starving.
My sister Karen bought Nana a rose and, even after the cat knocked it over twice, we all thought it was a sweet gesture. We miss Nana a lot. This year, Nana was the elephant in the room no one talked about but we all knew was there, making my mom tear up when I put the Holiday singers & standards music on, getting choked up when I realized I made way too much sweet potato casserole because Nana wasn't here to eat half of it, and remembering that last year at this time she was still here and happy and making angel cards for everyone.
I didn't have a list for Santa, but got some wonderful gifts anyway. Cashmere, cashmere, and more cashmere (how can I ever go back to wearing wool?). My favorite gift, though, is the five days I get to spend not working.