25 December, 2010

Merry birthday.

So, it's Christmas morning. It's also my 31st birthday. There is still snow on the ground outside. Himself is at his mother's house (where I was meant to join him yesterday, and was thwarted by a stonking cold/flu) and Sister 3 is asleep upstairs. I woke up at 7:30 this morning, came downstairs intending to curl up on the sofa with festive telly and a coffee. Instead, I took out the trash, loaded the dishwasher, mopped the floor, spoke to Sister 2 (who apparently never sleeps) on the phone for a bit, and am now finally ensconced on said sofa with the aforementioned coffee and festive telly (Muppet's Christmas Carol, doesn't get any better than that). I'm still sick, but all told, it's not too shabby a way to spend Christmas.

When 3 wakes up, we plan to make sausage balls (which will necessitate the Great Sausage Massacre of 2010) and open our presents to each other. We're going to cook a ham for later, most likely accompanied by mashed potatoes and brown sugar carrots, and we'll be making a carrot cake and oatmeal raisin cookies. Our family's festive activities pretty much revolve around food, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, Easter to the 4th of July, so we'll be spending a significant amount of time in the kitchen today.

So, I'm going to go about my day. I look forward to the traditional "Merry Christmas" texts/emails/calls/facebook posts. ; ) Love the lot of you, have a great Christmas. xxx

16 December, 2010

Familial festivities.

So, Himself managed to snag two tickets for us to see Tim Minchin on Tuesday night. These tickets came about because he has to deal with the frustrations of mobile phone contract management at work, so O2 chucked him a couple of freebies along with a few free drinks in the O2 Lounge. Luckily for me, companies don't tend to give out single freebies, so I got to tag along.

I love Tim Minchin. His combination of raucous piano playing mixed with ascerbic wit and the occasional politically themed rant is right up my street. I chuckle at "Rock and Roll Nerd" and downright hee haw at "Inflatable You". What I didn't expect was "White Wine in the Sun". It's still written in that witty style he's become so known for, but there's such a poignant turn about halfway through the song that it had me in tears. It's about how much he loves Christmas, and although he hates the commercialism of it all, he looks forward to seeing his family. It then changes from his view to his baby daughter's, and how when she's older she'll always know that he'll be waiting for her, drinking white wine in the sun.

Maudlin? Probably. I don't care. The accompaniment is so beautiful, and his voice so unique, I bawled like a baby and I don't care who knows it. Well, I don't think Himself caught me, but if he did, he was too polite to mention it.

It's how I feel about the holidays, in a nutshell. It's hard for me to do this alternate Christmas gig I've got going with Himself. Christmas is such a big deal to the Gabs branch of the family tree, it's hard for me to miss it. My "white wine in the sun" is everybody gathered at the Mimi's house, fireplace busily eating up the discarded wrapping paper and steadily burning marshmallows for those of us who like them crispy. It's Christmas carols with Mimi running around putting her ear as close to your mouth as she dares so she can hear your part of the harmony. It's food, laughter, silliness, and yes I'll say it, LOVE.

This year will be different, of course. Sister 3 is winging her way to Blighty on Monday to stay for the holidays, which will be the first time I've had family here for the holidays since I moved in 2003. We're in our new house now, of course, which means we'll have nicer surroundings for the Christmas tree (and a bedroom for 3 to sleep in, slight upgrade from the air mattress in the living room floor...). We've got the moglets, who still haven't gotten over the novelty of having stairs at their disposal. It'll be fine, really. Just fine. Good even. *sigh* Fine.