"Try not to act surprised when you call and they thank you for the presents," I had written at the very end of the email.
On Christmas Day my Dad called just after dinner while the family was all still here.
"Thanks so much for the presents," Bro told him. "Just what we needed."
"Good stuff! Good stuff! I'm so glad to hear that," said Dad. "What did I get you?"
We arranged for a video chat later that night, which I completely forgot about until almost an hour after the fact. Finally we hooked up online and waved our gifts in front of the webcam for him to see.
He spent Christmas on a beach, drinking with friends. We spent it running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but all things considered I'd rather be here and apparently so would he, but only for the one day. I suppose it's hard to compete with a tropical beach when there's a half foot of snow in the driveway.
I'm pleased to report the turducken turned out perfectly as promised, but I can't say as I'd ever drop a hundred bucks for another one. The turkey is nice and moist, much more than a regular turkey, but I'm not a fan of duck or the international dressing which has the consistency and flavour of ground duck, and if there was an actual chicken in the damned thing I never did find a piece of it.
"Tur-DUCK-en," Bro repeatedly corrected me. "What the hell is a tur-DUNK-en? There's no dunk in the middle of that thing."
Pity. I'd prefer a Dunkin' Donut in the middle of it to a duck. I like donuts at least.
Zee made the most amazing cherry cheesecake which will take me a full week to eat and then a full year to get off my ass. I'm not sure what size cheesecake she thought we needed but we were only feeding four adults and one child and not a small army of elves besides.
Luckily we have guests coming over tonight and I fully intend to fob some off on them in hopes of avoiding further weight gain, at least MY further weight gain. I don't really care about theirs.
Da Nephew made out like a bandit and got into the whole paper tearing thing, helping to open everyone's presents. At two and a half he's finally old enough to get excited about the whole thing and there's nothing to compare with an excited kid at Christmas.
He loved everything and with the exception of the little red tricycle and the tiny electric guitar his mother took the whole works home with them. Enjoy the bike horn Zee!
On the way to taking three bags of garbage and a car load of boxes out to the apartment waste bins Mom took a header down the back stairs. She face planted into one tile covered step and frankly scared the hell out of me, but other than a few bruises she seems none the worse for wear. She consoled herself with liberal glasses of sangria.
I took to playing my new PS3 game Skyrim, which is a fantasy quest game. When Bro came up we switched for a bit to Call of Duty, wherein we tried to achieve goals such as running a course or holding a fortified position.
I seemed to take heavy damage and couldn't locate the source of the fire, so I backed up and fell off a ledge into enemy territory. Realizing my soldier was about to die, I pulled a pistol and walked up to an enemy and emptied a clip into his head before getting mortally wounded myself.
"Bleeding out!" kept flashing on my half of the TV screen until a final bullet ended my misery.
Bro started laughing. "Oh my God I just killed you! It says Guest2 dead! I saw this character on the ground rolling around and he was still moving and I kept shooting."
"You shot me?" I roared in righteous indignation.
"You shot me in the HEAD last round!"
"Yeah but you lived didn't you? Look I'm dead on the ground over there."
That was the end of the joint game play.
"Don't trust your brother," Mom advised once Bro had left the room.
Gee, ya think? I switched back to Skyrim after he left, but once I got devoured by the giant poisonous spider that was the end of the day's gaming.
Meanwhile Mom spent a lot of the night complaining about her bruises and playing her facebook game. Despite all our rushing around, her first priority every time we came home was to dash into the den and collect her free points.
"You're sick, you know that?" I told her.
"I know. And you are going to stop sassing me in the New Year," she said.
"Really? You going to beat it out of me or something?"
"For a start."
"I doubt it," I said, walking away to start unpacking my purchases. "It seems to be genetic."
Hope you all had a lovely, happy holiday folks!