The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

As Giddy As a Drunken Man

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I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo! – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Okay, so my family living room doesn’t look exactly like the one above – there are fewer corsets, fewer fiddles, and way more movies with Chevy Chase on the TV. But, at least for me and my family, Christmas always feels like the Victorian, chestnut-roasting and fire-side sitting affairs of ye olde holidaye time. Or something.

At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe – The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

What I’m trying to say, really, is that Christmas is my favorite time of year. We do the same thing basically every year (have I ever told you that I’m, like, an OCD stickler for keeping to traditions?) and it’s lovely that my family’s and my in-law’s plans mesh up perfectly. It’s 5:00 pm church on Christmas Eve, followed by my mom’s famous Celebration Soup, which we literally only have on Christmas Eve every year. Then it’s hanging out and watching Christmas movies until we go to my in-law’s church for the midnight service. The next morning, it’s up early with my family for presents (my niece is still young enough that we get up early. EARLY. ridiculously early – kill someone without coffee early), the over to the in-laws to do afternoon presents and spend the day until Christmas day dinner. Then it’s back to my parent’s place, in-laws in tow, for wine and dessert and cookies and more wine. It’s lovely and it’s soul-recharging and I adore it.

Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse. – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Of course, it’s still Christmas. My sister and I fight about going to church on Christmas Eve. My husband and I get grumpy for having to get up even earlier to drive to my parent’s house for the aforementioned early. I resent when my sister takes a nap and I get stuck helping clean up from Christmas morning coffee cake, and my grandpa just wants to watch golf. ALL. DAY. Golf. Do you watch golf? It’s one step below the Ken Burn’s documentary on sod. Seriously. But it’s like all this is just as much a part of Christmas. That, without all the bitching and bickering and yawns and gallons of coffee (not to mention daily “alone time” moments for all), it just wouldn’t be the same Christmas.

This year has been truly amazing, full of blessings and wonderful moments (getting married, Mark getting one amazing job followed by another, even more amazing one, moving back closer to the people I love, starting this blog and beginning to explore myself as a reader in a way I haven’t since my first few years of college). I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings – good and bad, because I’m starting to believe that maybe it takes on to really see and cherish the other.

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Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. – Norman Vincent Peale

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