Opinion: Assessing the holidays
The holidays are over, and I finally have a moment to sit down and assess. What went well and what didn’t? What changes, if any, should we make for next year? What gift is already broken and should never have been purchased in the first place? I like to do this exercise because not only does it cement memories into my rapidly-aging brain, but it also forces me to appreciate family, however chaotic our time together was.
And it was chaotic. Doo and I spent the weekend before Christmas with my parents, four sisters and four brothers-in-law (and 11 children) shopping, cooking, eating, gambling (Catholics start early, my friends), movie-going and reveling. We were all holed up in two houses, conveniently located directly across the street from one another, and experienced what can only be described as “Camp Morris.” We stayed in the cabin and had to trek up the hill to the main lodge for coffee, food and fellowship. But when you put that many people in close proximity to one another for more than a day, things can turn dicey. Doo and I for example, got into it at our Christmas Eve Eve’s dinner, and didn’t speak to each other until the next morning. Even worse, a stomach bug ripped through the campgrounds a mere 12 hours after our departure, felling grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews faster than one can say, “More Clorox, please!” Good times, good times.
We saw our own share of puke on Christmas Day at the Wilson’s gathering, in addition to vicariously reliving the woes of parenting small children hopped up on Santa’s visit, candy canes and sleep deprivation. Doo and I could sit comfortably while bedlam ensued (this side has 21 grandchildren, several of whom became armed with marshmallow-shooting guns at some point in the afternoon), commiserating with our suffering comrades and ensuring them that they just had to survive another four to six years for Christmas to be fun again. Throw in a heated tradition vs. change conversation, a couple of kids who didn’t get what they wanted, and the aforementioned vomiting toddler, and you’ve got a fairly standard holiday gathering. More good times, indeed.
In the heat of the moment, it’s difficult to clearly determine how things went. But now that the tree is down (though I am still finding tinsel) and we’re all back into our normal routines, I can honestly rate the 2013 festivities as an A-. We’ll probably make a few slight changes to next year’s holiday schedule, but given that we successfully spent quality time with two large families without offing ourselves or a minion, I’d say it went pretty well. Hope yours did too. Peace out.