Friday, December 31, 2004

Wasps' Nest

I'm not all that Jewish, really. I mean, not like I'd somehow manage to fool the Reich, and my ethnicity and New-York-ness run pretty high, but I go to synagogue once or twice a year, if that, I was practically weaned on bacon, and I'm woefully ignorant about much of my people's history. Even so, I had never really experienced Christmas before. Schedules and over-crowded houses have kept me from spending the holiday with Boy's family in the past (last year I traded places with his sister's boyfriend and arrived on the 26th), but this year I got the Full Gentile.

Like my family, Boy's is not especially religous. There was some church on Christmas Eve, but I didn't go. I was sort of curious to go, actually, but the group who went to the earlier service was far too rushed to leave the house, and primarily motivated by the fact that Boy's four-year-old niece had recently asked Mommy why she never goes to church, and by the time the other half of the family left for the midnight service I was far too drunk and full to go anywhere but bed.

Yes, Boy's rituals revolve almost entirely around food, booze, and gifts, and that's exactly how I like my holidays! Christmas Eve dinner consists (always, I'm told) of steak and lobster tail. The irony of eating trayf (though like I said, I always have) as part of a Christmas celebration was not lost on me! There was plenty of wine, cookies, and chocolate for days, and a small child (the aforementioned niece) who I can actually tolerate (she's precocious enough that I can relate to her like a real person, but not so precocious that I want to smack her -- and, as her uncle shaves his head she refers to me as "The Adam With Hair," which I find endlessly amusing).

Dinner on the 25th was a more traditional affair of turkey and trimmings, but before that there was a mountain of presents to get through. I'm not sure now why Boy was so taken aback by Chanukah with my mom, since everyone seemed to make out quite well at his house as well. The presents spilled out from under the tree all over the living room, and more arrived "from Santa" after Niece had gone to bed. Boy calls it the Temple of Greed (happily, not judgmentally), but one must factor in how many people there were there. In addition to my first real Christmas, I was also getting a dose of suburban life on a scale I'd never experienced before, as well as being more or less officially part of a relatively large family. My gift list has grown exponentially from when I was a single, only child with a single mother. Now there's Boy's parents, his moms' boyfriend, two sisters, brother-in-law, and niece. Brother-in-Law's mom was there too.

So many people! So much loot! Boy's family is big into board games (I guess that's easier when there are so many of you -- I enjoy them too but rarely have anyone to play with!) and they got me the TV edition of Scene It!, that trivia game where some of the questions are on DVD like a Video Daily Double. Good good stuff. Also in the family pile were the new Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit, which also has a DVD component and goes much faster than a traditional game (wedge questions are on the DVD and after a certain point are up for grabs by anyone if the person who's turn it is hasn't answered correctly), and Cranium, which just might be the best game ever (high point: I had to get my team to say "karate" by using my boyfriend as a charades puppet, and I made wax-on/wax-off and paint-fence motions to do it; low point: being so shocked at Boy's younger sister's blatant cheating that I called her out on it...when she was on my team).

All of Boy's big gifts were household items that I'll get to use too, so that worked out well for me (the same thing happened at Chanukah, when Mom gave me Bed, Bath and Beyond and Container Store gift certificates that we'll use together). Our kitchen now has one of those rabbit corkscrews, a George Foreman Next Grilleration (which, despite the retarded name makes me very happy because the grill plates now come off for cleaning, unlike Boy's old one which was a pain to de-grease and kinda skeeved me out), and a Melitta One:One coffee maker, which might just be the coolest kitchen appliance I've ever seen. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I may have to become one now that we have this baby.

Boy got me Alias season 2 on DVD, and both of his sisters (separately) got me Eats, Shoots and Leaves: A Zero-Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, which surely says something more about me and how well they know me than just the fact that it was on my 300-item Amazon Wish List.

And then we ate some more. And then some more. But that's a topic for another post.

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