Each year by Christmas, three things will have happened:
1.) I will have finished my shopping . . . months ago.
2.) My face will break-out from stress.
3.) I will not have gone anywhere near the vicinity of Fairview Heights, IL from mid-November to sometime after Christmas.
The first two are kind of obvious, I think. I plan ahead and buy gifts way in advance with our Christmas fund. Also, as if it's not enough to LOOK like a 13-year-old, I also have a 13-year-old's skin. Yay.
The last one is something I am pretty adamant about. I believe that what happens in Fairview Heights during the month of December is pretty much the epitome of what the Christmas season is NOT about. Traffic, mall craziness, waiting in line, spending money on things . . . oh my goodness. Just thinking about it stresses me out.
For the past few years, holidays generally go something like this:
*A week or so before Christmas - is spent with my mom's LARGE family. Did I say large??
I mean GIGANTIC. This was taken this year (this past Saturday) and it is not even all of her brothers and sisters. Just imagine all of their families who are present as well. Holy moly.
Anyway, we get together, eat, play cards, sometimes we have a gift exchange, and at some point Grandpa opens his gifts. That's pretty much it. It's a good time, always nice to see everyone. I loved it this year because Nora had a lot of fun playing with all her relatives. That will only get better! :)
*Christmas Eve - is spent with Cory's mom's family. It's usually TONS of fun and we look forward to it. Usually Cory's aunt, uncle, and cousins from Nevada are in town and it's just so good to see them. We play cards, eat, open presents, the usual.
When I was a kid, this night was spent with my mom's above-mentioned gigantic family, and when Cory and I got married this night was kind of a nightmare because we had to split the night between his family and mine. Luckily now we don't have to worry about that, but I remember one year in particular that we basically spent the entire night in the car, and I was seriously upset that we missed out on seeing my family at all because we showed up too late. SO glad my mom's family does not get together on this night anymore.
*Christmas Day we get up and open presents and our stockings with Nora. Last year it was not too interesting, being that she was about 4 months old - but we got to sleep in! :) We are enjoying what we think will be our last year or two before we are up at 6 a.m. opening presents. :)
Nora last Christmas. Wow, how time flies!
After we do all that, we usually end up doing something with my dad's side of the family, and we include my mom and brother and nephew in this (or we see them the next day). We drink and play dominoes, after that we eat and open presents. :) Then sometimes we head over and see Cory's family again - it just depends on what everyone is doing, when my dad comes into town, etc.
This year, however, is way different. We are seeing my mom on Christmas Day, and then on the 26th we are going to . . . the Rams game! :) If you are keeping count, this will be the SECOND ever football game that I have been to ever (and both within the last three months). This will also be the second time we all kill ourselves to get up to our WAYYYYYY high-up seats. Ha. It should be fun, but I am not looking forward to the climb. Or helping anyone make the climb when I am out of breath myself.
The final "tradition" (if you will) is that Cory always asks for something that needs an explanation. Always. He asks for things no one has heard of or no one but him would want, and I am starting to wonder if he's doing it on purpose. :) Last year it was the shovel:
This is him assembling his shovel. No I did not mis-type, and yes he has WHEELS in his hands. His shovel has wheels. Only Cory!
This year, he's asked for the crazy toe shoes.
While looking for what crazy thing Cory asked for in 2008, I came across this list of his from 2004 in my email inbox. I thought it was good for a laugh. Also it proves my point!:
Drum role please.......
Top (not even close to) 10 random under $25 items I thought up during
lunch at work one day (in no particular order):
1) The Bourne Supremacy DVD
2) Spider-Man 2 DVD
3) Gift Certificate to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target
4) I forgot what number 4 was gonna be, oh well...
5) move onto number 6
6) Duct Tape Wallet...Yes, you read that right, a Duct Tape Wallet
(follow this link to see it ->
7) Honestly, who wouldn't want a .
8) I never really liked the number 8, so I will skip it.
9) Circuit Board Business Card Case
10) What is a circuit board business card case you might ask? Click
here -> http://www.thinkgeek.com/cubegoodies/toys/5d15/
Well, that about tops my list. Hope it brings you all joy and laughter.
I avoided clothes in the list because I came into this world naked and I
plan on dieing that way. Have fun everyone.
Cory T. Whitaker, CMfgT
Until next time . . .