This was a difficult Christmas, just as I suspected. My grandmother, who has been so stoic since Pop's death and was never a very emotional woman, just couldn't keep herself together. Consequently, I couldn't look at her without tearing up myself. She's at a point in her life where her body is frustratingly feeble and constantly at odds with her still agile mind. Additionally, the people she has known and loved her whole life are passing away with greater regularity. Old age can be such a terrible thing.
Was that too heavy? Here's something much lighter.
A kite! Not just any kite, the Ghost Clipper kite I've had my eye on for 10 years or so. I can't wait to build it, but it's pretty huge: 6' x 3' or so. I also got a bunch of ginger things: ginger lotion, ginger shower gel, ginger body spray, wasabi and ginger cooking sauce, double ginger hard candies, ginger meringues, ginger chews... It was a very ginger Christmas. I also got a fuzzy blanket and some Coca-Cola memorabilia. Family Guy DVDs, some Christmas ornaments, lots of comfy pants for sleeping and equally comfy slippers, some cash, some work clothes, a fuzzy blanket, a new board game, and a set of knives. I'm sure there's more, but that's the bulk of it.
I did absolutely no baking this year. That just occurred to me. I helped with a bit of crafting before and after church on Christmas Eve/early Christmas morning. My sister came up with the idea of making ornaments with decals of a pin that belonged to my grandmother, my father's mother who passed away in July.
For Grandma's 80th birthday, all her children (she had 14 total, 12 survived to see her 80th birthday with her) chipped in to buy her a pin. An enormous pin. It has a gold M inside a heart. Her initials were M.M., and M could also stand for mother. There are two, large garnets to represent Grandma and Grandpa's birthstones -- they were both born in January. The heart is made up of other birthstones set in gold. They represent the birthstones of all of Grandma's children and grandchildren. It's an impressively symbolic piece of jewelry of which Grandma was very proud.
We spent half the night cutting out the decal images of the pin, affixing them to the glass ornaments, and stuffing the ornaments with beads or tinsel or whatever we thought would look pretty. On Christmas, my sister gave them out to my father's family. I'm told they went over very well and made a big impression. My sister is very good at thoughtful, creative things like that.
I didn't do anything with my father's family this year. For the first time, crashrose and I split Christmas between our two families. We woke up at my mom's house on Christmas morning and then headed downstairs to Gam's. Then we headed to Media to be with crashrose's mother. It was a good time. We played my new board game and ate a delicious dinner. We got home at a reasonable hour because I had to work the next day. It was strange to not see any of my aunts, uncles, and cousins on Dad's side, but there are only so many hours in a day.
Work was okay the next day, but I forgot a lot of important things, like my work shoes, tongue stud retainer, house key, and wallet. I remembered to call good friend and former roommate A to say happy birthday. This weekend, we went back up to Mom's to pick up all the stuff I left behind. While we were up there, we hung out with some of my friends I hadn't seen since high school ... or maybe the first Christmas break from college. In either case, it had been a long time -- too long. That was fun. Then we had dinner with my family and headed back to our apartment.
Today, I'm not at work. With all the excitement and hectic goings on, I didn't get much sleep. I also drank a lot of beer the night before last and didn't drink any water. The combination of dehydration and sleep deprivation made me super dizzy and sick. I called off today to get rehydrated and rejuvenated because I was too unstable and lightheaded to be comfortable taking a shower this morning; I thought I might slip and crack my head open. Walking to work wasn't a much more appealing option.
I feel a bit better now, but I still think I made the right choice.
There's been some talk of a party for New Year's being thrown by saintdani and revvoice, so we'll probably be back up in North Jersey for that. Also, crashrose's mom will be having another game night on the evening of the second. After all that, we should be partied out for a while.
There. Now you're up to speed.