Shared Christmas

As I write this, Christmas is over by a couple of weeks.

As friends, and family pass on, and friends move, the holidays can be quite a bitch to go through.

One of my biggest issues – going way back, has been spending the holidays with other people’s families. From the mid-eighties or so, I’d date someone and split my day with my family and the family of whatever girl I was seeing.

I know it’s arrogant, but nobody does Christmas right, but your own family. One year we had my Brother’s girlfriend and her family down from Seattle. And our gift giving was re-arranged to their liking. As kids, my mom had no set rules on how we opened presents, or in what order, etc.

Now, the girlfriend’s family had a definite order. After everyone showers and eats breakfast, everyone sits in a circle and opens one present, passes it around, checks it out and so on like this.

Growing up, my brother and I would go at the gifts. . . It was a free-for-all. My mom sat patiently, opening her first present an hour or so after our ape-shit antics.

And some days we didn’t even think of breakfast until 11:00 or so.

Now that I’m married, I spend my Christmas’ with my Egyptian in-laws, and it’s way different than what I grew up with. The few constants are this: We will be watching the Lakers game, at least one person will cry (reasons vary), there will be plenty of screaming (positive and negative) and lots of over-eating.

No matter how many twists and turns your life takes there’s nothing better than the Christmases of your youth. Before you were actually paying for the gifts yourself.

– Last One To Die, 2011

#michaelessington #lastonetodie

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