Monday, December 24, 2007
The presents are wrapped. It's Christmas Eve and I'm finishing up the night drinking wine and listening to Uncle Tupelo. We spent the evening at my dad's house. Me, my kids, my dad, my sister Cara and her husband Dan, and their two teenage daughters Koty and Kiley. We had a nice dinner--my dad grilled salmon and asparagus. I brought a mushroom galette and Cara brought cheesy potatoes and chocolate chip cookies.
I had given Cara my stethoscope to bead, and she made it all fancy for me for Christmas. It's awesome. I hope my clinical skills will be as dazzling as my stethoscope. If not, then I hope my stethoscope will serve to distract my patients from my incompetence. This picture does not do it justice, I'm going to try to get a better one.
My dad gave us typically tasteful gifts, plus some cash which is always welcome. A nice little sweetgrass basket, a harmony hollow cranberry plant knicknack, which was the kind of cute little botanical thing my mom was into, a fancy candle. He gave my sister and I these Minnesota Ojibwe dictionaries, so if any of you start talking Ojibwe smack to me I'm going to be able to look up what you're saying.
I gave my sister and dad handmade leather purses that I bought at the Shadow Art Fair. With Cara's I included a wine bottle vacuum sealer. In usual eerie fashion, it turned out that she had bought one of those for my dad as part of his gift. I didn't buy him one because he finishes any bottle of wine that he opens and I didn't think he'd start drinking less so he could vacuum seal it. Now we figure he can keep drinking more, maybe one and a half bottles and vacuum seal the rest. Cara and I are always doing weird synchronous things like that. One time near Christmas she called and I was making cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies, and at the same time she was making the same cookies for me. It wasn't like those cookies were some tradition, either, it was out of the blue. Freaky!
When we got home I got the kids straight to bed so I could get down to serious Santa work. It used to be that I would wrap presents in the basement while Gerry managed the kid situation, but last year I remember being really tired and just doing it in the living room. Luka had been told about the realities of Santa because I'm not going to lie if he asks me about it, but still he acted startled when he was faced with a half-hidden pile of gifts in the living room. He had been coughing all night, and had gagged himself into throwing up all over the place. So we had gifts to wrap, vomit to clean, and a kid that would not stop coughing. He ended up coughing all night long and there was no reprieve until I called for some narcotic cough syrup the next morning. It was awful. Anyway, I thought last year that we had established that I was Santa.
So this evening he kept getting up and I had to usher him out of the room several times. He started bawling and saying something about Santa not existing!! I was like--please!! He said, why did you say Santa existed. I told him that I am Santa, and that I do exist. I feel like I'm living Groundhog Day but it's Christmas instead.
With classes finishing up so late, I didn't get a chance to get a tree until right before Christmas so I said forget it. I just didn't have the time to go running around looking for one, so I bought some cedar garland in which to wrap our skeleton and Evan decorated that on the solstice. The cedar makes it look more tropical than I really like, but the cedar can burned when I'm done. Burning cedar smells really good, a fact that I am including here for my pyro readers.
Luka wasn't into the skeleton idea, so he decorated my little fake tree. Amongst the traditional decorations he hung some fondue forks he found in the kitchen. He put up a sign that directed Santa to put Luka's presents there.
Christmas morning. I think they made out pretty well. Evan got some Warhammer 40K, a soft and sparkly severed unicorn head, again from the Shadow Art Fair (which he said he LOVED), a holy toast stamp where you can press the image of the Virgin Mary into a piece of bread and then toast it. Luka got a gel ant farm colony, some sour cream and onion crickets to snack on, and some Beatles stuff. They both got IPods, books, maps, the movie HELP, the Wii game Big Brain Academy. When Luka opened that he stood there going hmmm... with a doubtful look on his face. I ordered--"look excited for Santa!" and he gave me the reaction that I was looking for, a little overkill actually. The kid is so opinionated.