Friday, December 26, 2014

Recounting Christmas Day

Today was kind of dense. I'm going to run through the basics of what I did today.First, I should clarify that my family, both on my mom and my dad's sides, all live in the area where I grew up. It was maybe a 15-minute drive from my parent's house to either of my grandparents' places at any given time, and more of my family lived even closer--sometimes just a few doors down. My family generally very close, geographically speaking. I'm the oddball in this regard.

So, Christmas was both easy and eventful in my family. We would begin the day with the nuclear family, opening gifts from parents and "Santa." Then we'd head over to one grandparents' house for lunch and the other for dinner, alternating from year to year.

This is the same basic structure of my current Christmas schedule, with a few changes.

First, my sister has a family of her own now, so the nuclear family gathering is slightly extended to account for my niece and nephew. Luckily, they live right next door to my parents, so this is pretty convenient for everyone. (My brother still lives with my parents, too, illustrating rather dramatically how close my family is with the exception of myself.)

Next I visited my dad's parents who live about 5 minutes down the road from my parents now. There, children are forever running around underfoot, and it's there that I get the chance to do what I spent much of today doing: showing off hiking pictures, explaining the concept of geocaching, and showing the video of Laura finding my proposal letter in Ventana Canyon. I'm pretty sure I showed that video at least six times today. This conversation is always followed by lots of congratulations, questions about our plans, and requests to see Laura again sometime. We'll need to figure something out some time, heh.

After a few hours with my dad's side of the family, I headed over to my aunt's house, three doors down from the house I grew up in. My mom's side of the family gathers there for holidays these days rather than at my grandparents' house, both because it's more convenient for more people and because my aunt's house is larger and more open, making it more suitable for large gatherings.

Both sides of the family offer lots of similar foods: ham, turkey, dinner rolls, various desserts. It's basically Thanksgiving II: This Time With Gifts. It's always been that way, in fact.

Once I'm done with my blood relatives, though, nowadays I also make time to see what friends I can. Today I visited my old roommate Mike in the house we used to share, which he now shares with my doppelgänger Chahlz (who, coincidentally, was also a roommate of mine for a time). I met my old friend Danny there as well; he had come down to the Houma area to visit family with his girlfriend, though he's actually living in Baton Rouge these days. 

Finally, I went to my old friend Josh's house, where I stayed until after 1AM. It was a long, talkative, pleasant, yet tiring day. The next couple of days promise to be slightly more leisurely. Maybe.

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