Apparently the secret to having a happy Christmas in my family is spouses. Seriously. We've not had a Christmas worth remembering in YEARS yet this year it was AWESOME.
I got--well, basically I got nothing. Which is sad, but since I really didn't give anyone anything, it only makes sense that I didn't get anything from them, either. And I was hardly the only person getting nothing. I guess that plan someone tried to enact a few years ago wherein we stop buying each other gifts has finally started working.
Either that or the recession. Anyway, the short list: I got a journal (with a bejeweled pencil), a scented candle, some stinky lotion (not my favorite scent), a glass perfume bottle, a glass pendent, and $25. I told you it was a short list.
Despite the paucity of gifts, it took FOREVER to hand them out because the only one doing it was my blind-ish, deaf-ish, and senile-ish grandfather who kept getting distracted by other things and couldn't find anyone--even when he was staring directly at them.
I kept thinking that I should get up and help, but then someone else would jump up and I'd assume they were going to help, or I'd start to think all the gifts had been handed out because it'd been so long since I'd seen a new one handed out, or--well, or I'm just lazy. So it ended up taking the better part of two hours to pass out a quarter of the usual amount of gifts, which we generally go through in half an hour. Crazy math.
BUT! Instead of sitting there bored and feeling unloved since none of the gifts were for me, I ended up having some awesome conversations with my favorite cousin and my least-favorite cousin (who I really like better than that now, since he's grown up a bit). We talked about Dr. Who and Torchwood and computer games, and sometimes my ...cousin-in-law? would also join in, or my oldest cousin or my uncle, and it was just generally social and a bit like Christmas ought to be.
Christmas dinner was cold, and the younger generation was shunned to the family room and the folding table (I always thought we'd outgrow the kid-table some day, but boy was I wrong. Instead the kid-table just got BIGGER), but even that was okay because it meant that we were all people from approximately the same generation and my cousin-in-law and my soon-to-be-cousin-in-law actually talk to people unlike their wives(-to-be). So there was conversation that was neither stilted NOR awkward. Amazing!
There were also four small children under age seven, courtesy of my oldest cousin. They were very quiet (overwhelmed?) children, but they still added a bit of extra fun confusion. And ran over our toes with remote control cars. And there were two dogs as well.
All in all this was probably the best Christmas I've had in ages, and now I feel bad for being so pessimistic about it yesterday. Still, how could I have known? Christmas usually sucks.