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The past few days have been full of Festivity.  First there was my parents’ Anniversary (they’ve been married now for 41 years).  It was a laid back sort of affair – hanging out at the Family Homestead and watching movies all together.  Mariah brought over most of her truly impressive alcohol collection, and we mixed Gin & Tonics with St. Germaine, and concoctions of ginger liquer mixed with Creme de Cacao or orange juice, plus many, many Shirley Temples for Fleur.  We watched A Muppet’s Christmas Carol together (I cried at the “Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. I am sure that we shall never forget Tiny Tim, or this first parting that there was among us. “ part, and so did Mariah), and then we watched Raising Arizona, which was much more cheerful.

On Wednesday we had our Family Gift Day, which was mostly lovely, the first part, anyway.  This year AnniPotts and Boy-O collaborated on their presents, which included cleaning out the used book store.  Apparently they found a whole series of really ridiculous romance novels with nerdy heroes (The Nerd Who Loved Me, Nerds Like It Hot, Talk Nerdy To Me, My Nerdy Valentine, etc.), and gave one to each of the girls in the family.  Except Fleur.  She’s not old enough for even the most ridiculous romance novel.  Mariah had already given me my Christmas present (two very nice cardigan sweaters when I was freaking out about not having an office-y enough wardrobe), but she threw in a license plate cover from Fiber Works that says “I’d Rather Be Knitting.” I thought that was pretty cool.  I gave up on trying to finish Mr. T’s cabled socks, and instead gave him a gift card to Olive Garden.  I figure the socks will have to be a birthday present after all.

The hard part was that after we’d done all the fun present giving, Mariah brought out the last of the boxes of Jacob’s stuff, the ones that have been sitting in her living room for months, ever since we moved them out of Sae’s basement.  It seems like no matter how much of Jacob’s stuff we go through and distribute, there’s always more.  Or there was.  I have it on reliable authority that this was the last.  And it better be.  It took us five and a half hours.  It felt like infinitely longer.  At one point I thought we were never going to get out of there.  But we did.  I now have custody of what was Jacob’s stuffed R2D2, his George R.R. Martin books, the letters I wrote him while I was on NET, his The Tick figurine that used to balance on a bit of plastic wall until somehow we lost the wall, and his Baptismal candle, among other things.  And now we’re done.  I think.  I hope.  Please, God, let us be done!

Thursday was better, though I felt like I had a hangover most of the day from the emotional overload the day before.  I kinda just wanted to go home, crawl into bed, and not come out again until the next day, but CO2 was in town for Christmas, and had volunteered to lead our Catholic young adult group in a Posada.  This is a Mexican (and other Spanish speaking countries) tradition in which you act out the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.  Afterwards you have a party, complete with a pinata.  I love pinatas!  So I packed up the vat of Buffalo Chicken Dip I made in my slow cooker, crackers, napkins, rope, and a whiffle ball bat to hit the pinata with.  And I was glad I did.  There’s nothing like whaling on a pinata to chase the holiday blues away.  And our pinata, a very jaunty blue pony, put up a fight!  Everyone got a turn blindfolded, and then we started whacking on it without the blindfold.  It was pretty sweet.  Once it was finally eviscerated we cheerfully adjourned to our meeting room for food & hanging out.  And it was good.

Tonight, in a few minutes I’m heading out to the Welcome Back Dinner for PM (my long lost Minion).  After dinner people are heading over to Tank’s, but I don’t think I’m going to.  I’m just tired.  I want to stay in and, I dunno, paint my nails.  Or something.  Tomorrow is Mariah’s Big New Year’s Eve Party, and then New Years Day is another family day.  We’re not having our Huge Family Party this year.  (We’ve thrown three weddings this year.  That’s enough parties for a while.)  But we’re still going to get together and hang out, and probably go watch Tin Tin.  And somewhere in there I swear I’m going to get some sleep.  Really.

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