December 27, 2007

Christmas Triathalon

Six days, three Christmases and 2000 miles.

This year Christmas held changes at every stop and left me wondering what to hold on to and what to let go.

After 24 hours with friends in Milwaukee and Madison we settled into our shiny new guest room at my parents’ house for one night. Only this Christmas I was an only child, me, me, me! My sister was left to her own devices in San Francisco. SB did dilute my only child stardom, but I guess that’s OK. We decorated cookies, ate cookies and Christmas bread and an accidentally vegan dinner. Yum! We threw out all pretense and opened all our presents on Christmas Eve, giving Christmas morning a very leisurely pace.

By two we were on the road in our rental car, racing the “mixed precipitation” turning to snow as we drove three hours north to SB’s hometown. Minutes after we arrived the snow started piling up and the wind increased to forty plus mph. That night began the Christmas traditions of my new in-laws. Christmas Eve we all congregated for a snacky dinner including turtle bread filled with spinach dip. SB’s family has almost doubled in size in the past year, going from 6 people to 11 people, including two grand children. This was by far our biggest celebration. Christmas day found us completely snowed in, with over a foot of snow piled against the door. SB spent two hours shoveling before the rest of the family arrived. After a butter-licious dinner and more cookies, we tried a new gift exchange, based on drawing names and randomizing small gifts, with much success. All present opening halted mid-rip as a diaper pit stop was required. After all gifts were exchanged, a few rounds of games were played. Ending our second Christmas snuggly tucked in against the cold.

The next morning we were off to begin our third Christmas eve, this one on Dec. 24th. We drove four hours south to Milwaukee, boarded a plane and two hours later were back in the ATL. Back and starving. A swing through our local shopping area at 7pm in search of tacos or frozen pizza or something, left us empty. All stores had closed an hour beforehand. We made a final drive through our local neighborhood, finding all the restaurants closed save one, the rock-n-roll bar. Yay! We pulled in and ordered delicious burgers and beer. Onion rings never tasted so good. The place was nicely busy, filled with the usual black clad, grungy crowd. No Christmas music to be heard. It felt just right. Christmas day was spent entirely in our jammies, eating lasagna and cherry pie.

I was happy that for our first married Christmas we were able to squeeze in so many traditions from both our families and start to make some of our own.

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  • Eating salted avocados with a spoon in Madison.
  • Blogging since 2003.