Christmas at my mom and dad's means that I land up in a chenille bed jacket that my sister apprehended off the head nurse in the Sanikiluaq hospital; a pair of broken reading/sun glasses; a horrer movie (that I'll never watch, since I'm still traumatized from commercials of The Changeling that I inadvertently subjected myself to while baby-sitting at the Reimers....back in 1979 or so...)
I'll get that homemade bottle of wine that Walter re-gifts from his condo neighbour; a book still greasy from late-night snacking, and a portable ashtray.
And that's only part of what happens when I land up with my brother's contribution to the White Elephant Christmas gift exchange game.
For a Christmas that started out with: your mom and dad have the flu so keep your children QUIET in the basement.... your brother is going through a hard time..... the turkey already got cooked last week, it's been waiting in the freezer....your relatives aren't coming.... And for heaven's sake Don't Breathe a Word About So-and-So-and-such-and-such-we-cannot-mustnot-have-a-scene.................................
We actually had a beautiful, marvelous, joyous Christmas.
Which was great, because the day before, we'd enjoyed the most glorious day at home with our own brood.
Nobody got locked into the basement, there were no outbursts of "That's NOT the coolest gift!!" And I don't think anybody fought at all.
They had better freaking not have.
There was so much to be happy about.
There were some parts that were so happy that they made me cry.