Southern Man

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's Christmas Eve - Have an Eggroll

What a terrific Christmas Eve it has been!

The day began by rousing the aforementioned 2/3 of Southern Man's kids and coaxing them to bathe and shower and dress and brush their teeth and their hair and such. We went to our "family" church for breakfast and a Christmas sermon (where we picked up the other 1/3 of the kids), then went to the local megachurch to meet Southern Man's gf and one of her daughters (the other has acquired an automobile and has thus joined the workforce so she can pay for it) and attend their noon service (with lots of terrific music courtesy of the younger portion of the band and another excellent sermon by the senior pastor), and finally went to casa gf for roast and potatoes and carrots and corn and tossed salad and dinner rolls...yum, yum! Then it was back to Southern Man's abode for a few hours of rest - and then we packed the sleigh and headed to Southern Man's folks (with a stop at a local Chinese place for takeout) for family Christmas Eve.

A long-standing tradition is that all of the kids (Southern Man has one brother and one sister, with four nephews between them) and their families gather at Southern Man's folks for Christmas Eve, then scatter to their in-laws (or wherever) on Cristmas Day. There were thirteen there this year; we were down two, as brother's wife was ill and Southern Man's ex did not attend. Southern Man's father always directs the reading of the nativity account from Luke, with the younger set reading parts as well. Everyone has a stocking, and another long-standing tradition is that we put anonymous (or at least pseudo-anonymous) gifts in everyone's stocking. It's no secret that Southern Man always brings a twelve-pack (or equivalent) of everyone's favorite beverage but on occasion he can manage to slip in something unseen. Everyone pretty much knows what everyone else likes; for example, Southern Man's mother always gets a small mountain of jigsaw puzzles in her stocking. The youngest kids act as Santa and a great time was had by all. All attendees age thirteen and up also drew names for the family gift exchange earlier in the year; Southern Man was given a lovely webcam and is thinking about his first contribution to YouTube even now. Southern Man's father usually drags out the slide projector and this year it was a recap of Christmas past. Southern Man looked pretty good at age three or so by PaPoo's tree in his whitie-tighties; perhaps less good as a long-haired teen hippie wannabee. Another long-standing tradition is that everyone brings food (thus the aforementioned pit stop at the Chinese place) and the "meal" is just whatever shows up. The title of this blog was uttered by Southern Man's sister when someone made a good-natured complaint about the, ah, eclectic nature of the evening menu.

Alas, the evening at the folks ended all too soon and Southern Man had to again load up the sleigh and haul the kids (and their luggage and their toys) back to their mom. But Christmas Eve wasn't yet done; Southern Man hastened back to his own place to clean up the disaster left behind by the kids and get his gf's gifts under the tree prior to her arrival for our own gift exchange. There is nothing quite like exchanging gifts with your gf late on Christmas Eve in a living room lit only by the Christmas Tree and the fireplace...I never dreamed that Christmas Eve could be so wonderful, only seven months after my family was torn apart.

Christmas is tomorrow! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


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