The energy level in the household has been rising as out-of-town family and friends arrive. Quick took his last final exam and was in our living room 24 hours later, playing chess with With-a-Why. Sailor Boy, who took a week’s leave from the Coast Guard to be here for the holidays, spent last week training in Southern State That Cannot Handle Snow and had planned to fly here Friday. After 72 hours of traveling, or mostly sitting in airports sending pathetic text messages, he finally arrived here Monday afternoon. “I need a shower,” he said when he came through the door.
Blonde Niece arrived home in time to help me do some Christmas shopping. As long-time readers know, I’m terrified of the mall, but Blonde Niece is fearless. She efficiently steered me through the necessary stores, then we relaxed in the food court and talked about her first semester of college. (That evening, that same food court was the site of a holiday flashmob organized by a local college student. About 300 people, mostly college students, alerted by a notice on facebook, gathered in the mall. The loud speakers began playing Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” and on cue, hundreds of young people began dancing, much to the surprise of all the holiday shoppers who had just come to get something to eat. As much as I hate the mall, I would have loved to see that event.)
I declared a week-long ban on computer games. In return, With-a-Why was allowed to skip school to be home with his siblings. The rest of us have the week off, so we’ve mostly been hanging out by the fire and getting ready for Christmas. Red-haired Sister, Tie-dye Brother-in-law, and their two kids arrived yesterday. They brought a bag of presents for the little neighbor kids; my sister’s plan is to leave them on the doorstep in the middle of the night.
But the real Christmas miracle? I haven’t yet killed any of the cats.