Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More holiday cheer

Not to beat this holiday thing to death, but I figured I should talk a little about family during the holidays. I just got through an extended conversation with one of my co-workers about how the winter holidays drive him crazy because he has to deal with his family. While he loves them very much, they can drive him buggy, and having to buy presents for 15 people is a bit excessive. I thought about that a bit, and then I thought about my family a bit, and I reached a few conclusions.

My family is somewhat fascinating. It's very culturally mixed, and absolutely enormous. My mother is one of seven children, my father one of five. All of my aunts and uncles have at least three children. I have about 25 cousins on my mother's side alone. And they are, in many ways, completely insane. Consider:

Three of my uncles are priests.

Two of my uncles are most likely serious alcoholics. Not alcoholics in a ha-ha way, but alcoholics in a you-should-probably-dry-out-before-your-wife-leaves-you way.

The entire family is ROWDY. I mean, party until 4:00AM on a routine basis rowdy. They are loud, they scream, they dance, they play musical instruments until the wee hours. And did I mention the drinking?

Various members of my family are frequently in quiet or not-so-quiet feuds with each other.

I have a cousin who steals, gets into fights, and gets tossed in the clink fairly regularly.

My grandmother is 97 and does not know who I am. This is not meant to be funny, btw.

They have absolutely no idea what to buy each other for Christmas, so frequently, all the boy cousins get the same thing. Regardless of whether they're 13 or 30. It's a little odd when the 20somethings get toy cars. Or when the 13 year olds get cologne. Cologne that smells like a prostitute who just finished up on a football team.

So that's my family, without getting too detailed. They're crazy, they're irritating, they're loud, obnoxious, drunkards. They're sometimes ignorant, sometimes annoying, and sometimes seek out trouble.

They're also, as the crow flies, about 8,000 miles away. That's about 13,000 kilometers. About 22 hours by plane. About $1500 for a single ticket to fly there. I will not see them for Christmas this year. I did not see them for Christmas last year.

I guess what I'm saying is... your family might be annoying as hell, but fuck it. It's your family. Go, open presents, drink some egg nog, eat too much, listen to shitty Christmas music, watch some basketball or football, get into arguments, and give out some hugs.

Trust me, the alternative sucks.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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