There's nothing like spending 62 straight hours with the craziest members of your family in West Texas to put you right in the Christmas spirit. Seriously. Nothing screams "Jesus is the reason for the season" more than the undercurrent of age-old tension between family members as it's hashed out over long hours in the kitchen, last minute trips to the Midland Park Mall on Christmas Eve an hour and a half before it closes, and while dressing to go to Christmas Eve church, because really, divine intervention is the only way we all made it out of that mall alive. And you can tell it's REALLY gotten good when the cat doesn't even want to be in the house with all of you. Fortunately, we all survived, and might even get together to do it again next year, minus the cat.
During the midnight candlelight service at my church last night, I had a couple of hours to contemplate my interactions with the people who were sitting next to me in the pew who I've been told share my DNA. In retrospect, I feel as though I can sum it all up in the one comment I made to my mother halfway through the liturgy "You're lucky I like you, because you're sitting entirely too close to me." Lest you think I truly dislike my family, I don't. We're just really good at annoying each other, particularly during the holidays when we actually have to have face to face interactions. Add in the fact that our family dynamic has been thrown off by the glaring lack of rational testosterone in the house since my dad passed away, and you have a recipie for a loud, opinionated and painfully blunt Honduran holiday. My mom fusses too much, I stay out too late and smell like a bar when I finally come home at 4 am, my aunt is... well... my aunt, and my cousins always break something important when they come to visit. Like when they broke the toilet at Thanksgiving that led to the hasty bathroom remodeling that was completed the day I got home for Christmas. Thankfully, deep down, we all at least like each other a little bit to allow ourselves to sit entirely too close to one another, and a holiday wouldn't be the same without all of us together. Or at the very least, they're providing excellent fodder for my first book.
So here's to my crazy family, and our successful Christmas. I think I need a drink.