Thursday, December 28, 2006

My VapoRub brings all the boys to the yard

What G gave me for Christmas:

1. A sweet note that said "I love you, Mom!"
2. A cold.

Loved the first gift, could have done without the second. I've just come home sick from work, and I'm sitting here covered with Vicks' finest and eating kung pao tofu in an attempt to clear my head. Whether it will work or not remains to be seen.

Germs aside, we had a pretty good Christmas. We spent the night of the 23rd at my mother and stepfather's house, and on Christmas Eve morning, drove up to Big Bear with them so G could play in the snow. That was lots of fun, although she got soaked to the skin and had to change clothes afterward. We got back to their house in the late afternoon and made it home about an hour past sunset. I knew there were probably some other family events going on, but I was so tired of driving that I opted to stay in and have a quiet night. G put out cookies and hot chocolate for Santa, and an apple and a bowl of water for the reindeer, and then we both went to bed.

The following morning, she was up at 7:00, and by 7:15, she'd unwrapped everything under the tree. It's never taken us very long to open presents, but that's got to be some sort of record. After the Great Unwrapping was over, the rest of the day was taken up with church, eating, more driving, and that classic Filipino family activity, karaoke. I can't remember the last time I heard that many Doors songs sung back to back. Oh, yes, and there was also a white elephant gift exchange, in which G quite deliberately stole a chocolate fondue fountain from one of the adults and then sat clutching the huge box and daring people with her eyes to try to take it from her. There were plenty of wrapped gifts still on the table, but she wanted that chocolate fountain, dammit! I see lots of chocolate-dipped strawberries in our future.

Of course, the $64,000 question is how we handled this first Christmas without P. G commented that Daddy would have liked the pop-star guitar Santa brought her, but other than that, she didn't mention him, and seemed to enjoy the holiday in spite of being sick. As for me, I couldn't help getting a bit depressed while she was unwrapping her gifts, since it was so different from previous years when we were all together. One parent and one kid may be a perfectly acceptable family, but it doesn't feel like a family, at least not if you're used to the other way. There were other moments throughout the day when I felt his absence very keenly, but that was the worst, and at least I got it over with early. One Christmas down, only fifty-odd more to go.

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