Well, Christmas was just DANDY.
It was seriously the nicest holiday I've had probably since I was a kid and spent the day freaking out about my new toys and being sent outside to shovel snow because I'd been doing that thing where you go "aaahhOOOOOOOO" until your dog starts howling, too, and everybody had just HAD IT WITH ME.
Christmas Eve we had Jack's mom, his sister, Kate, and Kate's two kids, Yossi, who is twelve, and Sarah, who is ten. Kate married into this huge Moroccan-Israeli family, and her husband especially is kind of -- well, what's the word -- hostile? -- about his kids being embraced by the elvish yuletide bliss, so to compensate Jack got them some really ugly stockings and hung them over the fireplace with a couple of nails:
Yeah. Which one do you want, the spaniel with the crown or the bug-eyed chihuahua? THE CHIHUAHUA, duh. I think I might even nab it for my own next year.
Kate was a little out of it, just exhausted, so we took the kids and told Kate to stay in the hotel and sleep. I wasn't quite sure what ten- and twelve-year-old kids needed as far as entertainment goes, so I planned to wing it with them, though I had some back-up cookie-decorating ideas ready just in case. Yossi wanted nothing to do with cookies (this is the kid who, when I once offered him some pasta, he said, "Thanks, but I've had my carbs for today"), so he went shopping with Jack. They came back and Jack was all, I am never going to shop again without Yossi, my color-savvy stylist.
Look at that hair! He obviously knows his product, though I have a feeling that L.A. seventh graders have the jump on the rest of the planet when it comes to grooming awareness. Seriously, I found myself really trying to put myself together with this kid around, the potential for disapproval was just too 90210.
But Sarah was into the whole cookie thing, so I took some of the colored dough that I'd bought from one of the neighbor kids when she was selling it for a school fundraiser, and since I have no idea where that box of cookie cutters went we had to cut the dough into weird shapes with a dull butter knife. We baked up three sheets, I frosted the crap out of them, and then layed them all out with a somewhat anemic array of candy for Sarah and Jackson to decorate with. (I got this idea after seeing what Krista's kids did with their cookies.)
Jackson was into it for about a minute, then he remembered that he likes to make other people do all the work and then come in at the end and share the credit. Oh, yeah, I'm onto you, mister.
Go ahead, eat it. Now get out of my way! I've got cookies to decorate before Santa gets here!
Anyway, once we got that cleaned up it was time to marvel at the tree and our incredibly sophisticated and timely decorations:
I don't remember much about present-opening the next morning, mostly because it was sheer chaos. And someone was constantly torturing the dog with a remote control zamboni:
And there was the usual amount of domestic violence:
Then everyone packed up and got the hell out of there and went back to L.A., which made Jackson very sad. He LOVES his cousins and his cousins are so sweet to him, it's just too fucking heartwarming. I consoled myself that night by drinking four bottles of wine. FOUR BOTTLES. Jack helped, naturally, but at one point I apparently got up from the couch, walked into the bedroom, took off my clothes, got into bed, and passed out. I remember none of it, though I had my night guard in place, which means I took a stab at brushing my teeth. Jackson woke me up a couple of hours later and made me read him a story, which, again, I only vaguely remember; I slurred my way through something about Edmund and the White Witch and passed out again.
Nice example, huh? Don't worry: MOMMY'S ON THE WAGON AGAIN, at least until next weekend.*
*This is a JOKE.
I decided to make it all up to Jackson after Grandma finally bolted two days later by taking him to lunch at McDonald's.
Because nothing clogs up a bleeding little heart quicker than a cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke. And a Narnia toy:
Dig it. It's a little cardboard backdrop and a plastic beaver carrying a mug of ale, or whatever magical woodland libation beavers favor. Mead, perhaps, garnished with sawdust and wood chips.
Of course the best part is that whenever Jackson plays with this toy now he starts chanting, "Evil beaver! Evil beaver!"
Yay! Merry Xmas everybody!!