Monday, December 27, 2010

X-Mas 2010 Recap

The staff (me) of For Lack Of A Better Title is back from their Holiday break.  I'll be recapping my X-Mas 2010 for you.  I know technically, it's not correct to call Christmas, X-Mas, but I like my Christmases, straight edge.  I know Ian MacKaye would be proud.

12/23/2010:  I'm puttering around the house when my phone rings.  It's my Mom and all she says to me is, "Guess what's baking in the oven?"  To anyone else, it's an impossible question, but for's really quite easy.  For her to ask me this, means she's baking something special.  So I say, "Cherry Squares."  Which is the correct answer.  I'm the only one in my family that eats them and my Mom bakes them on special occasions for me.  Although, she doesn't do them every Christmas, only when she's inspired.  My dad used to eat them as well, but since he's gone, it's just me.  So, I like to think that she's baking them for both of us.  Although, she's only making me the fat tub of lard.  By the way if you've never heard of them, A cherry square is a blonde brownie with cherry pie filling mixed in.  Quite tasty.

12/24/2010:  The wife is home and we have plans to go out and do our X-Mas shopping.  When you only shop for three people, you can wait until the last minute.  Neither of us have shopped for each other this year.  Sure, we like gifts like everyone else, but we have other priorities to spend money on.  First, on the agenda is stopping by the Warden's jail house to see Brains and Viper.  You may remember them from their first appearance.  We get there and the inmates are bouncing off the walls helping the Warden bake X-Mas cookies.  After all that, it's lunch time at the cafeteria.  The Warden isn't happy unless everyone gets something.  She yelled at me to eat lunch.  Lunch varies from grilled cheeses (Viper and myself) to PB&J's (Brains/Warden) to Chef Boyardee (the wife).  We get ready to leave, because lockdown is coming soon and Viper has already beaten me black and blue, in front of the Warden (actually, she took me in the back and beat me out of the sight of the guards).  Still, the cries and threats of I'm calling Santa do nothing (I have a red cell phone and I call Santa every year near X-Mas, when I see them).  Viper tells me, "It's too late, he's already left, you can't get a hold of him."  Smart kid, but I tell her, "I have a direct line to the sleigh."  Eyes grow large.  We leave the jail house.  Santa should still arrive on time.

We're off to pick up some coffee for my Mom and a restaurant gift certificate for my brother and his girlfriend.  Then, it's home for the rest of the day.  I get a call later in the day from my Mom, asking when we'd be there on X-Mas day.  I say between 12 and 1pm.  Normally, we're really good with time, but since the wife is pregnant, it's a little slower these days.  This time range is usually for my brother.  A notoriously late person.  If you say dinner is at 5pm, he'll show around 6pm.  So you need to compensate for him.  He's gotten better, but only because, he lives with my Mom.  If he had to physically drive himself, who knows when he'd show up?  The over/under would be 12/26/2010 at 4pm.  Only because, he'd be watching the Patriots game earlier than that.

12/25/2010:  The wife is actually awake early.  Color me surprised.  My phone rings, It's my Mom, "See if you can find a store that's open.  I'm out of Crisco.  Without that, NO Apple Pie."  She had been baking two days before, but just now figures out, she's out of Crisco.  Hmmm...conspiracy anyone?  Don't forget, my brother lives with my Mom, but it's up to me to find the Crisco.  Fine, it's up to the wife and I to save X-Mas.  It's just not a major holiday without my mother's apple pie.  It's that good.  We usually have it instead of birthday cake, that should tell you something.  Our first stop is Walgreens, which is down the street from my house.  Nothing.  We jump back in the car and head to the Hess gas station, because you just never know.  Strike two.

We finally start heading north.  We live in Providence, RI and my Mom lives about half an hour away in MA.  We get off the exit and I head away from my Mom's house, because I have an idea.  There's a small independent grocery store in the town next to hers.  They might be open.  We drive by and they aren't open either.  I say to my wife, "that we're going to stop at CVS and if it's not there, we're done."  My mother had called when we were in route earlier and told my wife, "not to go to CVS."  I'm telling you, it's a conspiracy, she doesn't want to bake the pie.  Once in CVS, we find it.  Pay for it and head to my Mom's.  I call my mother and tell her, "That we we're at our wits end, but since it's X-Mas, we decided to knock on random houses, looking for Crisco."  She's laughing hysterically.  I then tell her, "That the wonderful family known as CVS, provided us with it and X-Mas is saved."  I tell her before hanging up, "that next year she should have us find something easier, like frankincense or myrrh." 

We exchange gifts, have a great meal, with apple pie.  Then watch, The Town.  Although, not an X-Mas movie, it was pretty good.  A little predictable, but just about everything is these days.  Like clockwork, my brother starts to fall asleep and it's time for us to head out.  One way to keep every family visit great is knowing when it's time to leave.  My wife and I have mastered it.  All and all, another good holiday.  We enjoy spending time with all of our family, but there is a time limit.  Some have longer ones than others.

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