I have little doubt that this will be the most memorable Christmas I have ever had. Definitely one of the best I have had in a long time.
I got the one thing I've always unconsciously wanted but never really had before: happiness with my family. You've all heard be complain about how this cousin is out of her mind and that cousin is doing this wrong and how much I hate my aunts and such. But they're all I have. And I've taken great pleasure in the fact that, after the hell I went through in high school, I've been wowing them every since I came to Santa Clara.
I think I finally see everyone for who they are. We're all old now. We're all mature and really care about each other and have a good time together. Now that we're growing older, we see the value in sticking together.
We all met up at my Great-Aunt Kay's house. The holiday usually means people split off into pairs until we do gifts. Family friends and far relatives come over (I never know their names, much less how I'm related to them. But this time, it was just the family, the regular family, and we all sat in the house. We played Dean Martin songs and sang and told stories and danced. The food was so good and we really had a good time with each other. Then we did gifts and sat around talking. I was a little nervous because Angel came over. I knew my family would like him, I was just afraid he would feel a little out of touch. It seems, though, that the man has surprises coming from everywhere. He's 50% Sicilian. And speaks it somewhat fluently. I haven't seen Great-Aunt Kay so happy.
There are some downsides to this holiday, of course. And I've been thinking about them of late. Mostly because I can't help it, in the face of such happiness. My grandfather is not faring well. It may not be long. Great-Uncle Joe is not doing well either.
I've decided to not go to Tahoe with Angel next week. We have spent a great deal of time together, which I'm not complaining about, believe you me. But I want to take next week to see old friends. I've seen and spent time with Tim and Pita and Teresa and Burnette and Dinah and Kristina and we've had a great time. But I want to see Erica and Claire and Shelley and everyone else too. I don't want to lose my friends. I've already lost one for sure. I'm afraid of losing the others, afraid I may have already done so.
So next week will be busy. Lots of lunches and dinners. I don't have much work to do. I plan on trying to spend time with my parents and with Angel. He has the week off next week, so we want to try a LOTR special edition marathon. Once the new year starts, it's all over. Now's the time.