Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Road Trip

christmastree My best laid plan was to give my cousins a sweetly placed Merry Christmas kiss, be home by 8pm, pack the car, bedded down by 10pm, sugar plums dancing in my head. I would then self-awaken fully rested by 4:00 am, walk the Immortal, gently nudge my daughter into morning and be on the road by 4:30 am.

By the time we got out of mass on Christmas Eve, it was 7pm, I had to clean out my car, grab the gifts for my cousins, and gas up the car. A martini and some champagne later, I was settled in for a rousing game of Seinfeld Scene It with the family. We got home at 10:30. No way I was going to pack at 10:30 and ruin the lovely little buzz I had going.

Woke up at 5, walked the dog, checked the email, packed, got the daughter up, and we were on the road by 6:30 am. Not bad all things considered. However, it is important to note that nothing is open Christmas Day (aren’t there any atheists operating a Starbucks? And why do atheists take the day off? Isn’t that antithetical to who they are? HEY! Atheists! Yoo hoo! Keep those Dunkin’ Donuts open and deposit your barrels full of money in the bank while taking advantage of we stupid Christian sheeple who are offending your very senses by celebrating the birth of our Lord and God! That’ll show us!) so we had to forgo the traditional Road Trip Start coffee.

Another tradition demands that we start the trip listening to Radio Classics on the Sirius satellite radio. We were enormously diverted by the warm fuzzy Christmas stories – the tale of how the song “Silent Night” came to be, “The Whistler” and his Christmas morality play of murder most foul, as well as “Sgt. Preston of the Yukon”. We listened to “The Bells of St. Mary’s” and a touching little piece Jimmy Stewart did in 1957 as part of “The Six Shooter” series, which was a western take off on “A Christmas Carol”.

rifle Warm and fuzzy ~ until Dragnet came on that is. “.22 Rifle for Christmas”. 10 year old finds the rifle his parents have lovingly wrapped a rifle as a happy gift to celebrate the day our Lord was born. He and his 8 year old buddy find it, play with it, 8 year old accidentally shoots self, horrified 10 year old puts him in his little red wagon, drags him to a cave, prays to God for a Christmas miracle to save 8 year old. Kid’s dead. The last line of the program, “Don’t give your kids a rifle for Christmas”. That was just awful. Merry Christmas Jimmy, you’re dead.

Other than that weep fest, our drive up was a good one. The weather was fine and gas is cheaper than it’s been in 5 years. What’s not to love? My son and his wife had a wonderful dinner on the table and we had a wonderful afternoon.

Most fun for the day was driving up to see my Mom. I hadn’t told her I was coming up for Christmas, so when I got to her house, I engagement ringshusshed my sister and walked into Mom’s room. The surprise on her face – I wish I could have captured it. Having learned my older sister got an engagement ring for Christmas I pressed her into coming to Mom’s so we could celebrate and hear all about it. My big sister has had it tough for a long time and it’s her turn to be happy. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am!

It was a really joyful evening and worth the 6.5 drive up.


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