The Chaos Theory At Work At The Dessert Table

A great man (I think it was Buckaroo Banzai) once said: “The only reason time exists is so everything doesn’t happen at once.” After the Christmas day gathering we had, I can fully appreciate that sentiment.

My wife and I had never hosted any family gatherings, and this was our trial by fire. We were to host my mom and dad, her mom and dad, her brother and his wife and baby, and a couple of complete strangers. Seriously, they’re friends of my mother in law: an old lady and her mentally challenged son. They had no family to visit on Christmas day, and my mother-in-law asked if they could come over, too. Of course we said “yes”; who wants to be alone on Christmas?

Because this would be my parents last Christmas before they move to Canada, because there would be some social awkwardness between the families, because there was a pair of strangers in the mix, we decided to stagger the arrivals. First, my folks were to show up, giving us “one-on-one” time. Then, her brother and his brood, so we could do the presents thing with them, then her mom and dad would show, then the strangers would show. Then, we’d get down on the Xmas feast. We planned it out like Eisenhower planning D-Day.

Then, a freak storm hit, delaying everybody until the last minute. So everyone arrived at once, plunging us into a red and green maelstrom of wrapping paper and gifts, peanut-butter chocolate balls and cocktail sausages. And the cheese. My God, the cheese…

Anyway, the smoke cleared and the dust settled. In the confusion, we were unsure just who had given us what. Everything worked out surprisingly well, even though we were flying by the seat of our pants. Everyone got along, everyone was happy. My family finally got tired of me talking about “The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril” and not buying it for myself, so they bought it for me, along with a buttload of other books and DVD’s, and my wife got her make-up stuff and some other doo-hickeys she wanted. And our Christmas isn’t over: when our year-end bonuses come through in mid-January, we are buying each other our gifts in what my wife calls our “Re-Christmas”, but I like to call it “Xmas Reloaded”.

Good times, had by all.

And yes, we watched “A Christmas Story” all damn day, with no complaints from anybody.

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Published in: on December 27, 2006 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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