Davis Christmas 2005- Best Ever? You Decide.
I flew into the John Wayne airport late on the night of Wednesday, December 21. Both of my parents picked me up, and my dad came with a bag of food from Del Taco. Talk about starting a vacation off on a good foot. We then drove up to LAX and picked up my brother, who has been studying in Bordeaux. I did not tell him that I had eaten all of the french fries from Del Taco. It was information that he did not need.
I woke up the next morning to 70 degree weather. From this point on, I will refer to home (Mission Viejo, CA)as paradise. Here are a couple of great things about paradise: 1) I can spend the entire day in my pajamas 2) I am encouraged to watch television 3) Other people feed me 4) I think I have made my point.
My parents like to wait until all of the kids are back home before they get a Christmas tree. This year, we went looking for one on the night of the 23rd, even though my sister and brother-in-law would not be arriving until late that night. Whether it was the extremely late date or the late time of day, there were no trees to be had. The next morning we held a family conference and it was decided that getting a tree was too much of a hassle, and it would be much easier to make our own. We took the lamp shade off of a tall lamp, taped an upside-down broom to it, and draped a forest green comforter over it. Voila, the greatest Christmas tree we have ever had. It took about seven minutes to both build and decorate it. The reasoning behind the tree was quite simple: there are no kids in the family right now. There could be grandkids next year or the year after that, in which case, we will exert the effort to create the magic of Christmas. For this year, the bedspread tree worked really well.
An addendum to the Christmas tree story: I went for a walk the night of the 25th, which was a Sunday, aka the night before the trashmen come, and I found a Christmas tree that people had already put out on the street. It looked nice and not too heavy, so I put it on my back and carried it home. Since one of the perks of the bedspread tree was not having to vacuum up pine needles, everyone made me put the tree that I had just carried seven blocks by the front door so that it would not make a mess. We put it out on the street later that night so that we would not have to wait for another trash cycle. I am so glad I exerted the effort.
My dad has been planning for Christmas for months. I saw his to-do list, and at the bottom it said, "Should have a relaxed feel that is well-planned but appears spur of the moment." He held the annual trivia contest that quizzes us on locations/landmarks within two to three miles of our house. It was infuriating this year because all of the questions were about locations within a quarter mile radius. He asked things like, "From the gate on Applegate to the beginning of Sweet Meadow, how many lampposts are there?" and "What is the name of the street below ours?" These were things that I have seen hundreds of times and never taken notice of. I came in second, which is pretty good in the Olympics but not very good when you are only competing against four other people, one of whom is not trying very hard (ahem, Mom.)After the trivia contest, I fell asleep watching Arrested Development and then woke up and set a new high score playing Gameboy Tetris. I topped that high score a few days later. (All previous high scores set by myself during a long, depressing summer in China. To be fair, no one else in the family really plays it.)
This morning my sister and I went with my mom to watch her practice with her trio. My mom plays the violin, Ann plays the piano and Shelly plays the cello. My mom told me to bring something to read so that I would not get bored, but since I have not found anything recently that I have wanted to read, I brought Scrabble. My sister brought dominos. After we tallied the Scrabble points and my sister had won, she admitted that one of her words, fink, was actually not a word, and that she had misspelled sherpa. She hadn't said anything earlier because she knew that I would trust her and would not question her on words, especially when the trio was trying to concentrate on the Brahms. I was angered by her dishonesty. I had pointed it out when I cheated. I whispered, "I am putting this word here. I know it is not allowed, but I do not want it to go to waste. It is 45 points." Upfront. Honest. That's just who I am.
It is good to have the whole family back in one place. I feel really tough when we all go to the gym together and pump iron. I feel less tough when my brother-in-law punches me in the kidneys at the grocery store when I am not expecting it and I let out a loud yelp. I leave paradise to go back to New York on Sunday.