They’re Family, What Can I say?!

“I sustain myself with the love of family.” 
― Maya Angelou

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” 
― George Burns

“There’s nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy. Or more exasperated. Or more . . . secure.” 
― Jim ButcherPublicity and Advertising

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.” 
― Anthony Brandt

It’s Christmas eve and at the last minute I decided to make the three and a half hour drive home to spend Christmas with my family. Normally I spend Christmas alone-don’t worry, it’s my choice. My children spend Christmas with their father and then visit my parents and I get to stay home and watch Christmas luv stories, bake cookies and eat whatever I want. It’s my own tradition that I have created for myself.

But my mother has been bugging asking  me to come home to spend Christmas with the family. Now I gotta tell you, my family is “special.” Not like holiday T.V show special but more like different or not normal kind of special. But I guess any of us can make this claim about our family and probably do. I typically can spend about, mmmmmmm, half hour with my family before I’ve had enough shenanigans and am ready to head home to sin city. Living here is actually not as bad as spending extended periods of time with my family.

It’s been a very long time since I have been home with my parents and siblings for Christmas and thinking about it brings up fond memories of Christmas’ past and gives me chills at the same time. Aaaahhh, Christmas with the fam! Yep, there is no place I’d rather be than listening to my mother share with me her latest health discovery by her doctor all while smoking a cigarette and then listen to her complain about how she is the only one who cooks and cleans and how she is tired of everyone coming to HER house to celebrate the holidays and expecting her to cook huge meals. This is the same woman who complains if no one comes to her house to celebrate the holidays and eat “all this food” that she took the time to cook.

My brothers? Well, lets just say that it’s a special treat to spend time in their presence. It’s quite fascinating actually. I have never seen such a colorful bunch of folks streaming in and out of my parents house as I do when my brothers are home. It’s not unusual to have extra “family” members and fiance’s whom we have never met before until they show up with my brothers for the holidays calling my parents mom and dad and me sis. My mother, with her complaining luving self, always has extra gifts to give these “children” and future daughters-in-law of hers. You see, there is rarely a day that goes by that the UPS delivery driver doesn’t show up at her door with multiple packages for her from one of the home shopping networks. From hedge trimmers (she doesn’t have any hedges) to watches to cookware to complete skincare sets, my mother has it all tucked away in boxes underneath her bed and in the closets in EVERY room of the house. Ask her “what’s in the box(s) mom” and she will tell you that she has no idea and you will have to open it to see. She’s retired what can I say. My children absolutely luv to go to granny’s house! They’ve come home plenty of times after visiting my parents and say “mom,  look what granny gave me!”  What the h*** does a kid need with hedge trimmers?!

My father? Well lets just say that he spends most of his time sitting on the back patio listening to country music and complaining about my mother and how much of HIS money she spends. To let him tell it he has no ides what she does with HER money and can’t understand why she’s always broke. Everyday he’s fed up with her and his grown sons (who keep moving back home to save money so they can launch their latest entrepreneurial endeavor) and moving to a senior citizens home. He claims that the only one who listens to him is my 8 year old son whom he has declared is his best friend. and when they’re together it’s country music, coffee (yes, he gives my son coffee…watered down hopefully of course. what can I say, he’s my dad) and sitting in the back yard telling stories. My son tells lies stories just as good as my 78 year old father can. Yes, poppi has taught him well!

And then there’s me. I swear I’m adopted sometimes. At least I’d like to think I am but the fact that, according to my mother, I look “just like my father” and according to my father I look “just like my mother” gives it away that I was actually born into this circus family. The birth certificate with my and my parent’s  names on it that my mother proudly displays doesn’t help either.  And you know what, I luv them with all my heart and  honestly, there is no place I’d rather be than with my family…sometimes.

So whether you celebrate Christmas or not you can always celebrate and cherish your family. Because when it’s all said and done, no one will talk about you luv you more with all of your faults and defects than your family will. No one will encourage or celebrate you more than your family. No one will be there to pick you up when you fall and push you to try again when you just want to give up more than your family will. No one!  So take time today to tell your family how much you luv and appreciate them. Then go and have some dessert! You’re gonna need it!



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