Don’t Look! My Family’s Gone Christmas Again!

I can’t believe tomorrow is already Christmas Eve. We’ve had some of the grandkids over and it’s been a blast.

One of the grandsons from Washington State flew in with his girlfriend. She’s expecting our first great-grandchild this summer, and it means so much that she came to see us while she could still travel. So we’ve been enjoying our time with her. She had a little trouble with preggers nausea, but after a quick trip to the clinic for a refill on her morning sickness meds we went on to dine on the good stuff. Shrimp, oysters, crabs, crawfish pies, snow crab legs, coleslaw and French fries. Our mama-to-be had a burger but snuck a few shrimp too!

Entertainment was up to its usual high standards, unintended as well as intended. Hubby and I were drinking our morning coffee when we spotted one of the boys in the edge of the woods. He had on hunting boots, camouflage shirt, hat, shooting glasses, and carried a compound bow in one hand and a range finder in the other.

And wrecked the whole professional hunter effect by wearing shorts. Red ones.  And my Lord, that boy has some white legs! We laughed so hard at the incongruity we had to lean on each other to stand up.

I’ll admit our bunch is food oriented. Growing teenage boys and all that. So I spend a large amount of time in the kitchen. Unfortunately that leaves the kids entertaining themselves. Almost burned the French toast one morning when hysterical laughter and loud rhythmic crinkling noises distracted me. I’m used to laughter and the kids running past while I’m busy. But the huff, crinkle  huff, crinkle I was hearing was something new. I frowned as it got louder and louder and closer and closer. I know my mouth fell open when a human-sized Christmas present bunny-hopped past the door in their wake, yelling bloody murder. The words were a little muffled by colorful layers of wrapping paper and multiple stick-on bows, but I think the gist of it was, “Dammit! Untape my ankles! It’s not funny any more! C’mon! At least unwrap my head so I can see!” Whoever it was huff, crinkled off into the distance, and I’m assuming he was cut loose because they all turned up to eat. I hope there aren’t any more gifts to wrap because I’m pretty sure there’s no paper–or tape– left after that stunt.

The general population of our family runs long on males. That means we have an assortment of hunting goods around here. Animal calls in particular. Duck calls, crow calls, squirrel, baby rabbit, dying rabbit, deer grunt, dove, turkey, elk . . . you name it, it’s hanging on a string somewhere in the house. I was woken early one morning to g-kids circling the bed doing their rendition of Christmas carols. Wish I’d been able to record it. There’s no way to effectively describe the sound of We Wish You a Merry Christmas being exuberantly honked, hooted, quacked, cawed, gobbled, cooed, grunted, bleated and bugled instead of sung. The closest I can come is it was like a warped woodland version of the barking dog Jingle Bells I hear on the radio. I may have been startled awake –okay, I nearly had a heart attack until I realized my room hadn’t shifted to a Twilight Zone zoo somewhere — but I wouldn’t trade a single squeal, squawk, caw or joyous blat of it. Memories like that are priceless. And make for great blackmail material!

I enjoy our times together with the kids. But I have to share them with the rest of the family; it’s only fair. We drove them all to Petal today to spend the next few days deer hunting. Wonder if I should have reminded them I’m food oriented too. And I sure wouldn’t object to a nice deer roast.

I always have fun sharing my family here. They keep life interesting for me! Hope they do for you, too.

May everyone have a very Merry Christmas! Keep the spirit, and good writing!


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