Welcome to the first ever live blogging of the Baine family Christmas morning – which should also be the last ever blog post created on this beat-up old laptop I’m using. Let’s just say I see a new dual-core MacBook Pro in my immediate future, unless Santa is a total flake, which certainly can’t happen two years in a row. C’mon, I’ve been good! At least, relative to my relatives.
8:32 a.m. – We’re still waiting for Passive-Aggressive Teenager to wake up. She made an announcement last night that she had figured out that Christmas was a “lurid orgy of materialism” and that her conscience was too tender to participate as anything other than an “anthropologist,” whatever that means. She can Occupy her bedroom all day, for all I care.
8:34 a.m. – Hyperactive 8-Year-Old Nephew is jumping around like he’s got Mountain Dew in his veins. There’s no lobbyist in Washington that works the floor harder than this kid is working it right now, going from adult to adult looking for any hint of a green light to attack the mountain of presents. The kitchen smells like that kind of coffee you can only buy in December. Christmas or not, there’s going to be an uncomfortable scene if there isn’t an alternative to Pumpkin Spice Egg Nog Decaf.
8:36 a.m. – The dam of tasteful adult restraint bursts and the kids descend on the tree like hyenas on a wounded antelope. The Wife is in the middle of it all, trying to maintain some kind of order, which is difficult without an airhorn. I offer to pass her the fireplace poker. She’s got a notepad in hand, determined to catalogue who got what from whom. I don’t see this an ideal occasion for bookkeeping myself.
8:51 a.m – The first gift of the day for your correspondent and it’s … a San Francisco Giants World Series Championship T-shirt, a hot item from Christmas 2010 which is, I figure, stale enough now to be had for $5 on a Target clearance table. Hey, there’s a recession going on. I’ll take it. Last year, I got a Mardi Gras 2006 T-shirt. It’s better than that, right?
8:56 a.m. – Hipster Younger Brother and Sentimental Mom are having the first loud confrontation of the day. Bro has put on some insufferable re-mix of Christmas songs he found on the Internet that just sounds like musical vandalism to me. Mom just wants some nice Nat King Cole. Bro’s looking for some support, but Mom plays the trump card. “You can play that stuff all day long after I’m dead and buried.” Is it too early for the rum?
9:06 a.m. – Devout Sister-In-Law is dressed for services and standing out in the driveway talking to Single Neighbor Lady who is holding a pie. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but it’s clear from Neighbor Lady’s expression that Sister is reminding her how the rest of us have forgotten the Reason for the Season. No argument here.
9:12 a.m. – Passive-Aggressive Teen shows up, stands in the doorway with a sneer and goes back to her room. We won’t see her until Wednesday.
9:17 a.m. – The Wife didn’t respond to her gift from me as I had hoped. She probably didn’t even know she needed jumper cables. She’ll thank me the next time she leaves her headlights on at work.
9:31 a.m. – I get a lot of dirty looks when I decide to start up my brand-new leaf blower in the living room. Thought it would be a good way to get on top of this wrapping-paper situation. At least, Nephew likes it, especially when I aim it as his face. Man, I’m going to have some fun with this baby.
9:35 a.m. – There’s a guy in the kitchen I’ve never seen before.
9:42 a.m. – “Little Drummer Boy,” beautiful song of devotion or wretched ear torture? The opinion seems about 50/50. There are no fence sitters on this one.
9:48 a.m. – Someone holds up a truly ugly sweater from a gift box. There could conceivably be times, I suppose, when you want to be truly repellant to the opposite sex. I share my theory that there are only six ugly sweaters in existence and they’re all in constant Christmas-gift circulation.
9:59 a.m. – Nephew and I eat a whole jar of maraschino cherries together. He eats three quarters of them. We have to do it quickly before his mother sees. This is what Christmas is all about. Red-toothed Nephew apparently agrees.
10:07 a.m. – The Wife wants the Christmas lights turned on. It’s broad daylight, I tell her. What’s the point? She says it’s just the right thing to do. I again point to the sun in the sky. We could go on all day like this. I do what I’m told.
10:13 a.m. – The painful truth is becoming apparent. There is no MacBook Pro in this house. Santa blows it again. Funny, when I was a kid, you wrote a letter to Santa, dropped in the mail and, bam, he delivered. Every year. Now, even with e-mail and Twitter and texting, the guy never seems to get the message.
11:02 a.m. – Nephew is in the throes of sugar-induced ecstasy, dancing around like some Sufi mystic. Someone dragged a finger through the bean dip. I picked up what I thought was coffee, which turned out to be root beer from last night. The Wife is asking about the empty jar of maraschino cherries. The stereo is playing what sounds like a Johnny Mathis song, if he were drunk and underwater. I grab the ugly sweater and put it on. Mom hands me the phone and demands I speak to Dotty Hard-of-Hearing Aunt. And I do.
God, I love this holiday.