No, not from all the alcohol — just hungover from from all the goodness and light of the Christmas season. It’s like the aftermath of a diabetic coma — two months of carols and tinkling bells coming out of loudspeakers in stores, doctors’ offices, car radios, toilets, my fillings… I saw the neighborhood’s first Christmas tree lit up and twinkling on Nov. 1. Then the planning, getting lists and ideas for everyone in your family, and the shopping, and the money. Then came The Blizzard, which seriously cut into all our shopping time, so much so that all we could do in Richmond was stay home while Christmas music blared through Digital Cable and gorge ourselves on chocolate, and peppermints, Christmas candies and gingerbread while Yankee Candles flickered, scenting the house with cinnamon and snow (snow has a scent?).
Christmas Eve took us over the river, through the woods and eighty miles down the Interstate to Grandma’s house. First, a little stopover to see Fran and Uncle Charles and savor the Christmas joy, wonder, and the noise and madness that comes with friends and families that have a lot of twenty-somethings in them. Then we played the Money Game (that was a new one to me, but we played, and we won, thank you Unc!); then it was Grandma and the inlaws. No Money Game there, but we had some good food, some good laughs, and the beer was cold, thanks to my bro-in-law.
The next day we hauled our exhausted asses out of bed and made the forty-mile trek through the rain to the winter wonderland of West Point, where Maria’s youngest sis hosted us all for dinner and presents in the land of Smurfit-Stone. More music. More madness. Gifts all around. The wine flowed from Bob and Kim. Wrapping paper was sent hurtling across the room to smack nephews in the face. Turkey. Two types of ham. Spaghetti. A Christmas Story on TV. More digital carols playing. A conservative political discussion going on in one room, while I toyed with the idea of spreading liberal philosophy to the kids. Evil Uncle Rusty!
We left at three, after I kicked ass at Texas Hold ‘Em and took home a whopping $15. The drive home was too long and it was too late. We slept in Saturday and did nothing. At all. Pretty much the same thing today. Too full. Too exhausted. Too…blah.
A two-day hangover. The most wonderful time of the year. 363 days to go…