Sunday, December 24, 2006

Eve of the Mass of the Christ

I have eaten all day and I may explode.

Before I collapse into a food coma, allow me to present some highlights of the day:

* One niece received as a gift the Alphabet Pal caterpillar toy. It has a setting that allows you to "sound out" words--press the c, a, and t and you will have a jerky approximation of the word "cat," for example. Several mischievous adults, playing with the toy, discovered much to our delight that the toy will not allow you to sound out certain words. Pressing "f" and "k" in succession will only make the caterpillar giggle merrily. Same with "a" and "s." Our experimentation stopped there, with much laughter.

* Grandma has a fancy-schmancy walker which has a seat so she always has a place to sit and rest. The walker was in the living room being used as an extra seat, and the smaller niece clambered up and sat in it. Grandma came by and started pushing her around the living room. Smaller niece sat quietly and grinned with joy as Grandma wheeled her slowly in laps around the room.

* Traditionally on Christmas Eve one side of my family exchanges silly gag gifts--dollar store stuff, things from Archie McPhee, and other random oddments. This year we scaled it back a bit and did a white elephant exchange; each person brought one gift, which could be a real gift or a silly gift but had a ten dollar limit, and then we drew numbers. Person #1 opened any gift. Each successive person then opened a gift, and then decided whether they wanted to keep their gift or trade for a previous gift.

The gifts included the following assortment: a stuffed frog that sings "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog;" a monkey slingshot kind of toy, which is meant to be launched across the room and shrieks a high-pitched yell of terror as it flies through the air; a set of John Wayne DVD's; a Whitman's chocolate sampler; a personal DVD player; a game called "Junkyard Jalopy," which is played exactly like "Operation;" and an enema kit.

I'm telling you, it's not every Christmas that I've been able to say, "Yes, I got an enema for Christmas. From my brother." Although to clarify, the thing itself was not actually "given", you understand. I want to be very clear about that.