18 Wheeler Christmas….. On Christmas Island

Christmas memories should probably involve things like opening a pair of diamond earrings that you didn’t expect or waking up Christmas morning to a blanket of crystalline white snow and sipping hot chocolate that elves magically made overnight while children blissfully open packages decorated with bows and candy canes.

Yeah, you won’t find that here.

I’m debating between going in chronological order or with what got me thinking I should write this blog so I won’t forget these things.

It happened on Christmas Day (so obviously I decided against chronological order).  We were driving to Dave’s parent’s house and listening to one of the country radio stations and they were playing Christmas music.  Neither Dave nor I listen to country music as much as we used to we started guessing who was singing each song.  It became a pretty fun game and thanks to “Shazam” on my phone we could get the answer easily. Now for the entire trip Dawson had remained a)asleep or b)plugged into itunes, but when a song that I love and isn’t a very popular carol came on he decided he had to talk, non-stop.  And the more I told him to be quiet the more he talked – it became his game.  It just became one of those moments that I wondered if 10 years from now he would remember me yelling “Shut the hell up so I can enjoy the Christmas music!!” A) Probably not in that Good Parenting book I keep losing and B) Strays from the whole ‘Peace on Earth’ message.  That is what got me to thinking I should probably write some of this stuff down.  And for those concerned about his emotional well-being he laughed when I yelled at him.

The song that started it all?  O Come O Come, Emmanuel – Sugarland’s version. (Tried to include the MP3 file here – didn’t work!)

The first “event” we had in December was the neighborhood Christmas party.  There is always plenty of fun and food – this year included 7 different kinds of meatballs.  I spent 2 days making cake balls only to find out that you can buy one of those little “Babycake” machines which take 5 minutes.  And as usual at least one snack was made with Bambi – but it was a cheesy nacho-y dip so the Bambi didn’t taste as bad as usual.  Also a tradition at the neighborhood gathering is the white elephant gift exchange.  I brought a fruitcake.  Dave brought a giant “Elvis” plastic guitar-shaped piggy bank filled with popcorn.  I “won” a table clock decorated with pigs – which I may have re-gifted (keep reading).  New this year was Pictionary with the theme:  Christmas movies.  Our neighbor/bartender Chad guessed “Christmas Vacation” every time someone started drawing.  “Christmas Vacation” wasn’t ever one of the movies, and I’m still waiting on an official ruling on my protest that “Die Hard” is NOT a Christmas movie.  Somehow I managed to pull out “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys.”  And I’m still amazed Larry guessed Dolly Parton’s  “Smokey Mountain Christmas” from a drawing similar to this:IMG_8289

Well maybe I’m not amazed.

Poor Dave will never live down a) being on Suzette’s team and b) writing Jack Frost when he meant Robert Frost (and yes he was cheating by using words).  And after all the other odd movies for Christmas that I hadn’t heard of I guessed “18-wheeler Christmas” on a whim which earned me relentless teasing that “18-wheeler Christmas” was some type of XXX rated movie.  There is no “18-wheeler Christmas” I wikipedia’d it.  And it is one of my Christmas wishes that there aren’t any Christmas themed XXX movies.

Moving along….. I missed the Colts Week 15 party at mom’s when they played the Texans because I got called in to work.  I had even planned on making Texas Chili, which Dave ended up making.  Yay money, Boo no party and I missed the Build-Your-Own-Hot-Dog bar.  But by going to work that day I learned (from a Texan’s fan no less) that you can say anything you want about a person as long as you say “God bless their heart” at the end.

So then we had my work Christmas parties, one lunch and one dinner on the same day.  At lunch I was given a lovely set of “Zombie” ammunition from my trainee, Matt.  Because one day I happened to say “Do you know they make Zombie bullets?” and his reply was “Of course. I have some.”   And in the gift exchange I was given the official “Andi: Queen of Plainfield” t shirt, with my trademark saying “Off with their Head!” on the back, along with 2 pink flamingo yard ornaments.  I may have declared myself the Queen of Plainfield one day…. After yelling “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!” at work… maybe ..… God bless their hearts!

Anyway, then we went to dinner where part of the evenings fun was another white elephant gift exchange.  In lieu of buying another fruitcake and because I forgot until the last-minute I looked around the house for a re-giftable item.  The lovely table clock with flying pigs won.  After all that is the spirit of a white elephant exchange right?  And it wasn’t like I could re-gift the Zombie bullets… you never know when you might need those.  I stole a glass with a pink flamingo on it to match my shirt and yard ornaments – during the game of course, I didn’t steal it from the restaurant or anything.  I’m sorry Mark, you looked really disappointed to lose it!

Christmas Eve with my family featured a Build-Your-Own-Chinese bar and Sushi.  For those new to the blog my family does not do a traditional Christmas dinner and we specialize in Build-Your-Own stuff because nobody likes all the same foods.  We also hold a Deviled Egg Contest, judged on both presentation and taste, with the winner awarded the Humpty Dumpty Trophy (a McDonald’s toy glued to a block of wood).  This is my mom’s elaborate entry:

Photo: Is my family the only one that holds a deviled egg contest at all major holidays?

We also had a photo scavenger hunt this year.  I’d really like to show the PowerPoint presentation my niece and her boyfriend made but it didn’t copy to my computer.   I can share my nephew’s entry for “Nativity with missing characters”

Mary & Joseph seem to be taking a break!  Although there are no missing characters my favorite nativity picture that was submitted by my other neice was the one where the manger baby Jesus is laying in is a Miller Light beer box.

And that brings us back to Christmas Day and Shazam-ing country Christmas songs.   On the trip back from Marshall, Illinois we heard these lyrics:

If you ever spend Christmas on Christmas Island
You will never stray for everyday your Christmas dreams come true
On Christmas Island your dreams come true

And I said, “I’ve never heard this before, I wonder who sings it?” and about that time the radio DJ answered me with “That was Jimmy Buffett with Christmas on Christmas Island.”  I was embarrassed that I didn’t know a Jimmy Buffett song.  It was almost like me not knowing a Beatles song.  And here I thought Chad (co-worker Chad not “Captain Morgan” neighbor Chad) had downloaded every Jimmy Buffett song on to my computer.  I was wrong!

Also… on the way home we heard O Come O come Emmanuel again.  Maybe it’s more popular than I thought.

A few days after Christmas we got to see my chipmunk cheek nephew Augie.  When I told a co-worker I was going to JC Penney’s to shop for Augie, she informed me they didn’t have dog stuff at JC Penney.  A) Duh and B) Augie’s a baby not a dog.  She was pretty embarrassed when I said “Augie’s my nephew.” ………………….. God bless her heart!  I have now made it my mission to find this kid an Augie Dogie outfit.

augie dogieI’m not sure any of this has any meaning for anyone other than me.  But over all I had a pretty good holiday season this year.  Topped off by New Years at the neighbors – where we again had a knock down drag out Pictionary game.  I’ll leave you all with a little Holiday Cheer…. (my nephew’s version)