Justin went home with me for Christmas. Well, really he went to the Van-Arsdale-Family-Compound in Kennybunkport, Maine...I mean Castile, NY. He met all 20 of my cousins, remembered their names and the embarrassing topics not to be discussed with each one, like "oh John, nice to meet you. How is it being a single dad? I bet you wish you hadn't married that exotic woman you met while pretending to be an expat. in the 80's in Cambodia."
"Charleen, Merry Christmas...this time of year must be weird for you considering you used to be in a cult...and these days the only job you really have is playing the handbells for the local lutheran church. Does that pay well?"
Justin even missed the easy get to know you conversation pitfalls like, "Hello Betty Lou, I can see that you and your dog have put on a lot of weight. Maybe you should stop serving him summer sausage slices on those ritz crackers?"
Yes, he did a good job and even won over some of my little cousins, who I think flirted a little bit too much with him, but that's a topic for another day.
Christmas is nice. I usually get a few lotions from Kmart, socks and a $50 gift certificate to J.Crew, which with the J.Crew pricing scheme and current trends means I can afford a few more pairs of socks...really nice socks.
I do not like christmas for the socks. I like it because of all the crazy relations who come around my Grandparents house and bring home-made eggrolls and truffles and want to play bridge and watch horrible dvds with me and my sisters.