Out of all the Christmas hoopla one of my favorite treats to myself is “Christmas with the Crazies.” This friend-orchestrated event is filled with the best things of the holidays: friends, spiked eggnog, cookies, and pajamas. It takes place two days after the big day with the sole purpose of sharing all the craziness that happened– or that showed up– over the holidays.
For one friend that crazy revolves around her brother and a recent divorce that may or may not be happening-depending on how you look at it. Her holiday involved many Bloody Marys, which honestly sounded fantastic (note for self next year), and a sticky divorcee sister-in-law scenario who may change back to her sister-in-law. It’s all very confusing, to be honest, and probably in need of a revisit.
Another friend battles crazy time and gift management. Delivering gifts to her mother’s house, where her family will wake up Christmas morning, can be maddening when you can’t get the kids to disappear. Add a husband who gets stuck at meet-and-greets and quick office parties can make the feet semi-impossible. But, when said husband does arrive and takes said kids to his brothers for a quick hello, which leads to an hour and a half football game on tv, and said wife is now waiting at the her mothers, exhausted and stressed over her excellent delivering timing and skills, staring at the clock for the impossible 4 o’clock mass they’re never going to make, things become a little tense. Now, throw two large families visiting from both sides and you’ve got two doses of spiked eggnog stories on your hands.
Then there’s the secret “I’m not coming to the holidays next year” that our other friend was gifted. Over an hour away, this one sister-in-law wants to spend Christmas in her home with her children and husband. Sounds reasonable to everyone, except for her in-laws. The only benefit for our said friend is that while no one knows the bomb her sister-in-law will drop next year, it will be gracefully followed by her own bomb of not wanting to travel over an hour with her kids to said sister-in-law’s house like they did this year.
As for me, there was the talk of breakfast with Santa. How the husband hated every moment of it, how Boy One refused to eat anything other than a full plate of sausages and then burned his tongue on the hot chocolate that we’d told him was too hot. Boy Two ate too much and got sick, and Boy Three spilled his orange juice all over the table and down my husband’s pants and cried hysterically when his candy cane that Santa gave him was broken by one of his brothers. Then there was the church pageant where Boy One was chosen to play Joseph, which required endless rehearsals, the Christmas cookies that never seemed to end, the shopping, family visits, the inappropriate comments and political discussions that I’ve yet to heal from.
We laugh and chat about all the junk we’ve eaten, as we dive into the cookie bowl or cheese platter, our upcoming New Years plans, our upcoming obligations, and all the crazies that made an appearance on social media and around town.
But, amongst all the Christmas crazies is the excitement and disappointment that it’s all over. A month and a half of prepping, scheming, and trying to fit everything in: breakfast with Santa/polar express/Santa visit/elf walk/pictures/shopping/cooking/smiling we’re all exhausted, yet in awe once we realize it’s all done. The 45 days of madness have ceased and in another week normal life will resume-just like that. It’s sad, yet welcomed at the same time, which leaves me questioning the expectations and reality that comes with this and every other holiday. But just as I start to get too deep the plate of fudge rolls around and I’m fist deep in a wonderful world of chocolate, friends, and Christmas with the Crazies. It’s one part of the holidays that I never want to end.