So now with the likelihood of Kurt being gone till early November, the question then becomes what to do about Christmas. For three years, we’ve flown from Virginia to Tucson to see his family for Christmas, since it’s the one time of the year they get to see him. Being here in Washington will make plane tickets cheaper, although I’m not sure why it should since it’s just as far from Washington to Tucson as it is from Virginia to Tucson. Trust me — I’ve driven it. :o)
But if he gets home in November, I’m not sure I’ll want to share him. I know that’s terribly selfish of me, but we could go to Tucson later in the winter, when the rain is really getting to us and we need some sunshine. Tickets might be cheaper anyhow since Southwest is almost always running an $89 per way to Phoenix from here, and it’s probably blacked out for Christmas.
Then there are pros to going home for Christmas. Kurt tells me his youngest brother Brian will be home for Christmas this year, which is a huge incentive. I would like to at least MEET my brother-in-law, since he’s been related to me for two years now and I’ve never laid eyes on the man. Also, if we don’t go home for Christmas, I’ll miss seeing Santa.
Yes, I know Santa’s not “real,” in that he’s not what the legends say, a man who lives at the North Pole and supervises elves making toys all day. I know Santa lives in us all… but Kurt’s family has their own Santa: Uncle John.
Uncle John is a hoot without his Santa suit, but on Christmas Eve, when we have the whole family there and even some non-relatives that have been invited, he is just too much. Even thinking about Uncle John as Santa now makes me grin, which is good because I was sort of in a funk when I started this entry. Email’s down with the ship, so no contact with Kurt since yesterday. *sigh* Not hearing from him always makes it worse.
We’re all over at Uncle John and Aunt Carole’s home for Christmas Eve dinner. EVERYONE is there. Aunt Carole’s made what I like to call Christmas lasagna because it’s just too weird to think of people eating lasagna for Christmas. You’re supposed to eat turkey or a goose or at least a ham! (Or Tofurky if you’re my sister! *wink*)
After dinner, we go into the family room to chat together. At this point, Uncle John sneaks out, but no one notices him go. Then the kids get together and start singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs while the adults watch indulgently. All of a sudden, Santa’s at the patio doors, ho-ho-ho-ing and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, his pipe clamped firmly between his teeth.
At this point, one smart-aleck kid always asks where Uncle John is, and Santa always tells them Uncle John is holding the reindeer up on the roof.
Santa sits down in the recliner and starts asking the kids if they’ve been good. This is where it starts getting funny. Uncle John is from Long Island, and it doesn’t matter that he’s been an Arizonan for twenty-five years; his accent is as thick as if he just left Long Island yesterday. Sometimes he tries to affect an accent, so it comes out as a Long Island guy talking like an Irishman. It’s so funny you’d have to hear it.
The more Santa talks, the more his beard slips down his face. Uncle John’s mustache does little to keep the beard in place, which is where the pipe comes in. As long as Santa keeps his pipe in his mouth (unlit, of course), the beard can’t really fall down too much. But every so often, Santa has to take it out because it gets full of saliva as he talks. Then he attempts to put it back into his mouth by lifting the beard with one hand and trying to poke the pipe back into his mouth while trying not to swallow parts of the beard. The first year he did that, I nearly wet myself, I was laughing so hard.
After his chat, Santa starts getting the presents passed out, and eventually it’s time for him to go. We all wave goodbye to Santa and promise to be good for another year, and he goes out the back door again. Soon afterward, Uncle John comes back in the front door, his face all red from taking care of the reindeer on the roof. The kids all think he’s Santa, but it’s just too much fun not to pretend.
How could I pass that up for a year?!
But I just might. I miss Kurt too much.