I have survived hosting Christmas- it was my two sisters, their British boyfriends who are also brothers, their boyfriends’ parents, and my mother and my brother in my tiny house
The Trip There
It was. An. Adventure. Their dad wandered onto the tarmac while waiting for their flight out from Austin, and was detained for being a terrorist. He claims that no-one told him he couldn’t go walking on the airstrip. He also liked to kneel on the floor and splash himself with bath water instead of taking a shower, which has the overall effect of soaking the whole bathroom. He is obsessed with Boddington’s pub ale and hot chocolate, but refuses to pay more than $1.50 for anything.
We had a little party, and this was the first family party I have ever been to that went on past 3 AM. I went to bed at two to the sound of my future father-in-law swishing soy milk around in his Egg Nog (really Advocaat) bottle to get the last dregs of whiskey and milk out, and my sister Laura singing to the detuned piano on the back porch, and my spouse singing as Tom Waits in the front room.
Laura Ryan: Oh, I was playing that piano last night, it is sounding so creepy and awesome.
Me: Yes, I heard you.
Laura: You could hear that?
Me: It’s right outside my bedroom. There’s not, you know, any kind of soundproofing out on the patio. You’re just a drunk person singing outside.
I love family time.
(A month after they left, we discovered that the in-laws had opened a window in the guest room that then stayed open, just wafting heated air out into the yard)
Postscript: the marriage ended in divorce, the father in law ended in death, but I still shiver thinking about this Christmas.