Saturday, December 29, 2007
I guess I should have warned him. You know how it is. A new relationship and you're still getting to know his traditions and he, yours. I guess it never crossed my mind to clue my beloved in to the present orgy that is Christmas, in my family's home.
We hadn't been at my parent's house in the thriving metropolis of Johnston, Iowa too long before he noticed the stacks of gifts under the tree. Did I say stacks? Perhaps hordes would suit better. Not having spent Christmas with his family yet (this was our first Christmas together), I wasn't familiar with their traditions when it came to gift giving. Yes, his mother had asked me to pick up their gift to him for her, since I had easier access to it, but it still gave little insight into budget and gift giving properties for their family. I had no idea if they gave each other one gift or 15, so it never entered into my pea sized brain to mention, "By the way, we have this gift giving thing down to a science in my family. A crazy, overdone, heavy on the gifts, kind of science."
I suppose my parents do go a bit overboard, but if for no reason other than they want their kids (and grand kids) to have the things their hearts long for. Keep in mind, my sister and I have never been ones to complain about this, and we have all backed off a bit over the years (my sister and her husband asked Aqua Rat and I to donate our time to a charity this year, in lieu of an actual gift or round of gifts).
Christmas Eve (our version this year was celebrated on December 22nd) may have been a bit overwhelming for Aqua Rat, I fear. Many gifts. Many, many gifts. Lots of festive paper being ripped open. The whole process took a couple of hours (as a reference point, there were six adults and a six month old). And even when it was over, it still wasn't over. The proverbial fat lady had yet to sing. Santa was to come later that night, leaving more gifts for the next morning. I can see where it had the potential to be quite a bit to take in, as a newcomer.
I look at events like this as being the "fun times" in a new relationship. The little surprises that still pop up now and then. The getting used to each other and those around us, both loved ones and others, that make up our day to day lives. It keeps things from getting boring. Aqua Rat survived his trip to small town, Midwest, USA and he even survived his first present orgy. I think he's actually looking forward to next year. But you'll have to ask him. And if you see him, please don't give him a heads up about the family reunion just yet. I'm still trying to figure out how to break that one to him gently. :)