Blue Shells Ahoy!

My family is doing a "lame christmas" this year.  And everyone is fully on board with it.

See, most years, my mom goes a bit overboard with the presents, while often simultaneously playing cruel mind games on us with those selfsame presents.  But hardly a year goes by where our tree isn't absolutely dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of presents. 

Little nutcrackers look up at the tree and say "yeah, I could climb that thing, but only if you moved all those goddamn presents, first". 

It reaches the point where, every year, my siblings and I have a hard time remembering everything we got for the holidays.  And here's the thing - we'd rather it not be that way.  All of us are just as happy with a few gifts and a sock full of little things.  The kids in my family are not, for the most part, selfish people.  Really, the most selfish we get during the holidays is when we play the traditional game of Mario Kart, and my sister hogs all the red shells. 

My sister is a very mean person.  Luckily, this year she'll be doped up on pain killers due to her recent surgery, so I think my brother and I might stand a chance against her crazy Mario-Karting skills. 

But this year, we're going present lite.  I wish I could say we're doing it because we're rejecting the capitalist ideals of Christmas, but really, we're doing it because of the economy.  But whatever. 

I'm broke.  My sister and her fiancee are broke as they struggle with their wedding and my sister's surgeries.  My parents aren't exactly broke, but they're hardly swimming in money either, due mostly to my sister's impending wedding.  So yeah, we decided to do a "cheap christmas" this year, and I'm really looking forward to it. 

My sister and her fiancee are making everyone presents this year (he's a carpenter, you see).  My brother's girlfriend is getting everyone tea.  I'm making CDs for every family member, filled with songs hand-picked for them that I'm sure they've never heard before but will probably like.  I know they all sound like sort of lame cop-out gifts on paper, but in reality, they're something a bit more - things that you just can't buy, no matter how much money you have. 

And while I spend a lot of time on this blog bitching and moaning about the state of the world, or making snarky comments about, well, everything, the fact is I do like sappy little things like that.  I've reached that age where I'm excited about the idea of Christmas not being about stuff, but instead about family. 

Or, to be more specific, beating the crap out of your drug-addled sister in a no-holds-barred match of Mario Kart.

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