I hope you’ve emerged from Christmas relatively unscathed this year. Ours was lovely, spent with my parents and a veritable army of relatives who descended upon their house at the edge of a tiny Central California town yesterday afternoon. Fifteen or so of them were aged twelve and younger and the sea of presents that we adults brought to quench the youngsters’ thirst for licensee products threatened to engulf the living room. Many of us managed to remember which of the little ones loved Disney princesses and who was a big fan of Angry Birds, but the most interesting gift and one that stole the spotlight for several minutes after I opened the box was an ancient taxidermied squirrel clutching a hundred dollar bill. Um, thanks, Dad.
Scott’s mother and sister joined us there this year for the first time, coping admirably with the crowd of friendly strangers, and when it was all over, my aunt thanked them for “bringing a little class” to the family, though, she continued, “that’s like bringing a cup of water to a forest fire.” I was once horrified but now find it rather amusing that my relatives see themselves as untamed rednecks when they are actually very polite, articulate, WASP-y horse people, though they may own perhaps a few too many guns between them.
Well, there’s that dead squirrel, too, so my aunt might just be on to something.