Christmas Eve

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is different for everyone, but some common themes remain for nearly every teenager.

*Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be more than a coincidence since their names appear below, and since they appear at a party one can assume they would resemble the living (except for Uncle Lou who looks like a lot like Great Grandma Gertrude, God rest her soul). Also, no animals were hurt in the capturing of this evening, but a few feelings might have been wounded, an ego bruised and living room lamp smashed.*

3:22 PM: The Nice Family Christmas Photo shoot has begun. Tears from my little brother have also begun. My parents are telling Jeffrey to “pose like GQ and point at the camera- that makes you look cool.”

3:34 PM: The first Dad Joke has been made: “Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Santa comes on a surfboard this year!” Always the comedian.

3:45 PM: We’re in church, and my family members are still arguing about the photographical integrity of the pictures we took half an hour ago.

5:04 PM: My mom made us leave church early because she forgot that she left the oven on.

5:15 PM: I transition from a church-appropriate frosted pink lip gloss to a more festive, but bold, cranberry red lipstick. It’s time to party.

5:28 PM: We are en route to Aunt Judy’s, where my fate awaits me. There is a very obnoxious sound coming from the trunk of the minivan, and everyone is slightly irritable.

5:35 PM: Dad pulled the van over to check out the mysterious sound. It’s the spare tire. The tire has been tightened, and all is well- for now.

5:42 PM: The family gets festive for approximately two and a half minutes when “Jingle Bell Rock” comes on the radio. My youngest brother asks how much longer it will be until we get there.

I hope it takes a very long time.

6:01 PM: We have arrived. 

6:04 PM: I have been here for exactly
three minutes, and have already been asked about my love life.

6:24 PM: The spinach dip was devoured in less than twenty minutes. I am impressed.

6:46 PM: I’m sitting alone drinking watered down cranberry juice as a young child is checking the Santa Tracker religiously- right now, he’s in Germany.

7:02 PM: Dinner is being served. This year, Jeffrey and I have upgraded from the little kids’ table to the adult table. However, my parents have not upgraded to the very exclusive ~* high table *~ yet.

7:34 PM: We finished a lovely Polish dinner of perogies and multiple casseroles, and the kids are whispering about who will be dressing up as Santa to hand out presents this year.

7:47 PM: We are playing a toy passing game along to the words of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. I ended up with a toy train whistle… The gift of my dreams!

7: 58 PM: I have resorted to playing hand clapping games with my nine year old cousin; What fun!

8:09 PM: Eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa. The kids are going to have fun guessing who’s in the costume- it’s my cousin’s new boyfriend. Welcome to the family, David!

8:11 PM: SANTA. HAS. ARRIVED. This is NOT a drill.

8:20 PM: Spotted: a child tugs at Santa’s beard, hoping to reveal his true identity. David is strong. David will prevail.

8:28 PM: Santa is gone. I got a 25$ Teavana gift card.. who would have thought that a teenager would need caffeine in her life?

8:30 PM: I’m sitting with my two brothers, and my uncle just walked in, handed them both envelopes, looked at me awkwardly, and walked away. I’m officially one of the adults now.

8:45 PM: The College Talk has begun. I’m being swarmed by a hive full of buzzing adults, interrogating me about my practically nonexistent plans for the future.

9:13 PM: The party is becoming stagnant and the kids are becoming irritable. I believe I may be slipping into a cake-induced coma, because it’s not even 9:30 and I’m finding myself falling asleep.

9:45 PM: Leaving the party. My brothers are on extreme sugar rushes, and the upbeat carols on the radio reflect the energy as we drive home. It’s now time to stare out of the window and search for Santa’s sleigh in the night sky.

10:15 PM: The Christmas Eve journey has come to an end. Cookies have been placed by the front door, along with milk and carrots. ‘Tis the night before Christmas, and now ’tis time for me to SLEEP.