Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Psst... It's Me...

Claudia's stuck in her loaner car somewhere between here and Houston. Crazy Texas weather! Speaking of crazy...

Look who has decided to visit me after six years..........it's my cousin Noel. As you can imagine, this is her time of year. She's visiting from Brooklyn where apparently they still love big red X-mas lights. All I've been hearing for the last six hours is "One Italian family has 350,000 red lights... and that's just in the backyard" or "People just love me. It's not Christmas without red lights." "Why don't you just let me try......if you don't like it we can remove the red paint. I'm telling you, once you go red you'll never go back." Blah blah blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong, I love my cousin......just not in December. What was I thinking inviting her to visit?

Six years ago, I vowed never again. I decided to invite her to a party I was having. It was just supposed to be family. A quiet little affair. You know low wattage type of thing. She's shows up with 249 of her friends. They're all the same......red, bright and loud. Those crazy c-16 bulbs scared the heck out of the minilight side of the family. One of the minis burned out and that was it......half the tree was in the dark. Then what do you do? It's impossible to figure out which one freaked out. Can't take the lights down. Can't fix the string. Nightmare. Then the big red ones think it's all funny and they try to scare the other minis. Half the neighborhood went down that night. Kids crying, dogs barking, I think they even caused a fire. Total bedlam. I vowed never again. Who knows what this visit will bring.

What about you? Who in your family is blacklisted? Give me some dirt. Help me feel better about myself. I'll tell you what, I'll read your whacky stories and for the one I like most......I send you a cool ornament for your tree. It's in the little red and white box under my tree.......bet you'll never guess what it is. It's a "mystery." For those of you who have been hanging around this joint for a while, that was a clue.

No chance of Claudia showing up anytime soon, but still I'm outta here. I need to find a stiff egg nog.


heather said...

Ahh...unforgettable family stories now that's my cup of tea.
I only have a few seconds to post though because we are running late this morning so I"ll be sitting on my stories all day while I'm in training and post this evening. Can't wait to hear all the wackiness!!!

Claudia I hope you make it home okay!!!

maureen said...

Ha Ha Claudia knows that in my family its the DIS -function that makes it function LOL. I have to think of the best story because there are sooo many to choose from.

Claudia try to take this unfortunate event of getting stuck and think of it as alone time during this crazy time of year. I will post again later.

Dont worry I wont tell about Richie coming through the Manor on crutches LOL

Peggy said...

Lucky me, I live in an un-wacky family.... we're pretty normal, which means pretty boring.

Yesterday I heard at work, one of ladies commenting that they had no place to hang their stockings (with care) in their new home, no fireplace mantel, no stairs etc... and that got me thinking.... mmmm, growing up in my German family .... we had no stockings, zip, zilch, none.... I was an un-hung stockingless child, and didn't even realize it until yesterday!

And I did wonder as a child, with no fire place, how the heck big ole jolly red himself could get through our little furnace chimney door, it was only about 8" x 8". I remember gazing at it in the basement wondering how he was going to climb out of there!

Strange, every house since then for me, my kids have had a fireplace, a mantel, and their homemade stocking have always been hung by the chimney with care!!

Mystery it's a clue?? Well two things came to mind, a magnifying glass, or a character/game piece from the game Clue!!!

cassie p said...

That was a cute story...I cannot think of any good Christmas stories about my families...I will have to think and post later about that.

cassie p said...


Santa Claus, IN will have to wait until next year! Well, a HLA rep going there, that is. The weather has put a sudden HALT to the road trip again. BUT the real problem is that I leave town for the rest of the holidays, TOMORROW! Not just leave town, but leave state, area of the country, and time zone. I am heading to sunny southern California to visit my Dad and family! Wish me luck on gettin out of here tomorrow!

Don't worry, those of you who sent letters to me, I am going to forward those to the Santa Claus post office to be stamped and mailed! (Cheryl, I never did recieve your letters if you sent any). They may not arrive to your recipients in time for Christmas, but hopefully they will get there!

Sorry it didnt work out!

cassie p said...

btw Dr. B- I found the address to send the cards to! It will be taken care of by the end of the week! THANKS!

Cheryl said...

Ray- you are hilarious! I love it.

Cassie- Phooie!!! I'm sure they'll arrive just after you leave. hmm... what to do, what to do? Remail them from here? hmph.

Black sheep stories? Hmmm.... I'm sure there are many and I can remember a few but mostly I've blocked them out. The trauma! I'll try to come up with a good story.

maureen said...

Peggy, I grew up in a house with NO fireplace and now live in a house with NO fireplace. My kids asked all the time how Santa came in. I have a few skylights so I told them I'd leave one open and he could come in that way. He left a note one year saying.....

Thanks for the cookies and milk, but most of all thanks for making my life so much easier by leaving the window open.... I can get home much faster now that I didnt have to SQUEEZE down the chimney..... My kids thought "we were so cool"

You know the saying "when life gives you lemons....."

Kristen Giger said...

No real dirt yet?? I'll start...

Twas the night before a wedding mistake, when all through the fam,

There was nawing of teeth like the building of a beaver dam

The decorations were hung at the hall with care

In hopes that Uncle Jim would not wed this bear

The weddin went on all snug and complete

As the rest of us stood and tapped our feet

And ma with her 'kerchief and me in my skirt

Had just settled in to welcome this dirt (umm...new ANT... of mine)

When out of the family there arose such a clatter

I just couldn't see what was the matter

Away from our family she pulled him like a flash

Then she turned psycho, and my family she would bash

Everybody's got a story like this

Go ahead and find someone to dis

**Wow do I feel like a scrooge now. . .somebpdy else please post something about the black sheep in your family so I don't sound crazy and psycho myself!**

maureen said...

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head was with my grandparents (who are no longer here to take offense to this story)

My mothers mother was English. She was not only very classy she was very vain. My mothers father was (as my grandmother would say) COMMON. He had a lot of horrible habits. Anyway one of them was to take out his false teeth and leave them everywhere. My grandparents did nothing but bicker. One day they were going shopping and my grandfather couldnt find his teeth. My grandmother as you can imagine was mortified. She yelled at him for over 2 hours. Finally she had him drive her to the store and told him that he was to stay in the car because she wouldnt get caught dead with him in public with no teeth. He sat in the car and after about 20 minutes decided he wasnt going to sit there all day. He went into the store and low and behold my Classy Diva like grandmother had his teeth hanging off the back of her coat right by her "BUTT" of course the commoner that he was he had to make a scene. He laughed so uncontrollably that he drew attention . To our disbelief this was not the thing that aided grandmas passing. Im sure it helped. She was so embarrassed at his hideous laughter that she ran into the car and NEVER went to that store again. She used to get wild if we even brought up the story. We all still laugh about it at the holidays.... Call us sick and twisted its ok.... We are used to it.

Kristen thats all I have for now......

highlowaha said...

What a pleasant welcome back from an otherwise long (but fun) trip to Houston. Nice to see that Ray - an otherwise free loader - earned his keep by making today's post in my absence.

Kristen... you win some kind of award for that unbelievable story/poem you shared. Nicely done.

Maureen... your story had me laughing out loud!

I wouldn't say my family is 100% well adjusted and normal (like lucky Peggy), but I don't know that I have a story to compare with the two already shared.

One of my sister's doesn't come around much at the holidays, but that's not too uncommon and it certainly doesn't qualify as funny.

The first thing that popped into my head was a Christmas that the whole Beeny family (in-laws, sister in law and her husband) flew to NY for the holidays. It was great, because as you know, my family lives in New York. One night we ate dinner in Brooklyn, at my mother in-law's cousins house. It was a FULL house and a 100% authentically italian evening.

We had an 8 or 9 course dinner, lots of screaming and bantering, and a tour of the unbelievable display of Christmas lights in the neighborhood (it's like a part time job for people who live in this neighborhood).

The funniest part of the dinner was when my sister in law pointed out that Aunt Susie (probably in her late early or mid-90s) had a butterscotch sucker (half eaten) stuck to her sweater! I think Aunt Susie was nodding in and out of slumber most of the night. She certainly had NO idea that a butterscotch sucker was attached to her sweater. It made for great laughs all night long.

Now.. on a more sentimental note. Aunt Susie insisted on giving each of the three families a nice check as a gift before we left. Richard and I decided to use ours to buy a very beautiful Christopher Radko glass ornament with the money. We picked out the brightest, most beautiful, most expensive one we could find - in honor of Aunt Susie.

As it turns out, Aunt Susie died later that year (or early the next). I am SO glad we have this ornament to remind us of her. Now each year that we pull it out, we laugh about the butterscotch sucker and remember what a fun evening that was.

Cassie said...

The other funny part of the story is that Aunt Susie didn’t speak much if any English and she had the stereotypical Italian temper. None of us was brave enough to do anything other that laugh when she left the room or went to the other side of the table to keep them all in line.

We (the sister-in-law) on the other hand were not so practical with our money. NO... We went down to Little Italy and found an authentic set of Bocce Balls. Bocce balls weigh at least 50lbs. My husband still likes to tell people how he had to carry that set of Bocce Balls though little Italy, crowded subways, airports and airplanes.

Ask Claudia to tell you guys what happened to our Christmas tree one year when her husband and his friends were "playing chess".

Cheryl said...

I've been pondering this and the only thing that I can remember is the year that my dad and uncles took in too much Holiday Cheer in the form of Gin. We were opening presents in our mad-dash-open-all your-presents-at-once-way and I think my dad just got up in the middle of it and went to bed. Not sure if this was the same year but either my brother or brother in law was throwing up in the front yard.

OH! The Christmas after I worked at a summer camp in NY, I invited my New Zealand boyfriend (I use the term lightly) to Texas for Christmas. He came in a few days before. Another boy that I was totally interested in was in the area as well. Anyway, long story short, I was not impressed with New Zealand boy and we spent most of the time argueing (or me leaving him behind) and I put him on an airplane back to Florida on Christmas day. He wanted to be family but I said no way.

highlowaha said...

Oooohhh.. my husband just left for the airport. Maybe I'll call and tell him to post his "Christmas tree Chess" story before day's end. I don't know that I've even heard it!

Julie said...

Eggnog Ray... sounds delicious - esp after the day I've had :)

Cheryl - your Dad just ... went to bed? LOL!

Kristen, that is a beautifully crafted poem/story! Well done!

I've got no black sheep stories (other than what Kristen shared) .... but I have had two Christmases where I've made decisions that I can laugh at now ...

The first time I ever really consumed any large quantity of libations was the night before I was heading home for Christmas break during my freshmen year at college. Needless to say, I woke up the next morning feeling somewhat awful! My dad picked me up at 10 AM, and I told him that I thought I was getting sick (you know, Dad, with all the stress of finals, lack of sleep, weather changes ..) ... He took one look at me, stopped at the first gas station we got to, bought me a power aide, told me to drink it and sleep on the way home (1 1/2 hrs). I thought I had him fooled ... until I told him this story as I graduated with my 4 year degree ... and his response was ... Julie, I was in college once too. I knew what was going on! I felt like such an idiot!

Fast forward 3 years. Same ritual the night before heading home. This time I was driving myself - and had to take a NAP at a REST STOP 30 minutes into my 90 minute drive home! Oy vay!

Julie said...

I forgot .... a mystery, Ray ... Perhaps its a novel?

Julie said...

I lied, a novel doesn't so much make sense with the "ornament" theme. I guess I'd have to agree with Peggy's two guesses.

Kristen Giger said...

Once upon a time Julie and I were baking chocolate chip cookies for Christmas...as usual we doubled the recipe, but somehow only managed to bake the equivelant of about a single batch of cookies. My mom came home to find me curled up in the fetal position on the guest bed moaning about my stomach...

I think I was like 19 or 20...old enough to know better, but still to young to care! I don't eat that muc dough anymore!