A Jenster Christmas In Review

Christmas SookieAnother Christmas has come and gone: food prepared and devoured, gifts unwrapped, games played and movies watched.

Christmas morning these days is nothing like it was when the kids were little. Yesterday morning Todd and I came downstairs around 7:30 or 8:00. I threw a hash brown casserole together and tossed it in the oven with the breakfast casserole I’d assembled the night before. Then I sat down to watch “How To Train Your Dragon” with Todd while we waited for the kids to get up.

[Side Note: For those of you not in the know, “How To Train Your Dragon” is a children’s animated movie. A highly enjoyable one.]

Pretty soon Taylor climbed up from the basement and soon thereafter Katie ambled downstairs. The movie ended at 11:00 and the kids managed to catch the last 15 to 30 minutes.

As soon as it was over Taylor said, “Let’s go open presents so we can eat!”  Not, “Let’s go open presents so I can see what I got!” Which is, I suppose, one of the differences between a 10-year-old and a 20-year-old. Katie’s response was, “I’m down with that.”

So we did. Open presents, that is. And while said presents were being opened it was decided that we would watch “Pitch Perfect” while eating our breakfast. To which Todd groaned because he was imagining another “Rock of Ages” horror, but we assured him it was so much better.  “Besides,” I reminded him. “Diane’s son is one of the singers so that makes it even more fun.”

[Side Note: I went to middle and high school with Diane, and her son is one of the guys in the Treble Makers, an all male a cappella group with crazy mad singing skillz.]

Piling our plates and refreshing our beverages of choice (coffee for me – duh), we settled down to watch the movie I pre-ordered and could hardly wait to watch again, but my family made me wait until Christmas because they’re mean that way. Well, that and we hadn’t had time since getting it last week.

Shortly into the movie (which Todd enjoyed right off the bat) my cell phone bleeped, informing me it was my turn in a Words with Friends game with Diane. So I messaged her and told her I couldn’t play at the moment because I was watching her son in a movie. Which was fabulous. The movie. Not the game. In fact, I think I enjoyed it more this time than I did when I saw it in the theater, even though it turned into a four hour movie because of phone calls and potty breaks and the like. Or maybe because we could pause it for the phone calls and potty breaks and the like.

I’m not exactly sure what happened next. All I know is that all of a sudden the house was quiet and we were all doing our own things. It was nice. I think Taylor was in the basement talking to his girlfriend. Katie was reading her book on the sofa. I was reading my book and preparing for a class I’m going to be teaching in January on the love seat. (It’s not a class about love seats. That’s where I was sitting while I was working on it.) And I’m not sure where Todd was. It’s hard to know. But he was in the house somewhere.

By the time we reconvened it was probably late-afternoon. You may have noticed I’ve said nothing about making casseroles or pies or baking a turkey or any Christmassy-type food. That’s because I didn’t cook yesterday. Not much, anyway. I did make a corn casserole to go with the Honey Baked ham Todd’s company sent us. And I made some pigs in a blanket because, according to Taylor, I didn’t make enough on Christmas Eve (we just eat appetizers on Christmas Eve). For a sweet we had the Three Layer Chocolate Dessert from the night before. It was perfect.

[Side Note: The first time I ever had Three Layer Chocolate Dessert was at my Grandmother’s house in the early 80’s. Except she called it Better Than Sex Dessert. Which is a weird thing to hear one’s grandmother say.]

It was then time to break out Rock Band. Our big family present was Rock Band for the Wii. We had it for the PS2, but you can’t get any of the good games for PS2 anymore. Not only that, but we have two different game boxes in the family room and that’s just crazy talk.

You know, people say video games are drivel and mindless and basically worthless. I disagree. I learned a lot about myself yesterday.

  1. I should never attempt to sing a Paramore song. Ever.
  2. I’m not half bad at singing Avenge Sevenfold. If you know who they are then I’m sure you don’t believe me. If you don’t know who they are, just trust me.
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody is a lot of fun to sing.
  4. There are some songs that I just automatically revert to harmony. That’s fine when you’re singing along with the radio, but not good when you’re trying to get a high score in Rock Band.
  5. It’s very difficult to sing “Whip It” and not do the moves.
  6. Apparently I have the most Rock Star in me because I didn’t want to quit. I wanted to keep going, but they finally made me stop.

In between sessions (that’s Rock Star talk) we played a little Mad Libs. Rock Star Mad Libs, of course. And when I say “we” I mean me and Taylor. Nobody else seemed to be very interested.

When the family finally got control of me we watched another movie and just chilled the rest of the night.

All in all it was a very pleasant Christmas. Not any better than Christmases past, just different. I look forward to future Christmases with extended family and eventually with grandchildren, but I like the quiet, laid back holiday thrown in every now and again.



  1. monnik1 on December 26, 2012 at 11:46 am

    It sounds wonderful. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get that quiet, relaxed holiday since my kids are spaced so far apart, but maybe someday. 🙂

  2. nwhannas on December 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Our holiday, with our 4 pack, was very much like yours. I loved every scrap of it. ‘Specially since this might be one of the last of the 4 pack. Merry Christmas, you rocker, you. And my husband LOVES Rock of Ages. He just can’t help himself. Camp, camp, camp.

  3. Tara Watson on January 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I was disappointed to hear you weren’t preparing for a class on The Love Seat, but preparing for a class, on the love seat. Love seats are fascinating subjects. All kidding aside, what are you teaching?
    Your Christmas day sounds perfect. We did the same. I love lounging and laughing with Nate and the kids, especially knowing that someday, they’ll be lounging and laughing with families of their own.

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