Ho, Ho, Ho....ly shit, are those anal beads?

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but family is kind of important to me. And not just my biological family – Matt’s family is pretty critical to my well-being, too.

We went to visit Matt’s Aunt Flora and Uncle Kelly this weekend. They’re two of the nicest, friendliest, kindest people in the world, and I absolutely love spending time with them. Every time we go, I say to Matt as we leave, “We have GOT to get down here more often.”

We arrived at lunchtime, and offered to take them to lunch at the Oakwood – Dalton’s incredible little home-cooking place. I had beef-vegetable soup and a grilled cheese and some sliced tomatoes. I’ve been under the weather since about Wednesday, and that was the perfect thing to eat. I also downed at least three glasses of tea.

We went back to the house to help Matt’s cousin Bruce wrap his son Michael’s Christmas present. Since Michael doesn’t read this blog, I can tell you it’s a Fender Guitar starter kit with the guitar, amp, headphones, cables, etc. Very cool. It was a big box, so I helped dispense tape.

We sat and talked with the family (and some friends who dropped in) until finally, it was time to leave for Shane and Teresa’s. Technically, Teresa is Flora’s brother’s daughter, and Matt is Kelly’s sister’s son, so there’s no actual blood kinship, but as far as Teresa and I are concerned, we’re cousins. I first got to know Teresa’s daughter, Hannah, and then later met Shane and Teresa, as well as Teresa’s brother Doug, his wife Shannon, their son Nathan, and….well, you get the idea. I inherited a large family. And lucky for me, they welcome me, too!

I took a big tray of sweets, and there was a spread of all my favorite hors d’oeuvres. If you don’t know this about me, I love, love love hors d’oeuvres. I prefer finger foods to real meals, so this was my kind of party. I met all kinds of nice people and noshed on sausage balls (and pigs in blankets, and dip, and more sausage balls).

After awhile, the grownups gathered in Club Shane – the garage that Shane has turned into a karaoke lounge. There, we began playing Dirty Santa.

Also known as the White Elephant Game or Yankee Christmas, this is the game where you draw numbers, and can either pick a gift from the pile or steal one from someone else, who then gets to take a gift from the pile. If there’s a present that everyone wants, it can get kind of ugly, and so the secondary purpose is to get people things they won’t want and will be stuck with.

I’ll spare you the play-by-play. Suffice it to say that we saw a good number of big pairs of underpants, a ginormo condom, a swearing dictionary, some Christmas boxers, several stuffed Chihuahuas that attach to the leg and make humping motions and sounds. I took a porno DVD and some smoking paraphernalia from the Teresa’s mother-in-law, and then had the same stolen from me by Matt’s aunt. Matt took a pair of animated breasts that jiggled to Christmas music (Jingle Jugs), and then the Teresa’s brother grabbed them from him.

Plundered Booty, so to speak

We ended up with a feathered/beaded whip and a vibrating mouth that plugs into your cigarette lighter in the car. Don't ask.

I laughed myself nearly sick.

After the last gift was opened, Shane queued up the Karaoke. Even with the lung/throat/sinus crud, Shane , his friends and I belted out some hits while Kelly and Flora danced. Life is good, friends. I make a convincing Annie Lennox. And Linda Ronstadt, and Toni Basil (dig deep - Google it if you must).

I should explain at this point, that I had not had a drink all night. Not a drop. I was the DD for my husband and Flora and Kelly – they all got a little festive - Matt drank Dickel, neat. Kelly’s poison is Canadian Mist and Sprite – and for Flora, red wine. I had water. It’s all I needed – and I was fine to be the driver – they all had a ball and I didn't miss a thing.

We got home around midnight, and would you believe, by 8:30, I was up, dressed and sitting in the kitchen watching Flora make us a huge breakfast. Sausage gravy, biscuits. The works.

I love my family. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

We have GOT to get down there more often.