I came down to Santa Barbara early. Christian was working and rode down from Hayward on the motorcycle on Christmas Eve. This meant I had two days completely to myself to spend with my family and friends. Naturally, Christmas day was spent with Christian's family. This meant the day was spent teasing, drinking, cooking, and chatting. Periodically drama surfaced to spice things up, mostly due to different interpretations of vague statements. All in all it worked itself out. Maybe part of this was because Grandma got a new red BMW for her big gift. Having a giant bow on a car in the driveway makes things feel like a television show or a commercial. It's not real. It doesn't happen to people in real life. Except today it did.
Gift giving is always big in my in-laws' house. We pick names for presents and there is a dollar limit but no one seems to follow the rules except me. This might be because my dad's family stuck to the rules. Christian's family sees something that someone might like and they go ahead and buy it. Cost, name, limits just dont matter. The act of giving is more important. The pleasure of seeing a person's reaction to opening their present is the most important thing.
I have to admit, it makesme feel guilty. Not only do I follow the rules, I also am horrible with surprises. It's inherited. I tend to show no excitement. I didn't even get excited for my engagement ring, and I really like my ring. My lack of expression deprives people of that added pleasure in giving. Maybe I can learn to be a little more emotive about those kinds of things. In the mean time, everyone will have to suffer with my Mona Lisa smile. Merry Christmas guys! I did like my gifts, I promise.
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