Okay--with any luck the two pix I took on the computer attachment will come out, because my first question is going to be, "Now do these things look like they're worth staying all night to make?" (And the computer is NOT loading them and I'm ready for bed. We'll try again tomorrow because the dinosaur glubs were hella cute.)
For the kids, the answer was yes--Cave Troll has a thing with puppets and glubs, and since these were a mix of both of them, it was fairly rewarding to have him go nuts over the 'Dinosaur Glubs' I made for him--so, well, yes. It was worth staying up late to get them done. And Ladybug would have been devastated if she didn't have her own 'glubs' since her brother got his, and the fact that what were envisioned as 'pony glubs' actually looked more like deformed-hamster glubs didn't deter her in the least, so that was good also! The fact was, both sets of glubs turned out so well that Mate's mom suggested (and I'm still not sure if she was being facetious or not) that I make some just like them for Mate's grandmother--her hands don't have any feeling in the fingers, and putting actual gloves on her is hard, but yarn mittens seem like they'd be easier. The fact that they look outlandish would, according to Dee, keep them from being lost. I'm going to have Mate call and make sure that this is what they want, because, by-golly, if she wants another pair of dinosaur 'glubs' in a grown-up size, I've got to tell you, I'm there!
Christmas went all right--seriously, all right! The little kids got their piles of loot, the bigger kids were pleasantly surprised by their piles of loot, and the morning of paper carnage and card-board destruction was as joyful as we remember it being when we were kids. Of course Mate and I got our jollies too-- the big kids had new (as in 'unwashed'!) cell phones under the tree, and Mate went into the living room, said, "We're going to sleep for another hour," you know, just to dick with them? And then went back into our room with OUR cell phones so we could call the kids phones under the tree. Juvenile, I know, but we laughed like idiots--it was pretty wonderful:-)
The visit to my real mom's family didn't quite go as smoothly. I got to give away all the wool I'd been working on for months, and that was pretty damned awesome--nobody really did explain how the last item went form being 'on reserve' for my absenty aunt to a present for my cousin's girlfriend, but since she started our conversation with 'Your daughter's sweater is SO beautiful', and it was the Arwen Cardigan I made last year, I figured the mitts were going to a good home. The thing I love about my mom's family is that the really adore handmade gifts, and this knitting thing has really taken off with them. Seriously--if I ever have a pair of socks that needs a home, I know who to send them to, and since all the women (that's three aunts, my mom and my grandmother mind you) have medium feet, I'm golden. That's every sock pattern like EVER, so putting two pairs of socks, a hat, two scarves and some fingerless mitts in a bag and saying "first come first serve" and then ducking out of the way can really be a helluva lot of fun--and dudes, like I said, it totally was!
The problem came with the gift giving, and the fact that I hadn't had any sleep in three days. The adults draw names for this one, and everybody gives to the kids. I can't convince them that Big T and Chicken are big enough for the adults table, so everybody gets a little spoiled, and this is fine since I usually get my cousins (only a little younger than Big T and Chicken) something as cool as I can think of and afford. The problem was, this year the gifts that my aunt had paid to have delivered on the 19th didn't get delivered AT ALL, and the little kids didn't have anything to open. Now usually I could handle something like this--and the fact that somewhere in the name-drawing thing, my name got left off the list was actually pretty funny. My two aunts who had organized this year managed to pull some pretty nifty gifts out of their ears but they were so flummoxed--it was like, "Wait a minute--who DID draw your name?" and ordinarily I would have been laughing like hell--with my new silk scarf and quartz crystal whatnot, because, like I said, these were their 'emergency gifts' and they were pretty cool. (With me it would have been a cookie tin full of fudge. Period the end. With these guys it's cool shit!) But for some reason, the lack of sleep and the sad short people did me in, and suddenly I was in tears. Not my finest moment, folks, I don't know what to tell you. I managed to convince everyone that I was good and it looked worse than it really was, but for some reason just thinking about that moment makes me tear up again. Did I mention the embarrassment? Anyway I need to forget about it because something really cool happened afterwards.
My aunt and uncle are very musical-Phil plays the guitar and Barb plays the piano and their kids play the harmonica and the piano, and every year for Christmas they get together and learn carols and play for us. I LOVE this part--it's like every cool movie you've ever seen with singing families in it, and I was so excited that they were doing it again. This time, they chose carols that they wanted us to sing along with.
Uhm, I can sort of sing.
I mean, not great or anything, but we'd finished Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and suddenly the whole family was looking at me as though I'd grown a second ass, and then Winter Wonderland came up and they made me stand up by the piano and sing because I sort of knew the words and I looked out and there was my aunt Monica, the one who had moved to Hawaii (she came back with gifts, bless her--I was just so happy to see her!!!) looking at me with shining eyes. She came up and hugged me and said, "You're just like Cory--I should have known... I'd forgotten you could sing."
Okay. That was a good moment. Just was.
There were some more good moments to come. After we left my mom's family, we went on to my dad and stepmom's, where the family pictures on refrigerator magnets went over VERY well, and although I got VERY competitive with the 'Christmas Carol' trivia, once I won the gift bag I came with (hey, it was from Barnes & Nobles and giving it away as part of the prizes HURT) I backed off and let other people answer. (Again, not my best moment... I try not to do that too often--no one likes the show-offy smart kid.) The short people got presents at this stop (always a plus) and when Ladybug opened her clothes, her response of 'Oh WOW!' pretty much earned her a spot in the favorite grandchild hall-of-fame. (She did the same thing for Mate's mom today--Ladybug is VERY appreciative of pretty clothes and shoes:-) And as my personal piece-de-resistance? My step-mom (not always a fan of the hand-knitted gift) has been wearing one of Chicken's old sweaters that I made--Chicken wore it maybe once and decided that although she had picked the pattern, the yarn, and the size, it really wasn't her thing (!!!). My step-mom has received so many compliments on it, that she said, "I really need to buy some yarn and have you make me a sweater." Now, this could have disaster written all over it--but right now, I'm reeling from the the compliment.
On the way home, Big T told us this was the best Christmas he could remember, and Chicken sort of agreed with him. I'm sure they'd have their own blog posts a mile long, but all in all, I think we could call it a success.