Sure, we took the normal Christmas photos of the dinner table all laid out, the whole family in front of the tree and various “ooh, look what I got!” poses during present-opening. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I wish I could create a print of whatever was going on. Sometimes it’s a camera in my eye; I would say, “click”, in my head and the resulting photo would be as sharp and spontaneous as it appeared to me regardless of things like lighting or talent. At other times, it would be some third-person photographer who just happened to be around to capture, say, JG and me bustling around to make Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, these are all figments of my imagination and the following great moments do not exist on film or in digital form, but it would be so great if they did.
- The spread of appetizers provided by my non-cooking sister that included seven-layer dip and crabcakes. We were all duly impressed.
- Me falling on the kitchen floor, gasping with silent laughter, thankfully out of sight, while my dad parsed out the details of the new Bond flick with my exasperated sister:
Dad: You know how the girl told James Bond that the tuxedo was “custom”? What does that mean? How did she get his measurements?
Sister: I don’t know, Dad, it’s just part of the movie.
Dad: What is she, a psychologist?
- JG’s face when he thought we had received a third slow cooker.
- JG’s face when it turned out to be a chocolate fountain!
- My sister in each of her three outfits for Christmas Day. No exaggeration.
- The amoebic pancakes – due to a strangely runny batter – that graced our Brunch Extravaganza. We also had eggs, sausage, fruit, coffee, juice, and an enormous coffeecake that I had to ration out to the rest of the family just so it would be eaten.
- The hundreds of poinsettias we saw in the conservatory while taking in the holiday display at Longwood Gardens. Also, the gorgeous all-white tree in the topiary garden.
- My dad scraping out the last bits of JG’s jambalaya out of a giant bowl. It was that good.
- My mom throwing her hands up and whooping with delight that she beat all of us in Apples to Apples.
- Me during Catch Phrase, with an intense, incredulous expression, while describing incomplete pass to my sister and mom: “This is when, in football, the quarterback’s throw is not caught by the receiver. … It’s not caught! What is that called?! Okay, what’s the throw called? Pass, yes! So, when it is not caught… it’s unfinished! Not done yet!” If they hadn’t figured it out after all that, I would have had to bust some heads.
- My dad’s look of ecstasy when JG demonstrated the glory that is surround sound and my mom’s shifty, worried expression when she entered the living room and asked, “What’s all this ruckus?”
- “The most awkward hug ever” as described by JG after he misinterpreted my grandmother’s indication to shake hands and went in for the embrace.
- A quiet, clicking scene that should have qualified us for Electronics Anonymous: immediately after waving off my parents and grandmother, JG turned on the football game, I checked e-mail, and my sister and her boyfriend tapped intently on their Blackberrys. I am not sure that we could have stopped any time we wanted to.