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Home for the holidays
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“Oh there’s no place like hooome for the holidays ... and no matter how far a-way you are ... if you want to be happy in a million ways ... for the holidays you can’t beat going home ....”

Or in my case, staying home.

With just me and The Kid, it seemed to make more sense to just kick back and enjoy our own home this year and not have to go sit at one of the varied in-law’s houses that’s just a few blocks up the street. It’s always the “go-to” place at holiday time and quite honestly, “been there, done that.”

It’s always too hot in there, there are always at least two crying babies, toddlers and adolescents running amok, Granny barking orders or simply repeating the same conversation every five minutes ... oh, it’s a joy to the world all right!

There is also the dreaded family meal attached to it, with the usual fare that is un-seasoned and totally bland. I’ve offered — on most occasions — to cook the turkey or the ham or the roast beastie, but I’m usually turned down.

Just even a mere dash of salt or pepper would improve the flavor tenfold.

Mashed potatoes are just that. Boiled potatoes that get mashed. No butter. No salt. No pepper.

And no, it isn’t out of some medical necessity. It’s just the way it is.

I give them credit for the homemade yeast rolls and jam, can’t ever say anything negative about that.

This year, however, the thought of sitting on my own sofa, watching my own TV, in my favorite holey-o PJ’s, was what I really wanted for Christmas.

No having to go sit somewhere I didn’t want to be out of some kind of obligation to folks who ain’t even blood relatives, who are basically humorless and balk at the mere hint of a cuss word emanating forth from my lips ... what fun is that?

I like to see a bottle or two of wine or liquor on the counter at the holidays. What’s wrong with that?

Not that I will have any of it unless the moment suits me, but being the religious outcast in a roomful of devout Mormons can really bring my party to a screeching halt.

No offense to you devout Mormons out there, but Hubs has never been electrocuted by plugging in the coffee pot. He’s never choked and had a vision of the angel Moroni when having a sip of hot tea, and the only reason he hasn’t ever had a drop of alcohol is because alcoholism is a dominant gene in the family.

He says that’s one test of faith he doesn’t want to mess with.

I’m usually grabbing my purse and making for the door as soon as that last dinner dish is washed and dried, can’t wait to get the heck out and get back to my own abode where I can unleash the brassiere and slip into some flannel pajamas.

I am probably going to be the talk of the family now because it’s the first holiday I’ve done on my own, but it was time. The Kid can visit with his cousins any other time during the holiday break, and I don’t have to fight off a late-afternoon migraine.

It was kinda nice, actually, to just spoon up a little chunk of fudge when I wanted. Or pop open a Coke while enjoying some tortilla chips.

Slippers. Robe. PJs.

It was perfect.

The Kid opened all his gifts and the usual “Christmas Face” took over. You know, think of  “A Christmas Story” when the kid has to put on the pink bunny pajamas. Yeah, that’s the Christmas Face.

I laughed out loud because he always opens his gifts before he’s been fed. Low blood sugar and getting gifts do not mix.

He not only got a new computer — although he did get it early — he got some nice clothes and a couple of other non-essentials just for fun.

I bought him an iced tea maker, for one thing. Mainly because he said he really wanted one and it made way more sense than buying that danged soda maker.

“I hope it makes sweet tea!” he said.

That made me laugh so hard.

“Dude ... you make the tea as sweet as you want! It doesn’t automatically do it for you!!”

I guess he really isn’t going to go to Harvard after all.

He did, after several hours, finally admit to liking the ZouZou pet that I bought for him. I got it mainly because it was so cute.

I also got him a HoleyCow, which I guess is something Ellen DeGeneres has on her show all the time. You put a ball in the cow’s mouth and squeeze the belly, making the ball fly across the room. Hilarious, right? Silly stuff.

He had to admit it was funny.

He was a little disappointed that I hadn’t delivered a basketful of video games, but he forgets that he does all his game purchasing online because he only ever plays PC games!

“Oh yeah ... that’s right.” Again — low blood sugar ... gifts ... like oil and water.

As for our own Christmas dinner, we ate early. I cooked up a nicely seasoned steak, cut half into bite-sized pieces for him and added a big dollop of buttered and salted corn and a store-bought croissant. He said it was the perfect dinner, especially because I’d remembered to pick up some A-1 sauce. He likes it, I don’t.

So, I think we have a new tradition on our hands.

Sleep late, eat early, and the rest of the family be danged.

Excuse me now, I’m heading back in the kitchen for another scoopful of fudge ...