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*avarcoe1
* A Frozen Family Holiday Dinner
* Entry # 1

My father's sister, my aunt, is a notoriously difficult person. If you say the sky is blue, she'll say that it's grey. If you say that something is salty, she'll say it is not salty enough, and put more in. In short, she is hard to please. My Mom and I have a game that we play with her - whoever catches her saying the most contrary things (which you must remember and then be able to repeat), can win a prize.

Several years ago, my aunt decided to host Christmas dinner at her house. This is not a very good thing because she not only is a pretty bad cook, but she doesn't believe I am allergic to something that I am allergic to and insists on putting it in things in the meal...she seems to believe you can overcome an allergy with good character (apparently I am exceptionally bad...). So, my parents and I arrive at my aunt's home, meeting my 90 some year old aunt and uncle to sit down to the holiday feast. That year, due to being a poor college student, I had painted boxes as Christmas presents and put candy in them. I was actually pretty pleased with my presents, although I am definitely not Martha Stewart. My aunt is in full chaos mode - freaking out in the kitchen, some things are not cooked, some things are over cooked, etc. My Mom and I are expected to fix it, which we do to the best of our ability.

We sit down to dinner and my aunt announces that she forgot something. Back into the kitchen she goes and then into the freezer. A few moments more and she is back with a bowl, which she sets down near me saying that since I have an "allergy," she purposefully picked up an item that she knows I love, as well as something that my great aunt enjoys.

I look in the dish. It's shrimp. Frozen, uncooked shrimp. Really. I put two on my plate. My great aunt does the same, as does my father. A few minutes pass by and my aunt is waiting for me to eat them. I say, don't they need to be cooked? Of course, I am wrong, they are already cooked (and yet so NOT pink) and I just need to wait a few minutes before I eat them. My great aunt leans over and says to me, they are frozen, what do we do? I carefully begin to steal frozen, uncooked shrimp off my great aunt and my father's plates. My Mom, watching what I am doing, keeps distracting my aunt with random stories and questions, so I can keep taking them out of the bowl and hiding them in the paper napkin on my lap.

At the end of dinner, I offer to clear the table and manage to hide the pile of shrimp in the garbage. My aunt asks me how I enjoyed them. I lie and say they were great, what a very nice gesture to accommodate my "allergy." In case you are wondering, this is the last time we had Christmas dinner at my aunt's home, at least the last time it was cooked by her - my Mother and I have brought fully cooked dinner to her house for holidays, usually saying that we know how busy she is and we'd like to make dinner for her.

By the way, my aunt called me up to thank me for that Christmas present. She asked if I made it myself. I said yes, thinking I had pleased her. She said, thank god, because she was afraid I had paid money for it!
Kawaii Otaku Kun's avatar

Shirtless Man-Lover

Username: Kawaii Otaku Kun
Title of Entry: "The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow Right Now"
Entry #: One



Well to start off my family celebrates Winter Solstice, which is the celebration of the return of the sun and is held on the first day of winter. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year judged by how many hours the sun is out. My family celebrats this by making wishing bread filled with our hopes for the comming year, exchanging homemade and some store bought gifts and by watching the sun rise on sostice day (a very cold and sleepy tradition.)

I believe it was a year before my sister was born so I would have been around six years old at the time. We had gotten up at 5:30 in the morning and without even eating my mom and I put on all our snow gear and headed out into the dark and snow. The plows hadn't even been out yet so we had to wade out way through, for me, was almost waist deep snow. Luckily enough I on't sank to my knees.we had to go across down the block and through the feild before we reached Moe Hill; a hill created by garbage being barried, towering about seven stories high.

After concuring the mighty hill we both made ourselfves comfy in the snow and pulled out some hot apple cider, also a tradition. We waited and waited and the sun still wouldnt come out, finally mom said "Maybe we'll just have to go home this year." with a sad voice as it had been twenty minutes already. "The sun is just shy is all." I told her and started whistling a tune for the sun, trying to convince it there was no need to be shy. At this age I believed that all of natutre had a soul like I did and were my friends. Within minutes of my whistling the sun came up and lite up all the snow making it glisten so beautifully and to this day any time I reminis with my mom she always says "The sun came up for you Zane."
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Distinct Fatcat

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Username: Sowll-ZeRO
Title of Entry: Diagnosed with Diabetes!
Entry Number: 1

Christmas, 2000

It was Christmas just like any other Christmas except much more exciting since i was only 4yrs old My family consisting of Mum, Dad and my older brother all went to our far away crib by the seaside.

Here in New Zealand its a really hot Christmas so good vibes were in the air the whole drive up to the family crib.

We pull up to the crib and I see it for the very first time in my life, the crib is very old, been in the family for years, the wood is creaky and rotting, the windows are eerily fogged up even though its sunny, the huge surrounding trees shadowed the whole crib, Its on a huge lean since earthquakes rolled the land.

We all get out of the car, pillow in hand I walk up to the tire swing which happens to be swaying slightly the tree holding it up moans dramatically. We enter the crib and unpack our things, my impressions of the crib are mixed from the outside it looks very scary and dangerous but inside its nice and clean apart from being very cold.

After eating and playing the clock hit 6:00pm and my parents had a surprise for me and my brother, my Dad soon returned with a brand new PS1 and the game Toy Story 2, of coarse I was much too young to understand the controls but I sat and watched as my brother failed and failed again. Tired, my brother and I went to bed at 8:00pm our bedroom was just down the hall from where my parents were sitting watching tv.

I'm in a box, or a never ending darkness just me, confused and panicking, then as if I had blinked I'm awake lying in my bed, I feel like gravity is pushing me into my bed so I get up only to find I'm very dizzy. My brother, in the bed beside me is not my brother it is some sort of antique doll glaring right at me, I speed out of our room and try to run down the hall but its very hard the hall seems to be growing and the room is spinning, now screaming for Mum very loudly my mum comes running into the hallway and picks me up. I see her face. And its melting (this was and still is the scariest experience I've ever had) The room starts melting, then everything is black.

Hearing sirens, waking in hospital.

Thats the end of my story.

I was 4 years old when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I am very lucky to be alive since resources in New Zealand were very scarce for Diabetes. The crib has since been taken down most of it rotted and crumbled. I am now 16 years old, writing this has made me very anxious.
I am insulin dependent and inject it into my stomach at times more than 3 times a day.

Thanks for reading I'm just glad that horrible crib has rotted away, I remember this horrible experience as if it happened yesterday, I wish I could forget.
songbird1676's avatar

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* Username: songbird1676
Return of the Stolen Pillow Cases
* Entry # 1

Christmas was an interesting time for me the year I was 15. My mother, always have been known as the "Christmas Prankster" was cooking up some plot. I knew she was, because no matter what I did, I hit some sort of "road block". On Christmas Eve, I knew the moment was coming, so I diligently searched around the house, and when I couldn't figure it out, I settled with carrying up boxes from the basement so that my family could exchange presents before heading to midnight mass at my church.

Having been designated the "Head Elf" a few years before, I was given several duties, one of which included getting a giant trash bag and having it in the living room, so that when everyone unwrapped their gifts, they would chuck the wrapping paper at me, and I would somehow manage to stuff all of the paper into one plastic sack. I picked up each present, one by one, and put them in designated areas around the room, so that each member of my family knew where to sit to open up each of their presents. When I saw my pile, I was pretty excited, since the biggest box was addressed to me....and not my older sister.

The evening went on, and my parents kept saying I needed to wait to open the largest gift last, so I did, and eventually the moment came, and I tore into the paper. I opened the box, and I just stared.

The box was lined with a bunch of pillow cases.

I looked up at my mother, my expression reflecting confusion. My dad was laughing, and told me,
"Mollie, your mother has a poem for you. We have an explanation for this."

I sat back on my heels, and I watched as my mom pulled out a piece of paper and started to read. Her poem happened to be a spin off of "The Night Before Christmas", but instead, it was titled "The Night of Halloween". The story told how a few months before, I had invited all of my friends over, stole all my mom's pillow cases out of the bathroom linen closet, and none of my friends gave them back, so she was replacing them!
My dad was dying of laughter, and I sat there, disappointment starting to seep into me. Soon enough, my mom mentioned something about "The Angel of Music" and "Phantom". I looked at her, still completely confused to what she was trying to get at.

"Look underneath the tissue paper, Mo."

So, that's what I did.

Within thirty seconds, I went from disappointed, to relieved to screaming and crying because I recieved the gift I had asked for: Orchestra section tickets to the Broadway Musical "Phantom of the Opera". I was ecstatic! Not only did I get great tickets, but the show was ON my 16th birthday a week and a half later.

Even though my dad embarrassed me by recording that freak-out moment, I can definitely say that was one of the coolest Christmas Presents I have ever gotten, and my mother still tells the story of that prank and claims it was one of her best, and each year she tries to beat it. One day, I plan to carry on the tradition of Christmas Pranking, and show my children that mothers always have a trick up their sleeve!
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Username: Horror Star
That's Not Funny!
It was christmas morning and like usual i was up at 5AM in the morning begging my parents to get up. We all moved down to the Christmas tree it was Me,Mom,Step dad,sister. We started opening all the presents and everything i got was great i loved them all i had got everything i could of wished for. I got to the last present it was a huge box filled with Packing foam i digged through the foam for like 20 minutes and found nothing so i gave up that was when my pareant finally told me there was nothing in there. Hey but atlease i had a box to play in and some foam to throw at them for making me mad. and i left a mess for them to clean up afterwards. this was when i was probally 6 or 7.

The story isnt about my best or my worst its one of the funniest christmas's i have had.
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username: nightmare_rabbit_alice
title: cursemass
entry number #1

when i was younger i lived with my mom, dad, aunt, uncle, my cousin, and grandma. We had a big house but not too much money for a house of our own. Every Christmas i got to celebrate it twice with both sides of my family. However my dads side of the family only had one Christmas. So I guess they spoiled my cousin T.J. more because they thought he got less gifts.

I remember waking up and being happy that it was Christmas. I got cleaned up and dressed in my best Christmas dress (so i say it was a forest green top with silk light green skirt). My family would always take me to my mom's side first then we would come back and open presents with my dads side. I was used to the drill by now, my mom had divided up my presents from her and my dad so i could open half up at both houses. We were about ready to leave we just had to go up the stairs and say goodbye to my dad's side.

Once we got up and were going to say goodbye i saw him. He was my grandpa but my dad hated him he was always a drunk and in all honesty i disliked him a-lot. He was the family joke. I remembered the stories. What i remembered most concerning him was the prior Christmas. He got my cousin some ungodly expensive child sized reclining chair, and well i got three barbie dolls ((note barbie is the fancy these were generic)) from Grandpa Pigeon's. Normally every girl would have loved that but this grandpa had no clue. He got the $1.00usd barbies. To make matters worse he left the clearance tags on the box.

So when we looked to say goodbye and that we would be back later i saw him. My dad's side never really liked him he was the embarrassment/black sheep. As a kid everyone's heard mommie/daddie say something and be told not to repeat it, in my case i simply just looked him in the eye and said what i felt "What's the A$$hole doing here" my mom was mortified and my dad was too but the look on my grandma's face was priceless it was one of awe and yet horror. with that i was ushered out of the house and had to spend the whole car ride getting a lecture on what not to say.
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Existential Existence's avatar

Scholarly Storyteller

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My best holiday story?

One time I was in the bathroom on X-mas day. BUT THEN I noticed a cockroach on the floor! So I killed it.

The end.



/disqualified
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Username: Sour Patch Child
Title of Entry: Cannan
Entry Number: One

Before Thanksgiving, our only and first dog had been getting very old and skinny. He had been through a lot in his young dog years. Getting hit by a car, getting in many unwanted dog fights, gotten run over by a small truck, and practically at the verge of death, but he made it through it all. His tail was very crooked and looked like a lightning bolt from all the incidents and he was still always very energetic after all of it. He was almost part cat with nine lives. We could see that he was dying, and we thought he probably had at least another two or three months. We let him inside since it was cold and let him sleep and lay on his blanket. We thought it might be arthritis from his once-broken bones and the cold from being outside in the winter. We thought he had cancer until one day he finally got up and wanted to go outside. He seemed fine after that.

My family comes to our house for dinner every Thanksgiving. Not our whole family, (which is a lot) but just me, my sister, my brother, and my parents. My brother has his own apartment, so it's not very often that we are all together for dinner. After my parents slaved away in the kitchen, we finally got to sit together and eat. We talked and chatted and laughed for awhile. With our dog outside, where he wanted to be, we got up from our dinner table and cleaned everything and did the dishes. After a long night, my brother decided he'd sleep over and we all went to bed.

I was sleeping and it was around noon when all of a sudden my mom opened my door weeping, and my older brother in tears. My sister followed behind them and she sat down beside me on my bed. I could see she didn't know why they were crying and neither did I. My mom, with my brother leaning in my door-way, said "I have terrible news... and I'm sorry to tell you that Cannan (our dog) passed away last night...". I looked at my sister as she looked down and started to cry. I looked at my mom and said "What? Who died?!". She muttered my dog's name...Cannan. She sat down beside me as I started weeping.

After crying a river, we sat down on the couch not knowing how to act. I asked my mom where she found him. She told me my brother found him outside my sister's window, laying there...We were all quiet at that moment and then I asked if we were going to bury him.

I don't remember much after that but me sitting on the floor petting my cat as I looked out the window and saw my brother and father digging a deep hole at the edge of my yard. My mom came down the hall with her hair in a towel and said "Don't torture yourself". I sat there for a moment and then I got up and sat on the couch. Later, my whole family came in the living room and sat down together. We all just sat there...quiet.. not saying a word. Until my dad broke the silence and said "...Well...are we all going to go and say a few words?". As we struggled to get up, we all put on our coats and went outside.

Huddled around a stump, where my dog was buried, my mom and dad said some things about Cannan. I, nor my siblings, said anything, but I knew we were all saying something in our minds. All I could say in my mind was "...I'm sorry...I didn't play with you enough...".

The wind was bitter cold and I was depressed for the rest of the week. Now that he was gone, none of us feel as safe as before with him not being outside watching over us. Now he's watching us from above.

But I don't want him up there...I want him down here.
The Witch of the Wood's avatar

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The Witch of the Wood

Entry # 1 A Christmas Party Gone Awesome.

I don't remember the exact date, but I know it was in my senior year of high school at Conway High, West Campus. Specifically in my Anatomy Teacher's, Mrs. Speights' class. I believe it was mid terms before Christmas break, but many of my friends weren't doing anything since we were exempt from the exam. Mrs. Speights is easily my favorite teacher since she is up for anything so long as it's fun. Well two of my friends who have graduated the year before me, Stormie and Kirstina, wanted to hang out and during this time I lived far from the school district. I only went because my mom worked there. (No she's not Mrs. Speights) I talked to Mrs Speights if my exempt friends and I could use her class to throw a mini Christmas party before break. She said that so long as I had one Anatomy specific thing that I could use to learn from in case an official walks in then I was good to go.

This is where it gets fun, I talked it over with Kirsti and then an idea bloomed. We had an xbox 360 that can hook up to a projector and a zombie game we could play. I ran by the plan with Mrs. Speights and she went for it. So for practically the whole day, my friends and I took turns playing Left 4 Dead and shouting out names of bones in the area that was sliced off, it was a ball. We had food, to eat, games to play when we were bored of zombies, the only Christmas thing we didn't do was exchange presents.

At the very end of the day my friends wanted to take a picture to remember the official best day at school ever. I'm not much of a picture person so I politely refused. Well my other friend, Tobi wasn't having that. With the help of Stormie and Shi-Shi, I was dragged from the back of the class and pinned down at the front to keep me still. Mrs. Speights couldn't stop laughing as she snapped the picture. I found out sometime later that one of my friends Photoshopped it to look like I was being attacked by zombies.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show. Here's the proof of the party, I couldn't find the original, but the order of zombies from left to right go: Kirstina, Stormie, Nikki, Tobi, Britney, and Shi-Shi. I'm the poor girl in blue giggling and screaming.

Maybe not the most holiday infused, but definitely one of my best winter time memories.
Ysavvryl's avatar

Peaceful Lunatic

* Ysavvryl
* Can We Get a Different Santa?
* Entry # 1

When I was a kid, my dad was in the Air Force, so there were times when he had to be away for long periods of time. That included Christmas one year, when I was ten. It was something one learns to deal with being a military kid, like moving every few years. Still, it was particularly disappointing that he had to be gone for Christmas.

My mom wanted to make sure we still had a good holiday, so she thought about what to do for us that year. And as it turned out, my uncle was going to be away from home too over Christmas, to do some work for his employer across the country. So my mom and my aunt decided that we should all get together for a week over Christmas, so that it was still special and fun for us kids. Our families hadn't gotten together since Easter that year, which was particularly memorable one as well due to the plastic Easter grass incident; that stuff gets everywhere and is tough to get all cleaned up. But that's another story...

This Christmas get-together was a great idea... at least, it was going to be. In mid-December, my aunt's house got hit bad in a storm and it needed fixing, so we couldn't get together at her house. Instead, they came over to our place on base. This was not optimal. See, it was a two story apartment, but it was a narrow one, crammed in a building with many other apartments. There were one and a half bathrooms, and three bedrooms. However, my family consisted of my parents and us three girls, and my aunt's family consisted of her, her husband, three girls, and one boy. So that was seven of us kids, the two adults, and our pet dog all in one apartment for one week. We had to get creative with where everyone slept.

I did feel a bit sorry for my guy cousin, since he was the only male in the house, even considering the dog.

Thankfully, the apartment building included a large front yard and a huge back yard leading to a patch of woods. It had also snowed well that December, so my mom and aunt were able to keep the crowded conditions from being too overbearing by having us kids play outside for much of the day. We made and decorated lots of cookies, delivering them to our neighbors with carols. For our dads, we made a VHS greeting with my aunt's camcorder and sent the tapes off to them with cookies. In the back yard, we even made a snow castle. Sure, it might've just been a bunch of big piles of snow with a towel flag and lots of tunnels, but that was our castle and we were happy with it.

Then came the evening of Christmas Eve. My aunt had the foresight to have us kids play games in our snow castle all afternoon, so that no matter how excited we were, we would fall asleep that night. Especially when they gave us hot chocolate made with plenty of milk. Still, we stayed up for a time with some of our neighbor's kids, playing board games and generally having a good and noisy time. And you'd better believe that board games played with nine kids all under the age of ten does get noisy, no matter what it is (but our neighbor friends were both girls, so my one cousin was still the odd boy out!).

After it got to be eight o'clock and our neighbors went home, my five-year-old cousin went off into one of the other rooms by herself. My aunt was busy taking care of her seven-month-old baby, so I went to go check on her. You know, because I was the oldest kid there, thus the responsible one (supposedly...). As it turned out, my five-year old cousin had recently gone to the mall to see Santa Claus, but she got scared by him. I told her that he came to bring all the good kids gifts, so he had to be a good guy. Then she pointed out that according to the Christmas songs, Santa knew what every kid was doing all the time, and he was big and powerful.

At the time, I couldn't think of how to argue against that. It is a pretty scary thing to think that somebody is always watching, and he knows if you're really good or just pretending to be good. Then my cousin said that she wished that the Easter Bunny would come deliver presents instead, because the Easter Bunny was small and cute, and there was no way he could be bad. That, and she really liked bunnies.

Well it was rather late to be writing to the North Pole and asking for a change in delivery person, being Christmas Eve and all. Plus, I had realized that it was our parents being Santa when I tried quizzing various Santas about their favorite cookie and getting different answers every time. But I wasn't about to ruin it for my sisters or my cousins. Also, I knew it was tough having a dad be away for a long time. Mine being in the Air Force meant that he would be off for weeks, or even months, at training or other things with little warning. My uncle wasn't in the military, so they were taking it harder. So, I thought I'd try something nice for her.

I had to wait up for the right time, which wasn't easy due to all the playing in the snow that day and then the warm chocolaty milk that evening. But once I thought everyone else was asleep, I snuck out of bed and got something that I had dug out of the closet earlier: one of the Easter baskets that still had the green plastic grass in it. I went back to the living room, where our tree was. Since the apartment didn't have room for a big tree, we had always had a small two-and-a-half-foot tall tree instead. It was covered in many decorations, but I added more by spreading the Easter grass all through the branches and in clumps among the presents. Then I went back to bed and got to sleep.

In the morning, everyone was puzzled but amused at the presence of Easter grass among the decorations. My aunt and mom were both asking if they really had to clean that up again this year, but they thought it was fun. More importantly, my five-year-old cousin was delighted to see it and insisted to everyone that the Easter Bunny had delivered our Christmas gifts that year. She had her wish come true that year, and I found that one of the most awesome things about Christmas is making other peoples' wishes come true.

I think about that Christmas all these years later. Mostly whenever we go searching through the ornaments to decorate and find that there's Easter grass in there, still. Like I said, that stuff is hard to make sure it's all been picked up after having been scattered everywhere.
funkyfrog
Steak in the Face
Entry #1

I'm borrowing a story that I hear almost every year at Christmastime. My father's first Christmas with my mother's parents. Now, it's important that you know that my father was going to university to become a preacher at this time and that my grandfather, while a religious man who attended church every Sunday, was not by any means a preacher. However, he's always been very charismatic and never the type to get nervous.
My family says a prayer thanking god for the food before every meal. Everyone sat down and held hands. And as is customary, my grandfather, head of the household, began the prayer. It came as quite a shock to my grandmother, mother, and uncle when my easygoing grandfather began to fumble over his words because normally he's so casual about things like that. Unfortunately, they all started laughing. My grandfather was furious. They all tried to cover their mouths to stifle their chuckles, but he kept stuttering and they kept giggling.
My laid-back, easygoing grandfather was so embarrassed and so angry, he picked up the chicken fried steak my grandmother had tediously prepared and threw it against his plate before stomping out of the room. This would all be humorous enough, but that steak's flight path headed straight for my father! It hit him right in the face. The family was in an uproar. It was too funny. My poor father had no idea what he had gotten himself into. My grandfather wouldn't come out of his study. My mother, uncle, and grandmother were rolling on the floor laughing.
And every year, I hear the story again and my grandfather turns red; my mother and grandmother can't stop laughing; and my father cringes from the awkwardness of the memory.
Shexyfeline92's avatar

Blessed Wench

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Shexyfeline92 (Entry #1)

When Gingerbread Houses Go Wrong!


If you are a member of my immediate family there is one long running inside joke we share. I only have to point at a gingerbread house making kit and my Mom groans with defeat. When I was younger one of the holiday traditions we had in my house was purchasing a gingerbread house kit and attempting to assemble it. And the key word there is most certainly attempting. For whatever reason my family is not meant to build houses made of gingerbread, specifically my mother. However she tried valiantly for many years until our final and most memorable encounter with the holiday confection.

The gingerbread kit of choice was Santa in his sleigh with his reindeer. Surely if we did not make an entire house it would have better chances of actually remaining upright and looking like what it was pictured on the front of the box. Right?

Wrong. We had just assembled Santa's sleigh and had left it to sit on the plate we had chosen to set properly. Unfortunately we chose to leave said plate at the edge of the table. Well we left the dining room, feeling triumphant that we had finally tackled the elusive task when we heard the dreadful noise. The sleigh and reindeer slid onto its side, which somehow shifted the plate it was on enough to send the whole thing crashing to the ground.

It was not a total loss however. While my mother and I looked on with disappointing and sadness our dog saw the situation in his own special light. We did not have to worry about cleaning up the mess because he proceeded to eat the sugary goodness that had entered his domain, the floor.

Needless to say we never tried it again but we have that memory to reflect on forever, made all the more special since my dog has since passed away. He usually managed to make bad situations funny with his antics and this time was no different.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
Banedemon's avatar

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* Banedemon
* Home for Christmas
* Entry #1

This story won't start out like many others, considering I was one of 12 of 310 people in my group that were on advanced orders that started October 2010. Christmas that year i was able to spend with family, but it is the Christmas of 2011 that i really want to write about.

I had been overseas in Iraq since that March, but in the last year I had really only been home a total of 7 months, though I was required to report in almost every day for 5 of those. Anyway, we had finished our mission of bringing soldiers out of Iraq and were now stationed in Kuwait, my unit had decided to start sending people home in lots. The first lot would be those that my unit deemed would need more days to complete their out-processing (debriefing) so by the time the last group arrived everyone should be home for Christmas. I was in the next to last lot. That would only leave me 9 days to get home.

Now, normally out-processing takes two weeks and that is the minimum amount of time that it supposed to be required, so 9 days is almost unheard of. My unit had asked the out-processing team to fill our days and minimize down-time, so that we could get everyone home. And they replied with, "We understand that you want to get your people home, and we will do our best to accommodate you, but you need to realize, that you are not the only unit that we are out-processing." Lines were long, by lunch, phones and mp3 players were dead due to extended use of games and music that were being played to stimulate board minds. We were averaging two stations per day, with the last one being the one we knew would take two days.

December 20th was rolling around fast and I still had 4 stations to go, not including the one that would take two days. The out-processing team were putting in extended hours to get us through their lines, due to them I was able to finish 3 of the stations in a day and a half. Now I still had two stations to go...

December 22nd rolled around and I was still waiting in the very last station... at 9am. By noon I still had yet to reach the front of the line, our headquarters element, not wanting us to get out of line, brought us boxes of pizza and several cases of water. The other unit that was in front of us were forced to leave and go eat at the dining facility, a 10 minute walk from us, they grabbed their folders and headed off.... though we did invite their junior soldiers to eat with us, they declined and went to eat. By 9pm i was finishing the station as the out-processing team was packing up to go home.

I received my plane ticket to go home at 11:30 that night, the date on the ticket said my plane would leave the next afternoon. I was excited, I couldn't sleep. I packed all my things, and threw away items I knew I would not need and could easily pick up at the local store near my home. That next morning I mailed my bags home so i wouldn't have to carry it all with me, after all, who wants to travel with 4 giant army bags...I certainly didn't.

December 23rd. I got home roughly around 10pm. I knew my dad and step-mom were asleep and they didn't know I was home yet, and I wasn't quite ready to tell them that I wasn't going to spend Christmas with them. I knew that my step-mom would understand, but the rest of my family wouldn't. My aunts would throw a fit, my twin would throw a fit, and my cousins would probably snub my... so I didn't tell them I was home. I had a long-standing friend pick me up and take my to her and her husband's house, I had informed them of my decisions and they respected them... plus, they wanted video of what I had actually planned.

December 24th, Christmas Eve.
I had caught another plane, this time to Pennsylvania. My friend Emily picked me up from the Pittsburg airport, I had again made another friend an accomplice of my soon to be crime. She drove me to a small town church and then agreed that she would see me later that night and she would definitely record what happened. I spoke with the Pastor and he agreed to my scheme.

As the afternoon wore on, I changed from my travel clothes and into my military uniform and spoke with the Pastor about what had changed from the last time we spoke almost 10 years and 6 months prior. He told me of what the community had been up to, and how the congregation was assisting in rebuilding the bell tower that had been partially destroyed earlier that fall and how there wasn't much left to fix, only the bricklaying. After a while, he informed me that the evening service would start soon and if I were to continue with my scheming, i would need to hide soon. He would inform everyone but my targets of who was need to sit where.

The evening Christmas Eve service had started, I was had hid in the bathroom until i knew everyone had been seated. The Pastor had requested that my targets sit in the center of the congregation and in the front row. He gave a beautiful service. The adolescent girls sang so harmoniously that they sounded like a group of angels. Unfortunately one of those girls were part of my target... I had to hide in the hallway as she got up and faced the congregation to sing.

The service was closing to an end and the pastor had somehow gotten the congregation to sing, I'll Be Home for Christmas" During this I slowly walked forward getting ever so closer to my targets. By the time the song ended i had managed to get almost right on top of them. The Pastor had the targets close their eyes, I walked up to the Pastor and quietly thanked him. He then told the targets to open their eyes.

My mom cried, my half-sister, who is 10 years younger than me jumped up and down and shrieked, and the man I call father, though he is really my step-dad and a retired veteran himself, run up to me and crushed me. The entire congregation clapped and whistled.

You see this was the first Christmas, I would be able to spend with my mom since my parents divorced when I was very young. This was also the first Christmas I would have with my half-sister and step-dad. Not only were those the best presents I could give to myself, but this was also something I gave to them and the community I spent several summers terrorizing as a kid. I spent time with friends whom I had lost contact with and family I hadn't seen in 3 years.
angry_secks_robot's avatar

Devoted Flip-Flopper

* angry_secks_robot
* Oregano Pie
* Entry # 1

I lost my Nana this October, tragically to lung cancer. It was aggressive and fast, and while I am missing her terribly this holiday season, I thought I would honor her memory with a holiday horror story.
When I was little, my Uncle had gone off to join the Navy. He was still at boot camp one Christmas, and unable to come home for the holidays, so in order to comfort my Nana who couldn't spend Christmas with her son, my Uncle's good friend Eddie came to visit. Eddie was stationed with my Uncle, but for whatever reason he was permitted leave even though my Uncle wasn't. Anyway, Eddie was also the son of my Nana's good friend whom we all called "Aunt Jackie." She wasn't really our aunt, but it's not always blood that makes a family.
So in preparation for Eddie's visit, Nana went on a cooking spree! She made her famous beef jerky, made sure her refrigerator and cupboards were stocked with good things to eat, and set to work on her baking. She had decided to do the pie first, leaving the tubes of cookie dough in the fridge for later since they wouldn't take as long. I remained in the living room, watching Christmas specials and waiting for our special guest.
When Eddie arrived, I jumped into his arms and he spun me around - I was probably around four years old. He greeted Nana and Papa, and settled in for his visit. I climbed into his lap as we continued to watch Christmas cartoons, while Nana was in the kitchen baking.
When Nana wasn't looking, Eddie and I snuck into the kitchen and liberated a tube of cookie dough from the kitchen. We each grabbed a spoon and ate the entire thing, raw! To this day it is one of my fondest memories, and I still love raw cookie dough.
Nana playfully chided us, reminding us that she was baking a pie and that we shouldn't spoil our appetites. But we both assured her that we had plenty of room for pie. Very soon, it was done! She set it on the counter too cool, and once it wasn't too hot to eat she cut Eddie a slice, and left to get me mine. Eddie took one bite of the pie, and immediately started choking. Nana rushed back into the room, asking Eddie what was the matter. His eyes watered, and he shook his head.
"Nothing, Aunt Lolly. It's fine." He said, the redness in his face slowly sinking back down his neck. Aunt Lolly is what he called her. "It's really good." He lied, but she was reassured and she returned to the kitchen. As Eddie pushed the pie around with his fork, wondering how he would possibly be able to finish the rest, we heard Nana exclaim from the kitchen.
"Oh no!" She walked back out to the living room with a spice bottle in her hands, shaking her head.
"What is it, Aunt Lolly?"
"I guess I must've forgotten to put on my glasses when I was baking, and the cinnamon was right next to the oregano, and I think I must've put oregano in the pie by accident." She explained, mortified. Eddie just burst out laughing, crying from laughing as hard as he was.
"I was wondering why the pie was green!" He managed to gasp, and Nana started laughing too. They hugged, laughing in eachother's arms, and Nana returned to the kitchen to make a new pie. With cinnamon, this time. >.<

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