For many, many years, Farmmom and I would go to her sister's house for Christmas Day with that side of the Fam. Farmdad was banned, due to an unfortunate incident with the other sister which involved hypoglycemia, deliberately honey glazed ham, and Farmdad mooing.
Anyway, a couple years ago (I guess it's officially three years ago now) we went up to Aunt L's house for Christmas Day with Grandpa, Aunt L, Aunt M, Uncle D, Aunt P, and the Herd of Cousins, only to be surprised when we arrived.
See, I tended to dread that trip, mostly because the food sucked, but Aunt M would be snarky enough that I'd suffer through two full plates, while she picked at a half a portion of green salad. Aunt M is unfortunate enough to have gotten the other side of the family weight issues. I have to struggle to maintain my weight and keep from losing, and she can't hardly lose at all.
She's also a bitter old harpy. So, she was just as snarky as she could get away with in front of Grandpa, to me and to Farmmom, every year. And, every year, Farmmom would extract a promise from me outside the house to behave myself and not cause waves. So, I ate seconds. And pie. And seconds of pie. It was the only weapon I was allowed....
But, this year, practically as soon as we walked in the door (all the while with me thinking "white its all white I can't touch anything I'll smudge it it's white don't touch....") we realized that something very important had changed.
They had Booze! The aunts and Uncle B, Aunt L's husband, had decided to make it an alcoholic Christmas.
There was apple cider with three different kinds of liqour in it, and Uncle B was in the process of making home made Egg Nog.
I thought... finally! Something to make the day bearable!
Then I realized how heavily they'd been into the Special Grown Up Cider. And decided to sit back and enjoy the show.
Of course they offered myself, and Farmmom, a libation. We politely declined on the grounds that we had a three hour drive home, cops everywhere ya know.
Then they offered some to my sixteen year old cousin... Who was playing Chauffer that day for Grandpa.
She was wise enough to decline.
Bout then the Eggnog was remembered. When Uncle B went to check on it, he discovered that he'd left it on the heat too long... it was about the consistency of oatmeal.
Aunt M insisted on trying it anyway, so in went the rum, and into a glass.
Less than five minutes later she's wandering around with a glass of oatmeal-nog and a spoon, happy as a clam.
That was about it for entertainment, until we got to the table. Aunt L has this long formal dining table... in white marble... so we were fairly spread out. Uncle B got the head of the table, Grandpa got the foot. Uncle B was bracketed by Aunt L and Aunt M.
Somewhere between pass the potatoes and 'scuse my belch, Aunt M leaned over and started extolling the virtues of Salt and Pepper haired men... while running her fingers through her sister's husband's hair. At the dinner table. While murmuring "Oh, so sexy..."
I snorted. I looked at Farmmom, beseaching. She squeezed her eyes shut, wrinked up her forehead, and nodded.
She says that the grin that came over my face at that moment looked like a portal into Snark Hell.
Well, maybe. But after howmany years of having to promise to keep my snark locked behind my teeth (and as a result saying a total of about twelve words in the entire day most times) it was frankly a relief to let it out.
Still, it was a family affair, and Grandpa was there, so I confined myself to a single comment.
"You know, I think that end of the table might just have had a little bit too much of the Christmas Spirits."
Grandpa choked on his mashed potatoes. Farmmom nearly snorted peas.
Aunt M merely looked down her nose at me, wavering as she attempted to decide which one of me to snob at, and said "You can never have too much Christmas Spirit."
Well. So much for one comment.
"There was an S on the end of that for a reason," I said. She couldn't seem to decide whether or not to be offended.
Meanwhile Grandpa stopped even pretending to eat, and Farmmom was preparing to carefully move her plate to one side so that she could perform a headdesk maneuver on the marble table. Probably regretting giving me the go ahead. Grandpa, sitting right next to me, was shaking, and for a moment I wondered if I'd crossed the line.
Then he snorted a bit, trying to hold in laughter, and I knew it was all good.
All in all, I gotta say, the food was better than normal, the company was far more entertaining than usual...
Yeah, it was the best Christmas Day I ever spent at Aunt L's.