03 December 2006


It's almost Christmas, and I am one happy camper about that. Contrary to the belief of one family member who recently called me "Scrooge" after I bitched about the Christmas-music blitz I endured on my drive south, I LOVE this time of year.

This year, Mr. Abby and I will pack up the Bad Dogs and head north for a Big Ol' Family Christmas at Bad Dogs (North). My stepkids will fly in, and it will be a hoot.

I love being home for Christmas. I'd low-crawl through a hail of machine gun fire to be home for Christmas. I've spent...four?...Christmases away from friends and family (boot camp, Okinawa, Okinawa, Iraq). That's enough. I can do it - but if I don't have to, I don't wanna.

We did one Christmas down here with my folks camping in the back yard and the kids and dogs. Not. Enough. Room. It works better up north. Plus there's snow, and the rest of the Bad Dog Family.

We have to pick our priorities, and I've decided this is one of mine. I have a close family and I enjoy them. I don't want to miss the opportunity to engage in all our weird, non-religious Christmas rituals. It gives me great joy to watch my whole family sitting around, eating snacks and opening presents. It gives me great joy to sit down for too much food at a family Christmas dinner. It reminds me why I've been doing the things I've been doing since I became an adult.

THAT is worth defending, and it is worth driving across the country for.

So this year, we'll have pretty much the whole Pack up home (except Cousin Ruth - communist). There will be Too Much Traffic at my parents' house. They will have put up a tree that is Too Big. We will eat Too Much Food and Too Many Cookies. The dogs will race around and chase Hobbes under the tree. I will mislabel packages and erroneously give Mr. Abby's underwear to Mom.

It will be fabulous. I can't wait.