God Second Christmas is a pain in the ass...
And even more so this year because it was held in the middle of freakin woopwoop... I shit you not... it was all in the "country". Had I know that I probably would have opted out again... but I didn't... and to make it worse, I told Ma I'd drive up there since I have aircon and a CD player in my car and she has neither.
My two least favourite types of driving involve driving in hills with windy narrow roads and driving in the country with high speed limits on unknown roads, etc. This trip managed to combine both. Colour me SOOOOO happy.
Pretty much as soon as I finished writing my post Christmas post I took off for Ma's, then we packed up the car and took off for the land of Far Far Away... so I was probably on the road more or less non stop from about 11:30 until after 1pm give or take. Less fun.
I don't know if it was because I had a year off (again) from the joys of Second Christmas, or if I just have a whole new tolerance level for annoyance, but it wasn't really THAT bad. Oh don't get me wrong, it was like banging your head on something really, really hard for a really, really long time (its nice when you stop), but I coped pretty well overall.
Maybe it was because the only person in that family that I'm related to by blood is now back in the country and hence was there. It was nice to see him actually, although I'm about as close to him as I am to any of the folks there (less so maybe because he's been overseas for years and years and years and years), but it was still nice. And doubly so because he was there with his wife and son (who would technically be my second cousin, I think... I get fuzzy about the whole child of my cousin links thing) who is not yet 2, but just adorable (so much so that I took 61 shots while we were there and 58 of them were of the kid)!
I never really get anything decent in the present genre at Second Christmas... which is kind of to be expected, since I only see these people once a year. Although instead of an actual present, one of my gifts was an Oxfam Unwrapped card thing... so my Christmas present was providing some people or peoples in Cambodia with eyeglasses. Which, when you first open the envelope and look at the card you're all a bit "well.... SHIT"... but as I said to Ma later, it's not like I don't already have enough junk, so at least it's a somewhat useful gift. Ma got a chicken. Not literally, obviously (but looking them up my present did cost more than Ma's... by a whole three dollars).
Weirdly enough with Second Christmas, I grumble about going, nine times out of ten it takes FOREVER to get there, but then once I get there the time does seem to fly, and before I knew it it was like 5pm.
Then there was the even less fun drive back to Ma's place again...
If it's being held there again next year, I'm so opting out again... maybe I can just keep doing this whole "one year on, one year off" thing for a while before giving it up completely.