In an apparent Christmas miracle we were able to get both the younger Carusillo girls (my sisters) in a room together with out an ensuing brawl. The nuclear family gathered at my parents' house last night to decorate the Christmas tree. Marian had returned from Purdue Friday night, so we were all in the same city together for the first time, well, since they picked us up at the airport, but before that since October 2007.
Teresa and Marian are currently nurturing a low-level feud (mainly over uncomplimentary comments they had to say about the other's respective boyfriend) that I was told ruined Christmas last year. Mom went so far as to send out a letter before this Christmas asking everyone to be civil. It appears to have been a success.
We all had dinner together before the decorating. Cale made stir-fry with broccoli, red peppers, onion and chicken. It was delicious. I was befuddled by the rice, which came in a box (not a bag) and apparently can be cooked in a microwave. I asked mom where the normal rice was and she looked at me in a confused fashion. "This is normal rice." Cale suggested that perhaps the rice that I was thinking of as normal rice for the last two years, was in fact the abnormal rice and microwavable rice in a box is perfectly normal elsewhere in the world.
Dinner went off without a hitch. We managed to make it through the entire meal without Teresa saying "crotch" until someone pointed out during her expose on lactation that she hadn't said anything about crotches yet at this meal and we all got to enjoy what has become a family get-together tradition, Teresa talking about crotches in some manner.
Next came the tree decorating. Mom and Dad have a smaller tree this year than previous years and not all the Christmas ornaments were going to fit on. Dad appointed himself arbitrator of what ornaments were in and what ornaments were out. I am not sure what led up to the following events, but before you know it Dad is miming the sexy times with two stuffed bears that were put in the "not going on the tree" pile and everyone is finding it hilarious. Later in the evening he also had some string doll ornaments getting it on.
Finally the tree was decorated and nothing horrific had happened. Teresa went home with her boyfriend Mike to a bottle of vodka; Cale left to visit with his best friend and a bottle of scotch; and Dad, Mom, Marian and I stayed home to watch everyone's favorite Christmas movie, Pulp Fiction.