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I've been wishing people a happy Ex-Mast today. Hurrah for former…

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I've been wishing people a happy Ex-Mast today. Hurrah for former ship components! I can't wait for Blue Ears Eve next week.

Mom had to cancel driving downstate for the big family do - she has to work tomorrow, and travelling in these conditions meant risking her holiday pay - so we decided to opt out as well, and instead went to spend the afternoon with Mom and Bob after our traditional family breakfast of chicken and coffee cake.* The chicken was baked instead of chicken-fried, but we were ok with that. It tasted good, and even though I do have the usual human enjoyment of ritual, I'm not a strict traditionalist about much of anything. Bob made his first coffee cake and it came out really good. Then we all watched The Ref as our holiday movie, and then sat around having a nice conversation until they sent us home to beat the darkness. Can't call it Giftmas, as we didn't exchange anything this year. I am fine with that, and Mom thought it was pleasant not to have the pressure of gifts upon us.

The reason that we were planning to travel for the family gathering in the first place was to see our grandmother. She is in her 90s, and my mother thinks she is not doing well; Mom thinks her mother is afraid she may not be here for next Christmas. When our trip down came into question on Thursday, I decided that if we didn't go, we'd pick a weekend in January to go down and see her instead. My aunt who lives near enough to Grandma to be her day to day family support told nekouken that the holiday is kind of overwhelming for my grandmother lately, to the point where it becomes a blur of people and events. It might actually be better to see us a little later once the hubbub has died down, so that's what we're going to do with the funds that were going to be dedicated to this trip.

Tonight we had Chinese food and watched the MST of Santa Claus. I am having a lovely season. Happy holidays everyone!

* Our family's been eating this on Christmas morning since my grandfather's childhood if not longer, so that's at least 80 years (the oyster stew on Christmas Eve is far less frequently observed). It often sounds like a strange meal to people, but I recommend trying it at least once. We're one of those always-room-for-one-more families, at least at the big dinner - for smaller groups like the four of us today, we would need enough warning to make sure there's enough to go around. Vegetarians are welcome to just eat coffeecake - it's still worth the trip.
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