Christmas Time is Here Again

Christmas Eve. Every year for quite a while now we gather at my brother Brian’s house on Christmas Eve. When my mother was still alive we’d meet in Lodi at my parent’s house. I don’t think we ever went there on Christmas Eve after she died. Maybe the year she died we did but we all probably found it all too depressing and decided not to do that again.

My sister Annemarie is in California and is in contact with us through a phone call. Not the same thing but it’s a chance to speak with all of us on the east coast under one roof at the same time. We all wish Rex, Earl and Annemarie a wonderful holiday. One of these years I’ll go out there or maybe they’ll be here. It would be great. Haven’t spent the holidays with them in ages.

TBS is showing Christmas Story over and over and that’s really a lot of fun. Bill and I just exchanged presents. I got him some photo books on buses, which in his case qualifies as porn. He got me a video Ipod. Ay caramba!

Totally unexpected. I am blown away, literally and figuratively. Wowee Kazowee. I am so glad we got back together. It would’ve been a bad holiday otherwise. And I write that not because of the Ipod. I do love him so. Hillary, Brian and Cassie adore him. He tells them the most detailed things about driving buses and they are totally engrossed. Amazing. They are great kids, Bill included.

Julio noted that I love Bill because of that childlike quality. It’s true, I can’t deny it. There is an innocence in his eyes and his manner.

My brother Brian and I seem to really bond around this time of year. We always do a shot of Jagermeister together. If Frank drank, he’d join us I’m sure, but he doesn’t drink so he doesn’t join us.

Bill drove a Zip car Volvo which allowed me to drink. And drink I did. Tis the season. That is probably the third time I wrote that in the past few days. Me likey the Absolut. Elaine did too. No booze for Cory, not since Karen’s party and Frank’s watchful eye. And her falling under the influence of her nasty uncle, me. And Brian.

There was the usual unease about seeing almost everyone en masse. And as usual it was unwarranted. Bill and I dressed in suits and ties and had to answer several times why we were dressed up.

My family never sees me like this, and they don’t see Bill like that either. It’s fun and any excuse to get dressed up will do in our book. And that book is being written everyday together.

Brian’s wife Karen out did her self once again. One of these years she’ll actually sit down and enjoy the meal with us that she had labored over for quite a while. Karen has definitely fulfilled the role of matriarch for the O’Tooles. No Jones Sausages at 1:00 AM. She cooked a beef tenderloin. Such a sweetheart. They all are.

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