Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Global Warming Christmas

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were approximately 70 degrees, respectively. No one really knows how to handle that sort of thing in the northern hemisphere, especially in the New England area where white christmases were essentially hallmarked. I woke up in my old apartment in Williamsburg, had a quick breakfast with NYC bestie and got on Metro North at Grand Central Station, direct to good ole New Haven, Connecticut. My younger (but not youngest) sister picked me up and we ran a few errands before trekking up to Newington and Wethersfield for our Christmas Eve extravaganza. 

I have never missed going home for a Christmas yet, though I have missed every other major holiday under the sun. Almost every year since I was born, Christmas eve has been with my father's side of the family; an intimate gathering of just a few aunts, uncles, and cousins. It is frankly one of my favorite days of the year, partly because of the festivity and the anticipation, partly because when I was younger my grandmother spoiled us rotten, and partly (or maybe mainly) due to kielbasa... Ooooh kielbasa, that wonderful decadent polish sausage I praise to the world. This year I wrote a poem specifically to have it inscribed on wine holders that my sister makes and sells on Etsy (insert shameless plus here: ) 5 in total, one for each of the prominent couples or family members to take home. After a grand feast of delicious ham (and kielbasa) and potatoes (and kielbasa) and yes, some kielbasa, we ended the evening with individual portions of nutella bread pudding and I basically had to be rolled home.

Sissy-soo and I made it back to New Haven in time to crash in front of some Christmas television and prepare for our drive back to NYC the next morning. As this year, my brother, sis-in-law and nephew were remaining in Brooklyn for the holidays, our immediate family was commuting there. My youngest sister and my mom were spending two nights at a hotel in the famous borough, and we met them all at my brother's house for Christmas morning breakfast and mimosa. This was followed by more presents, more food, more drink, more kielbasa, and a lot of merrymaking.

Now, after a couple of days of jet lag plus rain plus bizarrely warm weather, the elements were starting to catch up with me. We all took a drive out to Dyker Heights, another neighborhood in Brooklyn, renowned for their local display of holiday lights. Houses are bedecked in flamboyant ornamentation, ranging from colored bulbs to life-sized figurines to music to animatronics. By the time we made it back to the apartment, I was overwhelmed with gaudy theatrics but also feeling like the global warming grinch had finally stolen my Christmas spirit. I immediately lied down on the couch, wrapped a blanket around me, and succumbed to nature's demands. I actually ended up sleeping in my pint-sized nephew's bed since he was having a sleepover party with grandma and one of the auntie's at the hotel. Since I am the only other one who could fit comfortably into such a tiny little alcove, it was perfect. 

Happily, I woke up the next morning much improved, having played Cindy Lou who in my dreams, and ready for some more feasting before driving back to Connecticut. It was a bit of a ping pong adventure between NYC and CT this year, but I suppose that was the one advantage to not slipping through the snow. A merry global warming Christmas to all and to all bright sunlight!

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