Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Party

Hey Everyone. Happy New Year.
I have missed you. You don't have to say anything...I know you missed me.
I have so much to talk to you about. But today I am going to keep it short and sweet and tell you about our Christmas Party.
First, a couple of funny things.
I don't know if you know this or not but Florida is getting some unusually low temps. Today I was driving to work and it was 31 degrees. Now I know all you North people are laughing at me, but 31 is fricking cold to me. It is cold outside and dry inside. I know it is dry by all blood in my tissue when I try to get rid of all the crusty boogers in my nose (TMI, TMI).
But I will have you know I love the midday. It is so beautiful out at 2 p.m. 55 and sunny...awesome.
We had another Noah-ism yesterday, and I am still kind of cracking up about.
We are all sitting around the dinner table and my 9-year-old daughter wants to start talking about our New Year's resolutions. So we go around the table and I say that I want to stop yelling. I don't know if I have told you that when I hit my boiling point I yell, and mostly it is at my kids. I hate that I do it but.... So that is mine.
My 10-year-old son says that he wants to stop talking back. My 9-year-old daughter says she wants to stop nagging. And I thought that was very thoughtful of the two of them.
So my daughter asked Noah was his New Year's resolution is. And he asked, "What is a New Year's Resolution." So she says to him, "It is something that you want to improve on throughout the year." Noah thought for a couple of seconds and said, "Baseball." Man that kid cracks me up. I don't know if it is funny to you guys, but to me...hilarious.
I finished Counterfeit Gods. Good.
I started and am liking a book called The Help. It is a fiction novel about the deep South in the late '60s. And how rich white people were virtually raised by The Help (hence the name). Some kids would love the help and then grow up and become mean to the help and others would continue to love the help even thought it was socially not accepted. I like it but I have to tell you that I have not had a lot of reading time, so it is slow going. I have a couple of books waiting so I'm trying to read this one as fast as I can. Donald Miller, who wrote Blue Like Jazz, has a new book, and that is next. I have heard it is "life changing." I bought a book called The Last Lecture that I am excited to read.
My wife got me a ROKU. Anyone know what this thing is? It is basically for people that love movies. See I have Netflix. Part of the Netflix plan is that you can chose from 17,000 movies to watch instantly on your computer. It is kind of a pain to watch a movie on your computer, so if you have a wireless router, you can send the movies to this ROKU box and watch the movies from Netflix on your TV in HD. Nice. This could be why I don't have time to read.
I did watch a bunch of movies. I watched a bunch of family movies. We all watched It's a Wonderful Life is the best. We all watched The Mighty Ducks together (see my kids figured out how to put movies on my Netflix queue, and if I don't check it I won't get a movie for me until June). On the ROKU we watched a movie with Jennifer Aniston in it called Management. It was okay. And I watched a movie called Cashback, a British film, that was good. And my last instant movie was called The Narrows. I liked this movie. Not awesome but pretty good.
The Gammichia family had a huge Christmas.
Christmas Eve is usually the big night in our family. See the deep-rooted Italian stuff is still deep. We do something called the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. My father and all the other deep-rooted Italian men stand in line at Lombardi's seafood at 5 a.m. on Christmas Eve morning to buy all the fish for the Christmas Eve feast. And a feast it is. But usually the feast involves seven types of seafood and lots of bread.
Linguine with Clam Sauce (1), Sconguilli salad (which is conch) (2), Fried shrimp (3), and Fried oysters (4). He makes a Sea Bass (5), Calamari (6), and he makes a Calamari stuff with crab meat (7). But it doesn't involve guns and the breaking of people's knee caps, at least not at our house.
This eating starts at about 5 p.m. and doesn't stop until Christmas night at about 9 p.m. We leave my father's at about 9:30 p.m., and then the kids open their Christmas pajamas, which they love, and then go to bed. My wife begins to cook breakfast for the next morning, and I run to the neighbor's to pick up all the big gifts like the bikes and basketball hoops. See Christmas morning is at my house. (I am the only Gammichia kid [it is me and my two brothers and two sisters] with kids). The kids open Santa's presents early in the morning. We tell them that if they wake us up before 7 a.m. then we take a toy a piece away from them.
So at 7 a.m. we start with the first present. The tradition at our house is the first gift to be opened is the Bible. We read the story of the birth of Christ out of the gospel of Luke and try to remind ourselves what Christmas is about.
Then it is chaos.
My family is supposed to come over at 9 a.m. and the whole family exchanges gifts. There are lots of people. See my mom and dad got divorced about 9 years ago. Since then both of them have remarried. So my mom comes over with her husband and my father comes over with his wife. So I have four brothers and sisters, and now my kids have three sets of grandparents. So at 9 a.m. it is the second round of chaos. The kids get gifts from all of them. They all exchange gifts.
Then my wife puts on this huge spread for everyone (about 14 people), mimosa to French Toast to bagels with lox.
Everyone looks forward to it.
Everyone stays at our house most of the day. This year 3 of my brothers and sisters taking my kids to the movies...Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakual.
Then at about 7 p.m. my mom does Managotti at her house.
A couple of is great to have family in town. I am blessed to have a family that has made it a point to live close by each other. I am blessed to have a wife that is so part of our family that I think they would take her over me any day.
This year I tried so hard to make Christmas not about getting gifts. My kids are so spoiled, but how can they not be. They get three gifts from Santa (which is a conscience effort on our part to not go crazy), but when they get 9 gifts from their aunts and uncles and grandparents it is hard not to love gifts. Shoot, I love getting gifts.
I looked around the tree and thought, "it sure doesn't look like a recession in the Gammichia world," and I know you guys probably went through the same thing. We can't stop. We don't know how to scale down. I am totally guilty of it so I am not putting all the blame on my wife.
I am going to stop there. I am having some major laptop problems. Every time I take my laptop home and use a different wireless system and then I bring it back to work it gets pissed.
It won't work. So my father and I fight for the remaining computer in the office. And it is so slow. It is like working on dial-up. And I have been so busy at work I have had to write up all my charts from home.
The computer guy is coming on Friday (at $75 an hour) to fix my issues.
I would have added all the photos but doing this is so painful today.
I was going to talk about my office Christmas party, but I will wait until Friday.
I will load up all the photos on Fridays blog.
I hope your Christmas/Holiday was good.
I hope work is going good for all of you...remember it is supposed to be like riding a bike.
And I hope to see you on Friday,


Anonymous said...

What a delightful blog to read. It's wonderful to hear your family shared the same joy as ours did for Christmas! May God bless you in the new year!

Anonymous said...

31 degrees! Cold! Here in Toronto, Canada we recently had -17 degrees celsius, WITHOUT the windchill! But it doesn't mean we enjoyed it! But I enjoyed Christmas with my family as well and am glad you had a great one too. Happy New Year.


gatordmd said...

First of all I have no idea what -17 degrees Celsius means (I don't even know how to do the conversion), but it sounds cold.
If you have a winter Olympics in your town you have to expect cold.
My tan behind likes palm trees and beaches (and a margarita to go with it).
But also what I know for sure is I am saving for a summer home somewhere north of here.
Thanks for writing.


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