Colby-SunriseAs we have been every year since graduate school, we took a Western Kansas holiday road trip with plenty of Christmas reflections from the road – some more creative than others:

Every holiday road trip requires a fantastic magazine; I bought the Vanity Fair Special All-Star Comedy Issue, and it did NOT disappoint – you should go out and get one . . . The best blessing of the holiday season CAN BE when everyone takes their mood altering meds before Christmas Eve dinner . . . Speaking of dinner, when you haven’t had any kids at Christmas Eve dinner for ten years, and the highlight of the dinner conversation is who had the best death in the past year, you know it’s time to freshen up your Christmas traditions . . . Every holiday dinner needs a historian, and my cousin seems to be ours; he knows who won how much on lottery ticket scratch offs going back fifteen years . . . Did you put "ongoing remarks questioning your judgment" on your Christmas list? Me neither . . . My grandpa made his annual visit to dinner by dimming the lights repeatedly, just as he's done every year since he passed away in 1988.

CorkscrewLife lesson: I have found a corkscrew (affiliate link) is as important as a sleigh and reindeer for a happy holiday with the family . . . My parents give everyone cash to buy their own presents so no one is ever surprised by what they get. Since I gave up buying presents, I’m still surprised by everything; just my little spin on maintaining the spirit of the season . . . We open presents one at a time, so nobody’s happy I learned to unwrap presents like my grandfather – slooooooooooowly . . . Who would have thought a Santa Claus salt dough ornament would last twenty-one years? Maybe we should use salt dough for highway bridges.

Christmas reflections past – getting in trouble with the priest at my grandmother’s funeral for telling the, “How I learned about Santa Claus from Grandma’s encyclopedia” story during the eulogy in front of altar servers who had not learned about Santa Claus yet . . . The truest act of love you can show someone during the holiday season is making a run to Walmart to buy something completely unnecessary they forgot earlier.

Gangnam-Scratch-OffMy cousins gave me “rustic wood” candles; I think it was some kind of getting old joke – with maybe some other kind of joke thrown in there too . . . Know when you’re getting old though? When the rules on scratch off lottery tickets are too small to read so you scratch them anyway and try to figure out afterward if you won. Seriously, I think I won a free viewing of Gangnam Style on this scratch off card . . . BTW, is ear wax cleaning the newest "big thing"? TV commercials, news stories, Christmas dinner convos . . . all about cleaning ear wax.

I don't subscribe to the idea of adults being bored, especially at the holidays. Forget the #HoHoHum. That's what iPads, notebooks, and computers are for - they're like coloring books for adults . . . If we would have had more than one bottle of wine in the house though, we'd have been drinking by 10:30 a.m.Christmas morning . . . When you go where Trader Joe's hasn't arrived, you can pass off Charles Shaw as a wine that set you back quite a few dollars.

Santa-Claus-Dough-OrnamentFacebook was great for seeing who, on Christmas Eve, is (a) Not celebrating, (b) Over sharing about their celebration, (c) Deathly bored, (d) All of the above - I think you know who you are. Facebook also worked for setting up impromptu get togethers with family and friends throughout the Christmas holiday – thank you Zucky for your contribution to our Christmas cheer . . . And thank goodness despite the predictions, Euclid didn't have much impact on us. Kind of like high school geometry in that regard, so it was a well-named winter storm. Come to think of it, I don't even remember now how we traveled before the Weather Channel and smart phones - do you? - Mike Brown

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