‘Clonktastic’ is the un-clever title of this year’s Christmas celebrations because when you combine the last names of the 6 people waiting for Santa at our home that’s what you get. My previous post showed all the decor that got us into the spirit, but that hardly constitutes a celebration. So, you might ask, what do three atheists, two agnostics and a non-practicing Jew do for a German Christmas?

Firstly, they stuff themselves with food. All sorts. Potatoes. Turkey. Chocolate. Cookies. Pizza. Pretzels. Two crates of Clementines. Gummi Bears. Sausage. Cheese. Crackers. Wine. Beer. Cola Light. Crystal Light. More Cola Light. And so on.

Secondly, they DO NOT, under any circumstances, get out of our pajamas on Christmas Day. Considering that my mom keeps up the tradition of matching Christmas pajamas even into our adulthood and even from another continent, we do this in as much style as possible.

Furthermore, we watch movies. LOTS of movies. We start with ‘Polar Express’ in the name of Christmas, but we are disappointed because, let’s face it, the movie never lives up to the book. We move on to ‘The Bridge to Terebithia’ because we hope the whimsical look of the DVD cover means that the ending is somehow less devastating than the book, but in our hearts we know that can’t be true. Just as in the book, Leslie dies when that damn rope swing breaks and we SOBBED uncontrollably, passing the Kleenex around. The next cinematic treat was ‘Die Hard’ because even though the themes of gunfire, blood and explosions don’t seem Christmasy, the whole thing is set on Christmas Eve. Plus, that movie is just awesome and we laughed our way through it, definitely our collective favorite. Don’t worry, Bruce Willis lives. We rounded things out with ‘Transformers’, a huge disappointment considering the awesomeness of the original cartoon series. The whole movie was extremely confusing, and as far as I could tell all dialogue was replaced with loud computer/machine noises.

We learned to use Skype. We used the new webcam my parents gave us for Christmas and Alley and I had a ‘video conference’ with them! It was great see mom and dad, the cats and the Christmas tree. My mom was fascinated by her own image from the webcam and spent a lot of the time making faces…at herself. My dad was really happy to see us but also happy to see that the classic movie channel was having a 24-hour marathon of Westerns…he sat in front of the computer but clearly had the TV in his periphery to make sure he didn’t miss any plot twists in a Western he has undoubtedly seen 5 times.

Also, we ‘play puzzle.’ Meaning we found a puzzle in a teammates apartment, commandeered it, and got crazy about making progress. It has 1000 pieces and features a picture of a castle AND the reflection of said castle in the water. Very difficult. Add to that shitty lighting and you have the ultimate game of puzzle.

All in all, a success. As with any family gathering, we had our share or more of hiccups. But truth be told, I can’t say I would have had it any other way. We are so lucky to have people to spend such a cozy couple days with, I don’t dare jinx myself by asking for perfection. To those of you we were far away from for these special days…we really could have used your help playing puzzle.

Kathy steps in as surrogate-Grandma for Bella!
Dave relaxes after dinner with the Real Boy.

GOOD MORNING! It’s Christmas!
The Real Boy doesn’t like being awoken so early!
The Real Boy got a new shirt…a tight fitting tee!
Look at those pectorals! The Real Boy models his new tee with Aunt Ju.
Let’s play puzzle! Those key-chain flashlights from our stockings came in handy!
Alley hydrates while Brandon holds the puzzle image.

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