Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beast of Burden

I was having a Christmas moment the other night. I'd just been shopping for Yankee Auction gifts for my husband's side of the family. We decided this year - that since there are no little kids floating around any more, that it might make Christmas a little more fun to spice it up with a $20 nutty gift - that well, maybe Uncle Timmy might like... AND - since the kids on Dave's side of the family are getting older, at some point, they can just join us - and our exploding cigars, whoopie cushions, and cans of snakes at the grown up's table.

Anyway, I was kind of excited. I found two cool gifts for the gift exchange - (In case you don't know about the Yankee Auctions, they work like this. Everyone gets a number - the first number chooses a gift and unwraps it. The second number either steals the gift or opens a new one. The game continues until everyone steals whatever it is the cool gift might be - and well, someone ends up with it. I'm hoping Dave's family likes the useful yet unconventional gifts I've chosen. Dave thought they were cool - I can't say what I bought - some of them read this blog - but I can tell you, they're recycled... The gift that, for 20$ or so - keeps on giving.

I like this idea because not only does it inject a little life into the party - but it gives some insight as to what my new(ish) family thinks - and what my brother in law, Tim (who dressed as a convincing Uncle Fester this Halloween - even after his kids are grown up) might come up with... and if I'll ever end up with a remote control helicopter (something I'm dying to own, yet am way too grown up and cheap to purchase for myself). I also like the idea because it sort of returns that sense of wonder we all had as kids - that anticipation of Christmas morning - when the best gifts (the ones tucked into our imaginations) - are - if only for a moment - definitely in those boxes under the tree... I have to say - I'm kind of giddy with the excitement of it - even though I realize I"m probably coming home with a pair of wool socks. I promise I'll like them - but secretly, I'm still holding out for the RC Helicopter.

I was wondering if my side of the family would like to participate as well... so I suggested it to my mother, who likes all of my ideas. She was in. Then it happened...

The thing that ruined my festive Christmas Spirit. My sister called. My sister, savior of the planet, pseudo-vegetarian, Band-wagon hopper... She's got a really good heart - but I have to say on this night - when I was already planning on wrapping up something grand and unexpected for my family - kind of stuck a needle into my holiday spirit...

"Hey Kell! I know what we can do for Christmas this year!"

"Yankee Auction?" I queried.

"No! Let's all donate money and buy a water buffalo for a needy family in an Asian Country!!!!"


"Isn't it a great idea?"

"UM. I was really thinking about the Yankee Auction. It'll be fun."

"Who needs more stuff? I have absolutely no need for more stuff. We should all buy the water buffalo."


"I already talked to Dan and Karen - They're in - and I'll talk to Jill - I'm sure she'll be in. You and Dave are in, right?"

"So what does the family do with the water buffalo? Do they eat it?"

"No, silly! It's a beast of burden! You're in right?"

Now. Let's be honest here. Totally honest. My holiday spirit fell like a cold frozen turkey at the supermarket after it's been picked up by a three year old who couldn't hold it any longer. I wasn't interested in any water buffalo - because I was really into having some fun with my family...

Then it happened.

My sister became my personal beast of burden.... because in my mind, the family in Asia who needed some water buffalo to carry agricultural goods to market were starring at me... All seventeen of them, including the baby. And they all looked at me as if I was their only hope for a water buffalo. Then the water buffalo rode by on a train in the distance yelling "Hey! This is my stop! That's my family!"

Freakin' Freak.

So I got railroaded - not only by my sister - but the family I don't even know - and now the water buffalo is on my case. Then I felt guilty for wanting to Yankee Auction with my family at all... So long story short, I'm trading in my perfect holiday moment of anticipation. I'm trading in my RC helicopter - and a family is getting a water buffalo.

I know that as soon as I write the check, and the train stops - and the water buffalo meets the family, my personal beast of burden will leave me - pat me on the head and tell me I've done the right thing... and I know it's true - Christmas is a time for giving... and I can't be bitter... so I have but one choice.

I must buy the RC Helicopter - bring it with me on Christmas - and let everyone take turns flying it. Then it'll be a different kind of fun - but fun nonetheless.


  • At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ok, on the bright side, you still get your RC helicopter and everyone can play with it. you could also insist on this song being sung in honor of the water buffalo. lead the family in a new "christmas carol" for the occasion.



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