|18-year-old Helen contemplating Christmas|
I’m sharing this post – originally written way back in December 2010 at another blog I used to keep . The reason? For some background.
I’ve got to enjoy Christmas Eve or Christmas with them whenever we’ve been in the same province, which this year was here in Canuckistan at the end of November. Photos from this year’s event – far less disturbing than this 2010 edition – will hopefully follow tomorrow. Here Helen, second-eldest of four children, shares about the gathering that year:
“Isn’t it true that dysfunctional families form dysfunctional habits, dysfunctional relationships and dysfunctional personalities? I will dare to add to the theory and claim that “pseudo-families” are just as incapable of leading normal lives. To support my claim, I will use my own as an example. “Family” at Christmas time for us does not consist of aunts and uncles and hordes of cousins coming over to crowd the house and join in the festivities, but rather of one woman and one man (who share no blood relationship to us) joining us …
Dearest Auntie Lou hails from Bryanston, not too far away, and this year came bearing gifts of chocolate and tiny cakes. Uncle Robin, keeper of this blog, had to be different and came all the way from Madagascar, bearing an empty stomach, an infamous pair of sunglasses and a camera that produced a jealousy within me that has caused me to, after 11 years of certainty, consider changing my career path in the hopes of someday owning a similar one.
Our pseudo family, like any dysfunctional family, is incapable of having a regular gathering. This, ladies and gentlemen, produces pseudo-Christmas, which this year fell on the 20th of December. The day consisted of way too much fruit cake, tree climbing by my ten-year-old sister and aforementioned uncle, an excess of photography, a rather raucous gift exchange and dinner complete with coke in wine glasses, crackers and cheesy hats.
To keep sanity well and truly at bay, a nativity play was prepared by the adults. (Normally we children do the nativity – always with a different theme). My father played a rather disturbing version of Mary while my mother had to wear the pants in the house and play Joseph. Auntie Lou was the star, the shepherd and the subtitles. Uncle Robin put us all in counselling by playing the role of the angel in a tutu and horrendously short shorts. With time and therapy we trust that we will all recover from the sight of so much hairy leg. Picture the scene – the beautiful story of the birth of Jesus told to the music of a reggae Christmas, with some midget wise men thrown in, frenetic, hilarious scene and costume changes, a “star” flitting around the lounge and quotes from the A-team … a nativity typical of our family.
While normality has never been an element in our gatherings, there is no shortage of laughter, joking and (say awwww) love. We don’t keep our voices down, we don’t follow the correct plot in our plays and we never ever act like polite citizens. But there is nothing pseudo about our happiness.”
|The angel shares the good news with Mary, who immediately emails Joseph the news…|
|Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem on their trusty steed.|
|One of the “wise men” sees the star …|
|The angels let the lone shepherd know about the Saviour, in song: “The hills are alive with the sound of music”|
|The “midget” wise men come bearing gifts for a very furry-looking baby-Jesus|