Christmas 2023

As we’ve done almost every year since the kid was three, we celebrated Christmas at my in-laws. It’s a nice little tradition of ours.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

The very next day, the kid and I hopped a train to NJ to see my in-laws.

Just like every year, we spend Christmas Eve into Christmas with them – and this year, my sister-in-law was there as well.

Me: Oh, I didn’t know she was coming – I haven’t seen her in ages.
MIL: Yeah, she’s coming early so she can see everyone.
Me: That’s great! It’ll be good to see her.

The kid was, of course, bouncing off the walls with excitement for the following day. But he did manage to settle down enough to have some dinner.

My sister-in-law came but forgot something at home, so I offered to run out and grab it for her since she was beat – I always like to drive when I can since I don’t do it that often anymore.

Afterward, we played some Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, a card game we have at home but never got around to opening. It was a lot more fun than I had expected.

His dessert was some fresh, homemade cookies.

The next day, the kid got up early but had to wait until 9AM to open presents.

I gotta say that he was super patient, which is something I’m always happy for with him.

Him: (opening one particular gift) This is just what I wanted! How did he know?
Me: Santa? I suppose he knows all this stuff.

I know I won’t have much more time with him believing in Santa Claus so I’m gonna enjoy it while it lasts.

All my in-laws got me gifts, which I really appreciated – including my sister-in-law, who bought me some cannabis, knowing the issues I have with sleeping. It was very thoughtful of her.

I felt bad I didn’t get her anything but, in my defense, I didn’t know that she was coming. She didn’t mind at all, though.

Afterward, my mother-in-law packed me this awesome lunch because I had to run and catch a train.

Unlike last year, where I had to catch a train to fix a boiler, this time, I had to catch a train for much (much) better reasons.

Him: Do you have to go?
Me: I gotta run, kiddo. [The Firecracker’s] waiting for me at Penn Station.
Him: (nodding) OK, papa.
Me: I’ll call you when I can, ok?
Him: OK! Have fun in Vienna!

Location: a white room in Vienna with black framed walls, looking over the foggy city
Mood: caffeinated
Music: I’ll give it to someone special (Spotify)
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