Another Christmas shot in the ass.

This holiday season has been spent in Dublin at my mother-in-law's house.  People who know me know that I adore my mother in law and do not have this awkward relationship I see between friends and their mother-in-law's.  I think my MIL is a wonderful person and I am not at all an ass-kisser.  Both these things bode well for me at Christmas. I did miss my family like crazy this year.  It's strange not being able to see your parents every holiday, every birthday, any time you want to because you are not Richard Branson and can not afford to pack up everyone who means something to you and go home on a whim.

As I get older and some Christmases are spent away from what I consider a "normal" holiday (Mom People drinking heavily, Jews at the dinner table, lasagna instead of turkey, eggnog instead of white wine.  You know, an American Christmas.) I notice I treat my in-law's less like in-laws, meaning people who I am with only because they are related to the man I married, and more like actual family, people who are blood relatives and who don't care if I decide that I ate too much and pajama bottoms would compliment the festive occasion better than a pretty wool skirt and heels. I might have done this for the last three days, and they didn't seem to care one bit which is good because I was THISCLOSE to throwing up peanut butter cookies and turnips.

I like this close feeling to my in-laws. I like feeling like I have family in Ireland even if my parents, the source of all amazing Christmases in the past, are over 3000 miles away. I still wish I was with them this year, especially when I saw them on Skype drinking cocktails at one in the afternoon with some fun people, but I'm happy about the time I have been able to have with my mother and brother in law, getting to know their traditions, their way of "doing Christmas" and most of all, getting to know them better each and every year I am with them, holidays or not. May 2008 teach me more.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

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Liz in Dublin