Thanks For: WHAT DID I DO WITH THE DONKEY LAST YEAR? and other Christmas classics

Dearest Mother and Brother,

Confession time – Mom, the Hedgehog and I shared a chuckle when you asked us i”f your big balls were positioned right between the sticks”. You of course meant the red Christmas balls perched in the garland on the fireplace but we went a whole other route. Consider it sibling bonding fun times.

In fact the entire Christmas decorating experience turned into a bizarre list of catchphrases.

As always, setting up the nativity is my job. I finally found out why this year. Apparently it’s not because I’m so skillful at arranging camels but because “you don’t like the feel of Styrofoam”. Basically I’m just there to take things out of boxes for you. The Father escaped to the office. At least I’m not Hedgehog. His new life purpose is to:

1) Lift this heavy thing

2) Reach that tall place

3) Hold this thing right there. No there. A little to the left. Up. No too much. Down a touch. I said a touch. Don’t you know how much a touch is? That’s too much. Put it back. Hold still. Stop moving. What do you think. There? No I think we should put it over there. Hmmmmm. Repeat x10

So while the brother is lifting heavy things I’m busy wrestling with a wooden Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the crew. Mary, Joseph and Jesus are the easy part. Jesus goes in Mary’s arms, Joseph looks down adoringly. Put the whole thing in the middle. Shepherds go around the back and sides. It’s easy

Then there are the animals. Do you know how many animals I’ve got to wrangle on a piece of burlap ARTISTICALLY?! 4 sheep, an oxen, a goat, a GIANT CAMEL and a donkey. Oh the donkey. Just when I’d artistically placed the sheep, bunched the ox and goat together and stuffed the camel in the back corner. BOOM. I missed the donkey. This of course leads me to shout, “What did I do with the donkey last year?”.

Not a phrase I’d normally say.

Even better. When the mother was swapping her fall sticks for winter sticks (just nod at the difference) we got the delightful phrase, “There is a goat stuck to my scarf, someone help!”

Phenomenal. That’s what I’m thankful for. Rouge Christmas Goats.

Aria

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Thanks For: Backseat Driving Little Brothers

Dear Overly Cautious Hedgehog of a Brother,

I know that its *our* car but if you insist on dramatically flinging yourself against the window in fear and criticizing the space distance between cars then I will relegate you to the backseat. All 6 foot 5 of you. Stuffed in the backseat. Knees banging your chin. This goes doubly if you ever again attempt to touch the steering wheel. DO NOT TOUCH.

I was just being a superb big sister and picking you up in the dead of night to bring you from your University home of filth and squallor to the Kingdom of Mother’s cooking and laundry service. Do you know what I was missing on your behalf? The latest episode of my current favourite tv show. I missed my OTP and the shipping. Then I got spoiled by tumblr. All for you little brother.

And yet you think you’re hilarious by dramatically hanging off the door every time I make a turn or by over-flinching each time we stop. “Slow down. You’re speeding. What if you hit a deer? You need to leave 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you. Stop stopping so fast. turn RIGHT NOW. You should have known that even though you don’t live in this city. You should signal sooner.”

You are such a baby driver. Also I will lovingly turn up the country music as loud as it goes until I can no longer hear you. And I know how much you love country  music.

So little brother. Thanks for the driving lesson, I’m glad that you’re so invested in my safety. I’m thankful that you think you’re hilarious as I’m told it’s good for the self esteem.

Just stop doing it when I’m driving,

Aria

Thanks For: My Mother Put the Whole Family on a Colonoscopy Diet

I wish I was kidding; I’m not getting a colonoscopy for another thirty years but I’ve been eating like I get one this morning. Basically when The Father has to get a colonoscopy, we all have to eat colourless food for 3 days. Is that TMI? Too LATE! It’s written now and as per guidelines, no erasing.

Thankfully those of us not getting invasive tests got to skip the medication and its uber unfortunate side effects. There’s one bathroom in the house that I’m staying far far away from. TMI again? Sorry. But anything red, purple or orange has been a no go. Anything with a lot of spice? Nope. Dinner has been interesting. Basically the rule is don’t tempt The Father with things he can’t eat. The Mother seems to think he has no willpower. She’s right.

Besides the vast increase in available jello there is only one real bright spot. The Mother said not to tempt The Father, guess what the Hedgehog and I have been doing all weekend?

“Hey Dad, look. I’ve got a muffin fresh out of the oven. Still warm. Homemade. Slathered in butter. Look at that. Look how it melts. Mmmmm delectable. Oh wait, you can’t eat this. Too much fiber. And the delicious blueberries are one of the forbidden colours. Too bad for you. Guess i’ll have to eat the whole dozen by myself. Why hello little brother, would you like an insanely good muffin?”

“Why yes dear sister. That muffin looks so good and its too bad for anyone who can’t have one. Let’s go eat sausage and chips and chocolate until we burst. Oh hi Dad. What you got there? Plain chicken broth with nothing else in it? Yum. I’ll just have to suffer along with this muffin”

*Dad stares longingly at the muffin from the corner* He has a baked good weakness.

My brother and I have never been so cordial to each other as when we’re teasing the Father. When the Mother is out of the room. If she asks, we’re angels.

Thanks for the chuckles and sibling bonding,

Aria

Thanks For: Big Little Brothers Who Steal Showers

Dear Younger but Taller Brother aka Hedgehog,

As your elder and wiser sister there’s a rule that I will always love and feel protective of you. However, stop persisting in taking over MY bathroom right WHEN I HAVE TO PEE SO BAD. I do recall that technically it’s our bathroom but you’ve been back to school and moved out for a couple of months now and I feel that realistically I should now own 80% of the bathroom time. Now that you’re home for reading week, I feel I need to remind you of a few ground rules.

Especially due to optimal bathroom time. For example, first thing in the morning when I wake up (to go to work, not lounge about all day like you) please VACATE THE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY. I have timed my wake-up to match the maximum bladder allowance and i really really really need to pee. You know what I can’t do if you’re in there shaving? Pee.

And honestly, you have basically no facial hair. Plus it’s blonde. You do not need to shave more than one a week. I promise you’re still manly. Adorably manly.

Also, in regards to the shower. Places wet towels do not belong include:

on the floor If you keep doing this mother will kill you. with love. but you’ll be dead.

on the shower floor You do this so that mother won’t see it. I applaud. But you know who sees it? Me. I will kill you. with love.

hanging over the shower directly before I’m about to shower Your butt was on that towel. I do not want to touch it. This is simple. Especially because it’s wet and so many germs.

draped over the toilet Just a hint, someone may want to use that. Also, girls sit. Wet toilet seats are not things we want to sit upon.

in the bathroom sink Under what circumstance could this EVER belong here?

in the drawers under the bathroom sink Why do you think I won’t find it here? I keep my shampoo/conditioner/etc in that drawer

Please attempt to put the wet towels directly into the laundry where they belong.

However, because I’m your elder sister. Welcome home. I’m thankful for your existence in spite of all of these things. I’ll even let you get away with using my body wash. I respect your desire to smell like cucumber melon or shea butter.

With necessary sibling love,

Aria

PS – WOULD IT KILL YOU TO CHANGE THE TOILET PAPER WHEN IT’S EMPTY?!?

Thanks For: ‘No I’m Not Asleep During the Movie My Eyes are Just Closed and I’m Snoring’ Fathers

Dear Snoring but not apparently not asleep Father,

If it snores like a sleeping person, if it’s eyes are closed like a sleeping person, if it reclines in the cushy chairs like a sleeping person – it’s a sleeping person. Namely you Father. Sleeping. Again. During a movie ‘that you really wanted to watch’. Really? Are you sure? Because you took your glasses off and everything, they didn’t just fall off your face.

You fall asleep during basically any movie. It’s okay, I’ve gotten used to it. But you’re adorably deffensive about how you definitely were not sleeping. I poked you and you didn’t move. You are asleep. The movie was Brave which you were only watching because your twenty something extremely mature daughter wanted to watch a Princess movie and you were bound and determined to have father daughter mother bonding time. There were bears. That makes it manly.

But Dad, it’s not just the Princess movies. You feel asleep during Transformers. Granted, limited plot but those explosions should keep you up. Not head bobbing like someone who hates candy apples. There is no genre of movie you don’t fall asleep for. The Dark Knight. THE DARK KNIGHT. Heath Ledger’s Joker. Batman. Explosions. You were snoozing.

Sigh. But because I love you, I choose to make this a thankfulness. You’re clearly exhausted. I’m glad you’re getting sleep somewhere. And I’m thankful that you’re clearly exhausted and still determined to do family activities. Even if that means Mom, Hedgehog, and I watch a movie while you fall asleep beside us.

You’re trying. I’m thankful for a dad who tries.

Aria

PS We’re watching Frozen next weekend. Please be prepared to be poked and prodded until Let it Go is over. Because I love you I demand that you not miss it. Then you may snooze.

Thanks For: Tiny Pies for Giants or Giant Pies for People

Dear Vastly Gigantic Pumpkin Pie,

Retail pies should not be big enough to drown in. I say should not but what I mean is “LOOK HOW BIG THAT PIE IS I’M GONNA EAT IT ALL AND FEEL NAUSEOUS AND IT WILL BE TOTALLY WORTH IT!” Plus I slathered it in whipped cream. Delicious.

Last night was a good time. Extended family fun times are always good but you, giant pie, made it a fantabulous time. As such, I’m thankful for your existence as short lived as it may have been. You were easily 30cm in diameter so for you, I will do math. 2119.5 centimeters cubed of pie goodness. Ironically you measure the volume of pie by using pi.

I enjoy pi related shenanigans.

I also enjoyed picturing you as a tiny pie for giants so I could image a giant man with you balanced on the end of his finger and being sad because he wanted more pie.

So thank you giant pumpkin pie for existing. Thank you for having a superior pie filling to pie crust ratio where I get more pie for less crust. Thank you for perpetuating the myth to The Mother that I need excess volumes of whipped cream. Thank you for giving me something to hold over the Hedgehog’s head as he missed out on giant pie. Thank you for being pumpkiny. Thank you for being huge and creating a twenty minutes pie size to pie cost discussion. Thank you for being so big that The Father taking 3 pieces in no way altered my pie availability.

Thank you even for the slight stomach ache. You were worth it.

Aria