A white Christmas in an orange America.

Have I ever mentioned that I born into an atheist family that still celebrates Christmas? (Mom hates Jesus, but loves decorating.) This was my first Christmas at my parents' house since 1997, which means it was my first Christmas at all in nearly as many years. I managed to teach my mother how to use the digital camera she won in a contest, and she managed to get through the entire day without complaining that I don't smile enough. It was a tolerable holiday, for once.

My mother still puts entirely too much tape on the gifts she wraps -- I'm pretty sure she took more pictures of me grimacing while I fought with scotch tape than she did of me smiling. Nobody uses as much tape on gifts and packages as my mother. I've seen many a postal worker's eyes bulge in disbelief upon seeing how much tape my mother uses on boxes. I think my mother has some sort of tape fetish she doesn't want to admit to.

On the bright side, her tape-abuse has definite entrepeneurial possibilities: When and if the U.S. finally hits Red Alert, I can drive her around the neighborhood and charge people money to have Mom duct tape them inside their houses.

Posted at 11:38:57 PM EST on 25 December 2003 from Trenton, MI