In less than two weeks, I will once again board a plane home for my annual Christmas return. If the past is any indication of the future, there is at least a sixty percent chance that my flight will be canceled and I will spend the majority of Christmas Eve crying at the airport, or crying in a taxi on the way home from the airport. Which is a bit like the way baby Jesus spent it, if you substitute a manger for the airport. With any luck, my flight will make it to Chicago on time, where my parents will be waiting with bated breath for my arrival (on several occasions they have actually passed out from this, which I keep warning them about). If you don't get along with your parents, or if you would like to get along with them better, I suggest moving at least one thousand miles away from them. This way they will actually be excited to see you and may even give you money for a taxi home on your way back. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also keeps the heart from having arguments about emptying the dishwasher or filling up the car with gas.
On Christmas Eve, I no longer go to bed with the knowledge that a middle-aged, bearded man with diabetes will be stopping in to drop off packages for me and my family and arranging them aesthetically underneath the tree, but Christmas still means a good deal to me. Perhaps it is because a middle-aged man with diabetes will already be there, cursing and haphazardly piling a diminishing number of presents under the tree. My brother is not coming home for the holiday this year, which I suspect means that he finally embraced his Jewish side or that he decided we all embarrass him. Good intentions aside, if I get any books by Bill O'Reilly or other Republican party members this year from my parents, I will be burning them publicly.