Come Christmas Eve, I knew things weren’t going to end well when my mother called me up starting the conversation with “Your father and I were having a debate. Which one of us is more affectionate?” After explaining that neither of them were exactly exemplars of affection, the conversation ended with her saying “Okay we’ll do better. It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf.”

A lone wolf howled in the distance. The bone scraping creak of a basement door opening. The rustle of dead leaves across a grave site. The tendrils of fear wrapped themselves around the base of my spine and sent a chill through my soul. That was what the idea of hearing my parents promising to be affection reminded me of.

Now, it’s not Christmas in the Broaddus household until 1) we hear “Silent Night” by the Temptations and 2) we’ve taken a picture of at least one of the boys crying on Santa’s (my brother-in-law) lap. This year Santa surrounded himself with some ghetto elves (let’s face it, how often do you get to hear “‘Sup Santa. Let’s do this.”).

Christmas morning was spent at my parents’ house. Now, we had all of two white people over in addition to the rest of the usual suspects, both family and both with full credentialed ghetto passes: my wife and my best friend. My mother decided to relate to them by making all of us suffer through Christmas music on the country station. Because, you know, she’s trying to be affectionate.

I also learned several important lessons during the course of the all day (and all night) festivities:
-the phrase “I’m gonna beat your little ass” is non-stop funny from the mouth of a three-year old
-if you’re going to have to hire a divorce lawyer, pass on any named “Crapo”
-if you are only charged only $75 for the cost of your divorce proceedings (not $75 per hour, but $75 en toto) expect the court to bend you over into its favorite position
-never take the last of a man’s Tide
-a guy who shows up with a guitar will feel obligated to play it (and any listener of the Bob and Tom Show knows what that means)

My wife is handling this year’s Kwanzaa report, for those interested. Me? Well, I’m off to pick up the pizzas we ordered from Papa Johns (since apparently they won’t deliver to my neighborhood after dark).