disclaimer- I work retail and the holidays suck.
Black Friday went off without a hitch. Finally. 2 months of lead up to one moronic shopping event which then transitions to 4 weeks of having your brain slowly rot from listening to Christmas music 9 hours a day. Then you get off work sometime between 6 and 7pm (because customers won't leave the mall) on Christmas Eve and race to your family only to discover you have missed everyone and only your hippie Uncle is still there. It's what happens every year.
But this year will be different! Since the economy has tanked a few more of my relatives have become retail workers. This means there are 4 faces missing from the Christmas dinner table. This means I am no longer the only voice asking for our family to gather at some time OTHER than 3pm on Dec 24th. Praise the sweet baby Jesus that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Or something.
So my family is getting together on the actual day of Christmas, when all the stores are closed. For the first time in. . . I don't know, 12 years. . . I'm going to see ALL of my family on the holiday. I'll get to see them open their gifts. I'll get to see my younger cousins sneak beer in to my G-ma's house while everyone snickers and lets them think they're getting away with something. I get to see everyone, including my hippie Uncle before his 9th trip to the fruit plate.