This year is turning out to be the most chill Christmas, since 2003 when we took a cruise to Cancun. At this point I am honestly not sure how we managed to get away with this low key of a Christmas, but I am not complaining. For most of our married life, my wife and I have spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas running around like crazy, trying to appease every household with an appearance of adequate length. The entire process leaves us not really enjoying any of it, and stressed about the next place we have to go while at any given house. Now the last decade has wreaked havoc upon our family, and with it has slowly whittled down the number of houses we actually have to go to. Previously Christmas Eve was this tradition of going to my home town and going to mass with my mothers side of the family, and then opening presents with them afterwards… and finally ending up across the street at my aunts house late at night. This meant Christmas Eve we often didn’t get home until after midnight, only to need to get up bright and early Christmas morning to be at another house before noon. Unfortunately the matriarchs of both sides of the family have gone, and with it a lot of the traditions.
We are trying to create new traditions among my generation, like getting together the other night at Phat Philly’s here in town just to share a meal and a conversation. But many of these new traditions are not necessarily dependent on a given day, the way the past generation was. In my family it has always seemed that if it did not happen on the actual day… it didn’t count. For me… getting together period and hanging out counts regardless of when it is happening. We originally had plans for Christmas Eve, but those fell through due to illness in the family. As a result last night we ended up going out to dinner with my folks, and then them coming back to our house to open gifts and chill out for awhile. It was really nice, and while we have yet to see my wife’s side of the family… we are somehow ending up with this perfect Christmas day where we get to hang out at home and snack on all the goodies that my wife baked yesterday. As I have mentioned the last few days, we are doing a Star Wars Marathon and then hitting the new movie at 7pm tonight. Since I have been asked… we are only doing 4, 5 and 6 largely because neither my wife nor her friend that is coming over are really big Star Wars fans. When indoctrinating someone into the franchise… I think the prequels do nothing but muddy the water… because they expect you to already know a bunch about Star Wars. I am more than happy to simply not include them for the time being, because from what I could tell they had no real bearing on number seven.
Some Assembly Required
Yesterday I got a message from one of my friends, saying they had a Christmas gift for me. The only gotcha was that I would have to make a character on a specific server to receive it. This message came through at a time yesterday when I was babysitting the kitten… with us both locked in my office (to keep her out of the baked goods) so it worked out perfectly. I created Belgrave the Catte Durid and my friend met me in Newbie Cow Land. Next thing I know she had a trade window open and handed me the item on the right. At once I was both thrilled and understood what she meant when she said it might require some work on my part. On my blog I have talked about my current chase of the holiday Yeti mount, and how Lodur and I founded #team360nomount and unfortunately hunting this mount had kinda dominated my play sessions. Not only was my friend giving me the gift of a mount… but also giving me the gift of chilling the hell out and not worrying quite so much about doing every single holiday daily. The first thing I did every morning was work through my holiday missions, and I knew I would have ended up a ragey mess if I had done all of this… and still ended up without one.
This is proof positive that I have amazing friends, because so many times something like this has happened. One of my friends shows up to save the day… and my sanity. As a result however I am shifting gears and since The MooCowAdin is now my best geared character… I am going to start running up the catte durid instead of my Warlock. Right now the plan is to go a mixture of Kitty and Bear, which lets me tank and pewpewpew. I always say I am going to play Moonkin, but then never actually end up playing Moonkin because it is a super fiddly spec. The strangest thing about playing this character is how vastly different the leveling experience feels on a non-roleplaying server. On Argent Dawn and The Scryers in your open world zones you are playing with lots of other players from Role Playing servers. I have always said that RP servers just attracted a better caliber of people… and it seems like that really is the case. Within the first few minutes of playing my druid I had been spit on and slapped numerous times by other players, and while running around in Azshara last night I had people constantly trying to steal the skins from my corpses as I was looting them. Conversely while leveling my Warlock on the amalgam of Roleplaying servers… I constantly waving and blowing kisses at me while wandering around. There have been many times I was getting low on health that someone just shows up and throws a random heal. So I gotta say… the experience is so night and day that it just seems odd.
Christmas is a day that means lots of different things to lots of different people. So my hope is that whatever today means to you… it is in fact an awesome day. I don’t always sync up with my family, and there are a lot of times it feels like they don’t really “get me”. The person they assume I am isn’t always the same as the person I really am, but in the long run…. I think a lot of people feel that way. Otherwise we would never leave the home and strike out into the world. What I will say is that over the years I have carefully surrounded myself with awesome people that do get me. I am blessed with some truly amazing friends, and in the end… your friends are the family you choose. So whatever today means to you, or whatever your traditions happen to be… my hope is that you are spending it with the people that make you happy. I am going to spend the day chilling out with my wife and one of her friends and watching the hell out of some Star Wars while playing World of Warcraft. I feel like it is going to be an amazing day.