Christmas with the Daniel Family Part 3

It’s almost been over month since Christmas so I feel I owe it to you to recount the details of Christmas 2011.  Nothing as drastic as Part 1 or Part 2, but still lots of strange stories to tell.

It started out weird because for the first time since my dad married my step-mom 16 years ago we didn’t go to her home state of South Carolina for Christmas.  Being the first Christmas I’ve spent in Virginia since the 4th grade it was really strange to not have to pack up and drive for a good 8-14 hours, depending on traffic, Cracker Barrel stops and road side fist fights between my sisters and I.

My two sisters did have to travel to get home to Virginia; my older sister by bus from New York City; my younger sister by plane from LA with her 5 pound yorkie in tow.

My sister Katherine’s dog Jack is potty pad trained.  The problem with my parent’s house is that it is all hardwood floors and rugs, and Jack thinks that the rugs are his potty pads.  The first night we were all back at home, my immediate family, aunt and uncle and one cousin were sitting around our dining room table talking after dinner.  My older sister Claire was clearing plates from the table when she stepped in something.  She made a disgusted face and told me to get if off her foot.  With both assumed it was a green bean that had fallen on the floor.  I scraped it off with a Christmas card and set it on the dining room table.  My cousin looked at me and shook his head and all he said was “No.”  I immediately clued in to the fact that this was in fact not a green bean I had scraped off my sister’s foot and set on the dining room table, but dog poo.  Trying to not alert my step-mom to the Christmas card of dog poo sitting on the table which she would obviously not be thrilled about and to the pile of poop on her mother’s antique oriental rug, my sister and I quickly went into action to hide the evidence.  We got away with it that night but by the next day all the rugs in the house had been taken up and sent to the cleaners.  Jack had left his mark.

My step-mom let Jack sleep in bed with my sister Katherine, which was really surprising.  It was a huge step for my dogs to be allowed over at all.  I live in a townhouse about 10 minutes from my parents and asked to spend a few nights at their house while my sisters were in town so I could spend more time with them.  They were fine with that but my dogs couldn’t spend the night.  It was annoying, because I would have had to drive them home when I wanted to go to bed them come back to their house, and made no sense, since my sister’s dog was allowed to spend the night.  So the first night my sisters and I were watching a movie and I fell asleep on the couch at 9:00 pm which is par for the course.  I woke up at 3 something am where my older sister (the one with no dog) and dogs were passed out too.  I got up to drive home because I didn’t want to face the wrath of my step-mom if she found out my dogs had slept on the couch.  My sister told me to not leave quite yet because she wanted to cuddle with my dogs a little bit longer.  We all fell asleep again and next thing I knew it was 6:00 am and my dad came barging into the room screaming that I had to get out of the house immediately because if Jane found out that my dogs had spent the night (on the couch) she would be not so happy (keep in mind my sister and her dog were sleeping soundly in her bed in the next room).  So I was kicked out the house, and still half asleep and didn’t remember that my car was totally out of gas.  I set out towards my townhouse in the black of morning on a two lane road when all the sudden my car started just chugging and jolting back and forth.  Oh crap.  I quickly pulled over into a neighborhood and turned my car off.  I called my dad and started crying and told him he had to come get me.  I explained to him where exactly I was and he reminded me there was a gas station just over the hill.  So I turned my car on and prayed it would make it over the hill and through the light to the gas station.  It was jolting so hard and going so slow, I put my flashers on.  Thankfully I made it over the hill so I know I could coast down the hill to the gas station.  Unfortunately the light was red which it never is red so I just started honking my horn at the cars coming from the other direction while I chugged through going 2.5 miles an hour.  I made it to the gas station.  The bad news is my check engine light has been on since then and I somehow did $800 worth of damage to it.

On Christmas Eve we decided to go to the 5:00 Family Service in order to accommodate my cousin’s small children.  We learned that the 5:00 service was special because it was the service “Where Every Child Gets a Musical Instrument.”  Nevermind the fact that my sisters and I are 23, 26 and 30, you better believe we got triangles and tambourines of our own.  My dad and my sisters and I drove separately and we were supposed to leave early to save seats which didn’t happen.  We pulled up in the parking lot at the same time as the rest of my family so my dad made us run in without them seeing us so that he wouldn’t get in trouble with my step-mom for not having seats saved.

For Christmas I totally copied my co-worker’s idea- she gave her sisters a 2012 calendar of pictures of only herself.  Brilliant.  Naturally I did the exact same thing.

It’s absolutely ridiculous, and a total joke.

Here’s January:

I’m thinking about making it an annual tradition.

One night at dinner my sister and I both passed out on the couch- her from jet lag, me just because I’m my father’s daughter and if it’s past 9:00 and I’m on a couch, I’m asleep.  Naturally if there is a camera near one of us is obligated to take a picture.  My older sister snapped this one of me and texted it to my coworker.  It’s funny because I fell asleep with my bald spot showing ever so prominently.

And this one of my younger sister Katherine is golden.  My baby cousin had been there, but had left, and had left her bottle.  It was just too funny.  I have her permission to post this.

My older sister was on her soapbox a day or two before Christmas and was telling us that Humanitarian gifts were out this year, she had read it somewhere.  What do you know my younger sister gave us both hats knitted by women in Africa.  It was pretty funny.  And I really like the hat.

Over the whole course of Christmas my step-mom was complaining about the amount of sweets in the house and how she couldn’t wait to have them all out of the house once Christmas was over.  My sisters and I were in CVS one night after Christmas and saw the most gargantuan box of Whitman’s chocolates on sale.  Naturally we had to buy it just to spite her.


For New Year’s Eve my younger sister and I went to a party at a friend’s house.  This is a family friend whose parents are friends with my parents and we have known for forever.  For Y2K 12 years ago we had a New Year’s Party at their same house, but that time it was with our parents also.  I’m not sure who had the idea, but at the Y2K New Year’s Party we made a time capsule which we were supposed to bury and dig up ten years later.  I don’t think it ever got buried- I think it stayed in someone’s garage and I got to see it for the first time this past New Year’s.  Want to see what 14-year-old Julie wrote on the time capsule?

To recap:

Julie Daniel

Fun Party

Claire + Paul (My sister and her then boyfriend and her date at the party)

  • crew (bleeped out [sucks]) stinks (my parent’s forced me to be on the crew (rowing) team freshman year of high school and I hated it.  All I wanted to do was play tennis but my dad “loved watching the boats glide across the water.”)
  • and biology class (sucks)
  • no bf (boyfriend) unfortunately (half written by my older sister Claire- guess I didn’t know how to spell?)  (On the boyfriend front- Not much has changed 12 years later)
  • monica bf (best friend- this is what I remember getting in trouble for at the party.  I just remember my step-mom yelling at me “you will NOT be best friend’s with Monica ten years from now.”  She was right.  Haven’t spoken to her since Freshman year of school).

That’s about it, till next year, Happy Yule, Y’all.

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