Saturday, December 22, 2012

Things You Gotta Do: Surprise Your Family

With the most Christ-filled on Masses upon us you had to expect me to write some sort of Christmas post. If you know me in person, you're probably shocked that I haven't been ranting about Christmas since American Thanksgiving finished. I should have done a post about celebrating Thanksgiving in Seoul, but I was on a diet and the last thing I wanted to think about was the massive mounds of delicious food I was denying myself.

I should've been born a Hobbit...
But now my four months of dieting and exercise have finished and I'm all...

I spent last Christmas in Seoul. It was fine. I spent Christmas Eve out in Hongdae with friends, we all shared a hostel room together and had a big turkey dinner at Rocky Mountain Grill in Itaewon on Christmas Day. It was my first Christmas away from my family and I was... emotional. I tried to make the most of it, however. I surprised all my friends by putting Christmas socks filled with presents in their beds as they slept and Skyped my family to open presents together. However it was just... not the same.

So when I started work at Korea University and saw that my winter vacation was December 15- January 1 I was all...

I mean, Christmas in Seoul is fine, but nothing beats being home with family for Christmas. I know EVERYONE says this, but Christmas is a HUGE deal in my family. My mom starts preparing the day after Thanksgiving. Hanging lights, putting up garlands, breaking out the hundreds of Santas my parents have collected over the years, and putting Christmas ribbons on EVERY SINGLE PICTURE FRAME IN THE HOUSE. Our house is literally exploding Christmas cheer by the time she's finished. Our family is up to its eyeballs in Christmas traditions. From dawn of Christmas Eve to dusk on Boxing Day you know what you will be doing, eating, watching, hearing, and talking about. The Morris household is one of the greatest places in the world to be at Christmas.

Christmas Cheer to spare!
You can't even comprehend how cozy this is.
I was going to be able to come home for Christmas this year... but I was the only one who knew about this...

Let the deception begin!!!
I needed to tell someone, I needed a co-conspirator. Last year my mom sent 5 packages to Korea for Christmas and I didn't want to be in Maine while my presents hung out in Seoul, so I told my father. He managed to convince my mom to let him take all the packages to the UPS store and did the complete opposite; he hid them under their bed in an unused suitcase. Because I was flying into Boston late in the evening (too late for the bus or train to Maine) I also told my brother Thomas' girlfriend, Amanda.

When I arrived she had weaved this elaborate tale of how a friend of her's from a while back was visiting and needed to crash at their place. She said it was going to be awkward, because she didn't know him well. Thomas was sick and tired but she complained until he agreed to go with her to the airport. I snuck up behind the car as she asked him to get out and help load the bags. When he came to the back of the car he saw... me!

Lil' ole me!!!
He was completely shocked and his mouth dropped open. The only thing he could squeek out was "What... what're you doing here?!" Tee hee hee!!!

The next up was my other brother, Robert. Thomas and Amanda had already planned to have friends over for a Christmas meal the next night. When Robert came I hid in the spare bedroom. Thomas instructed Robert to put his coat in said room and when he opened the door he saw... me!

He laughed and we hugged and were super excited. He said he had though for a second that I was actually a doppleganger and not the real Margaret, as he had seen some women around Boston who looked a lot like me.

My mom was next. This was the big one! The next day I took the train to Maine and my dad picked me up at the station. He went in to see where in the house my mom was and then got me out of the car. He recorded the hello on my cellphone, but I need to do some editing before putting it online (my dad wasn't aware that you can't switch between portait and landscape when using a cellphone camcorder). My mom was sick and super shocked. The best part was, after the first bit of hugging, she asked "are you staying for Christmas?!" As if I had travelled all the way from Korea to just turn around and go back! Tee hee hee hee hee!!!

Oh me! Ha!
Last but not least was my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Harold. My grandparents had all passed away before I turned 8; Aunt and Unc became my de-facto grandparent figures. Then, when I moved to Tennessee for college they became more like step-parents. I would travel the three hours from Knoxville to Nashville once every other month to do laundry and clean out their refrigerator. My dad and Robert went to fetch them at the airport. On the way, they told Aunt and Unc that mom was really upset I wasn't home and that I was incredibly homesick. When they got to my parents' house I was just sitting in the living room like nothing. My Uncle came in first and just dropped his mout open and started laughing. ^_^

I'm freaking awesome!
So that's it. And it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! If you live far away from home, I highly recommend trying to do something similar, at least one time. I don't think I'll do it again. It was worth all the sneaking around, but I also missed gushing with excitement with Mom as the days counted down to me coming home. Also, I think my family will be perpetually skeptical of me saying I won't be able to make it to a big family function.

So now I'm home, wrapping myself in the warmth and love of a New England Christmas.=, and I really couldn't be happier.

Me, 24/7
How excited my brothers are that I'm home for Christmas
Happy Holidays to you and yours!!!

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