A quick mini brag: There are two other couples that I’m really good friend with. We became friends in a different city, through a series of events that are now stories told over breakfast coffees. They are some of my dearest friends, and the first true friends I made as an adult outside of school. We now all live in three different major metropolitan areas in two different states. We’re also all married, and BoyPenguin made 6.

I wanted to do a Secret Santa with everyone, and proposed the idea. However, with secret santa, someone has to know who gets who because they’re the ones distributing the names. (Also, if anyone is interested in the secret santa derangements when it comes to picking names from a hat, and how to do it more secretively, here’s a cool video that breaks that down:

Anyway, I mentioned to BP how I wish we could do a truly secret secret santa selection, but also not pick our spouses. About 35 minutes later, he said he’d written up a program in Python that does that, and excludes picking your own spouse. He then connected it with a text messaging system so that when you do your final pick, it’ll send a text to each person telling them who their Secret Santa is and we added in addresses for good measure!

I know there are things out there that do that, but we needed one that would exclude certain options (spouses), and BP was interested in writing it anyway, so he did. I was super impressed with him being able to whip that out so quickly!

In ramblings, my mom came through town Friday and left Saturday on her way to see another friend. It went well, but I’d been bracing myself for it not going well. She’s currently living with Brother and his kids, and the two of them are having issues, which sometimes spill over to me. Also, I’ve been realizing some things about my mom that are both helpful but also discouraging, specifically that she’s passive-aggressive, can be a bit narcissistic, and has a need to control things. With Brother, it’s a problem for multiple reasons, and it culminated in a fight they had last week in which Mom screamed and cursed at Brother. They both tell me their sides of things, I listen, but don’t say what the other said, and try to support each one in improving their communication. Except Mom will ask “Did Brother talk to you about me?” Which...yes, he did, but I know if I say he did, she’ll be mad at him for it, and me when I don’t divulge what he said, so I lie and say “No, we talked about the weather/sports/news/Dad” and although I don’t think she believes me, she drops it.

Also, her mother is dying. I mean, not terminal with a disease, but 97 and terminal with just just being old. There’s a lot of family drama with regard to that, and mom is really wrapped up in that, where I really start to see her need for control.

Advertisement

In one final mini-brag, though, I finished the majority of the Christmas shopping this weekend for the little kids we’re buying for: 4 nieces, 2 boys who were our neighbors, and one friend’s kid, ages 3 - 10. I still need to go buy clothes for one of the nieces; according to mom, none of her clothes fit her and she has some self-esteem issues because of it. But I want to buy those in person and ship, rather than online. And I need to buy a journal/diary for another niece. But other than just a handful of things, I think my kid-centered Xmas shopping is done. :)