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The Christmas There Was No Fresh Basil

I found out late last week that a two of my many, many siblings were going to celebrate Christmas with my parents on Saturday. Jason and I went too, as I am unable to resist the prospect of early Christmas presents and maybe somebody would remember my birthday and maybe I would get money.

I don't think I've really written much about my family -- siblings in particular. There are two reasons for this.

1) They read this site.

2) They know lawyers.

But on Saturday, I was granted special permission to write all about our day together. There are three reasons for this.

1) They were drunk.

2) They would like to be famous and have people buy things off of their wish lists.

3) They were drunk.

Jason and I arrived to a great uproar of yells and applause and hugs and it was great to bask in the love of family and blah blah blah. Except then I realized they were mostly (okay, completely) excited because:

1) Jason was carrying a TiVo box.

2) I was carrying Ceiba.

3) They were drunk.

It was one p.m. in the afternoon, people. And the Corbetts had already Gone Wild and Gone Through about two bottles of wine. Awesome.

Let me introduce the cast.

Keith, my oldest brother. We find each other to be absolutely hysterical. We were both nearly hyperventilating over a recent episode of South Park, to the point that we couldn't actually SAY any actual quotes from the show, but we both KNEW what the other was trying to say and would lose it further.

AMY, STILL GOING ON AND ON ABOUT HER DAMN UGGS: Yes, it's all very Paris Hilton.

KEITH: HEE. HEE. Stupid, hee, Spoiled.

AMY: Stupid Spoiled Whore!

KEITH: Playset!

AMY: Hee. HEE HEE HEE. Mister Slave Hee.

KEITH: A whore-off! HAAAAA. HA.

AMY & KEITH: *die of laughter*

REST OF FAMILY: *frightened and confused*

William, Keith's son, my nephew (I know!). Eleven years old and smarter than you. Maintains that Jim Carrey is NOT the right actor to play Count Olaf, just no, and that his mother is making him see Polar Express and just blech, you know? Do they sell blindfolds at the concession stands?

AMY, AT DINNER TABLE: I think I have the giggles.

WILLIAM, AT OTHER END OF DINNER TABLE: No way. We totally didn't notice.

AMY, COLLAPSING INTO FURTHER GIGGLES: Hee hee hee. William needs a blog!

Jennie, my sister. We both enjoy expensive things and she knew the instant she I handed her a Sephora gift bag that I'd gotten her the stupidly-hard-to-find Chanel lip gloss that I'd praised to the skies last Christmas but didn't know the name of, so she'd spent all year going to stores trying to find a Lip Gloss With No Name.

JENNIE: You do not even know how excited this makes me. Also, I know how much these cost and YAY.

AMY: Ha! I know. And I have like, three of them in my purse. Brat.

JASON: Wait, how much do they cost?

AMY: Um. $12?

JENNIE: Heh. You dirty liar.

Jennie, Allie & Amy. If you are a Corbett, please insert your own "blond sandwich/windtunnel joke here because wow, those NEVER EVER GET OLD.

Jennie buys the best gifts ever, and was thrilled to learn that I still get dozens and dozens of Google search hits for "Care Bears Days-of-the-Week Thongs," which is what she got me last year.

Jennie found Ceiba a little "naughty" tee, which everybody said was an unfair label until she pooped on the stairs.

(Confidential to Amy's Mom: Yes, Ceiba really did love that dollop of whipped cream you gave her, but by any chance do you know how many more times I need to wash my left foot that stepped in doggie diarrhea at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday night before I can feel clean again? Should I use lye?)

Then there's Cary, Jennie's husband. Dedicated reader, so everybody say hi. Totally wants me to upload their wedding video to the site so y'all can see me as an eight-year-old junior bridesmaid with really bad hair.

AMY, MINUTES AFTER ARRIVING: No, I swear to God, Ceiba is NOT a chihuahua, so stop calling her that.

CARY: *creeps up, hands Amy glass of wine, departs*

I gave Cary William Shatner's new album and a songbook of Christmas carols for dysfunctional families, many of which Jennie and I tried to sing during dessert but no one paid us any attention. We tried singing louder but then everybody just walked off to play with the TiVo.

Allie, the child of Jennie and Cary, who is now sixteen, despite my repeated orders for her to stop with the growing already. Properly mortified by all other Corbetts, especially the ones who are all, "Have some wine! Stay out late! Ride in cars with boys!" Her mother and her aunt may be among the people who tell her this garbage.

I got Allie a baby blue Ugg backpack for Christmas. How totally cool am I? Cool, I know. Also radical.


Allie and I cleaned up the entire kitchen together, because it's her job at home and she's THAT GOOD OF A KID. I helped because my mom said I never cleaned up after dinner, even though it had been my job my ENTIRE LIFE and I ALWAYS DID IT, and now I was being SMEARED by my own mother at CHRISTMAS. So I got all huffy and went to load the dishwasher, because I'll SHOW THEM what a lazy teenager I am and one day I'll go blind from dishwasher detergent and THEN they'll all be sorry.

Speaking of my mom, she nearly wept with joy over her brand-new TiVo, and also her DSL. Both of which Jason had to set up for her, which meant we NEVER, EVER saw him the entire day.


MOM: Oh, I heard him calling the Verizon people because there was some sort of problem.

AMY: Did anyone take him up a glass of wine?

REST OF FAMILY: *horrified gasps*

AMY: I'm coming, baby! I'm so sorry! Red or white?

My mom cooked a huge meal for us, and was frantically throwing random hams into the oven at the last minute because THERE MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH FOOD. She does this every year, and I used to laugh at her. But then I cooked several Thanksgiving and one Christmas dinners on my own and have learned that she can't help it, the oven gives off Crazy Rays to your brain that suddenly makes an 18-pound turkey not look nearly big enough to feed four whole people, so OH MY GOD I better defrost a pot roast and make another kind of salad.

MOM: I used your recipe for the potato casserole, but I didn't put the bread crumbs on top. I'm sorry.

AMY: Don't worry! I'm sure it will be just fine without the bread crumbs.

MOM: I also made coffee before you got here, but everybody drank it. I'm sorry.

AMY: It's okay! We'll kick their asses after dessert.

MOM: I can't find my wine glass markers! I've looked everywhere! I'm sorry.

AMY: Really, it's all right. I taped a big Christmas bow to Jennie's glass so she'll stop losing it. She's dumb sometimes.

MOM:  I made a tomato and mozzarella salad, but I don't have any fresh basil. I'm so sorry.

AMY: Well, now you've just totally RUINED Christmas, you know.

And my dad, who is still holding his role as Post-Christmas-Gift-Wrap-Disposal-Patrol-Dictator after all these years. Also loves his TiVo and had a CIVIL WAR Wishlist created in mere minutes. Thinks is the biggest possible waste of my time and talent, because y'all are just four or five dimwits who comment under different names.

AMY: Hey Dad, a literary agent emailed me. I'm going to write a book!

DAD: That's amazing! Wonderful! How did she get your email address?

AMY: Well, through the site.

DAD: *immediately suspicious that Amy has mistaken Viagra spam for a book deal*

God, I love them all so much. 



I love them, too. What a great time!

Er, no, I'm not particularly witty. I'd give you a book deal if I had one.


Aww, I love family. Yours sounds particularly fun. I'm going back East on Wednesday to hang with mine...let's hope for plenty of wine and presents!


"Guaranteed to increase the size of your book sale in 3 weeks or your money back! All natural herbal supplement to RAISE your readership, SELL OUT your first edition copies, and increase your pile of money by at least 6 inches!!!"

Your celebration sounds like it was a lot of fun...I usually end up being the tech-support guy in the corner/other room - definitely make it your first priority to bring us booze and food - otherwise we'll starve and end up all grumpy at the end of the night.


Aww. I can't WAIT until my siblings are all old enough to DRINK!!

type a

keith? that was the single best episode of south park ever. we were on the floor. but the finale? up on the stage? at the whore-off? just ew.

william? how come you aren't feeling jim carrey as the count? i haven't seen it yet, but he looks about right. please enlighten your elders.

jason? where's my tivo? and can you stay to hook it up too?

* hi cary *

ceiba? you're the best - but you'd be better if you were a chihuahua

merry christmas girl - your card is actually in the mail. yep! and your scarf is right behind it . . .


I am making Christmas Day dinner for all of six people. I will probably make enough food for 15. It is a sickness.

suzanna danna

so glad you had a great christmas with your family! they sould like a divine clan, you are a lucky woman and they are a lucky clan to have you.

are they chanel lip glosses, the four in the small black package?... if so, i have... and i loave...

happy monday!


Sounds much finer than my weekend. And congrats on your Diarist win, you literary diva, you! :)


so amalah's pop thinks we are all dimwits huh?

hmm. instead of snarky comment about the generation gap i am all of a suddent having this sinking feeling that perhaps he is right. sigh. must go read Tolstoy or something similar to boost my self confidence and intelligence quota.

amalah, award winner! future nobel prize/macarthur genius grant/new york times #1 bestseller! congratulations.


geez, if I had a little extra time on my hand, I would totally send you a 100 comments under different fake names.... but your dad will just to content himself with the one....
That sounds like a family I want to be a part of!


Happy Birthday!


You must have a holiday week birthday too! How badly do you get jipped (sp?) out of gifts? My birthday is Dec. 24th, and my anniversary is the 26th (okay, that one was my own fault). So needless to say I have lots of combo gifts. But then again, that usually means that they are bigger and more expensive!


Sounds like a great group! And that's probably how it'll be on Christmas day with my family and my hubby's family and extended family. Wine is a must, and I also hear horrified gasps if someone doesn't have a glass in their hand...


Very funny. I love your blog....:)


They ALL need blogs!


How did you manage to have a "Drama-Free" Holiday with family? Oh, I am so jealous. (And dimwitted.)

Scarlett Cyn

Hi Cary!*waves*

Um, Amy? Any possible way I can get myself adopted by either You & Jason or, alternatively, your Mom & Dad? Cause your family sounds like so much fun.

Merry Christmas Buddy!


Sheesh, all your dad has to do is figure out all of OUR blogs have to be written on different ISP's and then...

Mr. Amalahsdad, sir? We're different people, we swear.

Also, congrats on your award, Amy! :)


I have been following your site for a little wihle now, and must say, you are amazing. It`s always fun to read what you wright. Keep up the good work.


I've also been following your site for a while now, and I would be happy to read any book you've written. But, as Frema *is* actually a fake name, this comment is not to be trusted.


SQUEEE! I love your family, too!


Happy Birthday! Queso is on me - pick a day :o)


A book? By Amy? For real?

Have you started it yet?


My husband does techy stuff for my family too. I'm convinced they love him more than me and are only nice to me so that I'll continue bringing him to family events.


A book deal? For real? Sweetness. *drools* Congrats. Awesome holiday event, great entry.

Busy Mom

Your family should have a group blog!

I'd read your book in a minute!


the amalah family is too cute. want to eat them all up. with fresh basil of course!


Well...this is my first reading of your blog, ever, so I guess that means you've now readers! WooHoo!

Your family sounds like my family, as far as the laughing-'til-you-need-medical-attention part. Sadly, they know lawyers, too.

When we get together, we all tell stories about each other as teenagers, that my parents never really heard before. ("That time, when I had to carry you on my shoulders, because you'd had too much to drink, and I left you sleeping in the side yard by the air conditioner...")....which gets my parents laughing and saying "You're making that up, right? You didn't really do that, did you?"

Love that. Kind of like Storytelling-Mutual-Assured-Distruction. Do you guys do that?

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