It's Gonna Be a Geeky Christmas

It's gonna be a geeky Christmas—and it is every year at my parent's place.

Mom is a huge Doctor Who fan, and in recent years it's become a tradition for the wife and I to take the drive down to the city on Christmas day (the geeky part is coming, promise).

My mother greets us at the door, usually with the smell of whatever she's got cooking in the kitchen wafting out into the hallway (she's got an apartment in NYC). We never quite know what to expect when it comes to the food at mom's. Back when I was a kid, Christmas dinner would be Lasagna (my favorite), or sometimes turkey if she was feeling traditional. Recently, though, mom's branched out into more adventurous territory.

Two years ago she cooked us up a multi-course Indian dinner for Christmas and surprised us with it when we arrived (She was on an Indian food kick that year, and I think the multi-course part came from her attendance at my wife's family's Thanksgiving. Their dinners are the stuff of legend.) That was definitely the strangest Christmas dinner I've ever had. This year we got some forewarning and I'm told we're going to have roast beef for dinner (Mmm, yeah).

Regardless of my mother's latest cooking adventure, there is one thing at Christmas that hasn't changed in years. A while back she got into Doctor Who, and I mean really into Doctor Who. It's become a Christmas tradition for the wife and I to come in, greet mom and my sister, then get ushered to the couch where we spend the next six hours (at least) watching the Doctor Who Christmas Day Marathon on BBC America. Yup, that's right, for years my holiday has been filled with sonic screwdrivers, time-travel, and humorously strange aliens while my mouth waters at the smells coming from mom's cooking. There's one rule, DO NOT CHANGE THE CHANNEL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, but I put that in caps because even though mom misses most of the marathon, she's listening from down the hall. No one gets between her and the Doctor. One year my wife and I had already seen one of the episodes, and we tried to watch something else until a fresh one started—big mistake. Mom came charging out of the kitchen, soup spoon still in hand, and instructed us in no uncertain terms that the TV was to remain on Doctor Who until we left for the night. Yes, mom! Right away, mom! Consider it done!

I'm pretty sure mom watches all of the episodes before Christmas (except, of course, for the Christmas special), but I guess every time she sees one it's like the first time for her. I get that. I used to be the same way with things like Star Wars, and there's a certain comfort in having a predictable, if strange, tradition. It's just one of those things that makes mom, and our Christmases, unique, and very geeky.


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