It's something about the holidays that cranks up the level of emotion in everyone to 11.  Happy people become jolly.  Angry people become miserable.  Teenagers become... well, teenager is as bad a term as I can think of there.

Hot chocolate fun at the Deadfish Grill for the Parade of Lights. Photo by Jamie Garrett

The Garrett family this time of year is a stew pot full of good times, bad times and plenty of pictures to document it for future use in the therapy sessions for all those involved.  This weekend alone I packed in more work, fun and family time than one man should be allowed.

At the radio station Christmas party Friday night my wife made sure, for the second straight year, that we took home a Snuggie in the Dirty Santa gift exchange.  The Santa Snuggie shouldn't look THAT odd laying on our couch come August.  After overdoing it just a TAD at last year's Christmas party, this year I was fairly subdued.  After all, I had a marathon to be at Saturday morning.

Not that I ran in the marathon or anything crazy like that, but as I stood there with a microphone in my hand watching other people run I got very cold.  Spending that long of a period of time around people in much, much better shape than you is somewhat depressing.  It's only depressing until you see them on the return trip, running down that final stretch of pavement.  I've done at least a half dozen half-marathons, and I don't miss it AT ALL.  I can get the same endorphin-happiness with a few beers, thank you.

Two heads are better than one, especially when that "one" is mine. Photo by Tyler Garrett

Saturday afternoon was spent trying to find a parking spot at the UMHB game.  I should win father of the year just for Saturday's effort alone.  I had a spot in the warm, dry pressbox for UMHB's playoff game, but due to my son's constant begging I was forced... I mean... pleased, very pleased... to bring along Tyler and sit outside in the cold.  Getting a press pass for myself is one thing, but an 11-year-old isn't going to get that kind of access so I knew I'd be stuck in the cold.  I haven't had any trouble at all in past games this season finding a parking spot, but arriving at the game 15 minutes before kickoff to find no empty parking spots and a line down the street for the ticket office I threw the truck in reverse and we headed to the house.

Rick Smith of Marine Outlet invited me out to help judge the Parade of Lights at the Deadfish Grill Saturday evening, which basically amounted to sitting around drinking beer, eating food and watching boats with Christmas lights float by.  It's a tough life.  The kids seemed to love it, and it was one of those Christmas moments when everyone seemed to be in the same happy mood.  No moody soon-to-be teenager, whining 5-year-old and no wife mad at me for something I said two weeks ago and had already forgotten about.

Once the parade wrapped up we had BLORA's Nature in Lights planned, but I had a feeling that by the time we got there it was going to be an epic mess of traffic.  We called off BLORA and headed for the HOUSE.  My Sunday was spent on some major cleaning in the garage and on my wife's car to go along with a lesson in bike riding for my youngest.  I felt like Clark W. Griswold, Bill Cosby and Al Bundy all wrapped into one.  Score one for weekend time being well spent.