It’s Christmas, gathered round a real pine tree: the old-maid aunt who fosters dogs, she’s up to 10 pit-bulls last count, her sister the doctor who actually eats a sliced Granny Smith every morning tea, their brother, 6 foot 5 and blind, the Catholic Filipina so cliché who married the old white CEO, my Hungarian mother, my elitist dad, Grandma, 100 with jet black hair, helped into her chair by another aunt with a PhD in international law, three adopted cousins and on the floor, silently building a house of cards with a staircase, a porch and a big front yard, my autistic child and then there’s me. We're playing a swapping gift-giving game each year, numbers picked from a hat, or bowl, we used a potty one time, in numerical order we choose or swap and straight from the script, the doctor whines, “I don’t understand!” The collective groans, the choosing starts, then half way through a fight; the CEO to mediate the eldest aunts’ debate over who should keep the cashmere scarf, saffron yellow with cerulean stars. Just as it morphs into tug of war, the dog with the missing leg trots in kicks the card house down, my child screams, I cuddle him close but bump the knee of the oldest cousin, who’s laughing hard at the arguing aunts, he spills his beer on the heirloom rug, as my mother clambers to catch his schooner, she upends a bowl of summer cherries, we’re pelted with crimson ammunition, even the blind one flinches and swears, the scarf is dropped, Grandma shrieks, my father stamps his upper class foot, proclaims in his voice from political rallies, she should listen to us and train her dogs. In this kafuffle, no one sees, the triumphant thief with pointy teeth snatch the coveted cashmere prize, elope to the crawl space under the house, trailing it like an irregular tail. Baby Jesus, polymer clay amidst the figurines on display, (the whole crew except Balthazar who went amiss with the antique star), listens, tucked in his tissue hay, then suddenly seems turned away, dust speck tear on painted eyes tracing the fake Mondrian’s lines, as though to say, I died for this?