It's the first night of Christmas break. After being miserable all day yesterday despite having hot food, a warm bed, and a woman who loves me, I'm back at my parents' house scavenging the fridge and cupboards for something to fuel a marathon reading of Ender's Game. Earlier this evening, Dad and I had stopped at a Pizza Hut where we shared talk of logic circuits and a deep-dish pizza. On arriving home in Erie, I found that Mom had a smile, a hug, and a cake waiting for me. Even my little sister was less obnoxious than usual and talked to me for a full five minutes before eating half my cake and skittering off to play video games. And now; now I've found all of my favorite comfort foods in the kitchen. No-one else likes the frozen pizzas from Aldi's or Miracle-Whip-and-cheese sandwiches. No-one else drinks regular Coca-cola here. I'm quite sure no-one else has a fetish for instant mashed potatoes and ketchup. And yet, here they are in all their gluttonous glory. All because one of their children has come home for Christmas break and that's reason enough to spend a little more money they don't have to make him happy.

I love my family. I only wish I told them this more often.