Our family spent the holiday commemorating the Birth of Jesus in Las Vegas. Because really, nothing says the Magic of Christmas like eating turkey over a roulette wheel.

Traditionally, I go home to St. Louis, where my family still lives, and my partner stays in the LA area where his family resides, since (as I like to say to perfect strangers) he and his mother are joined at the artificial hip.

But after 22 years of enduring the pain of winter holiday travel, and with the goal of joining the two families as one for this holiest of commercial holidays, I asked my parents if they would mind meeting us in Sin City. Perhaps unsurprisingly, since December in St. Louis means weather that even the Abominable Snowman would likely call indecorous, they agreed. Almost before I had even finished the question. In fact, I believe their exact words were, “Are you freaking kidding me?”

Now, my partner and I have been together for eight and a half years, and although our families have certainly met and socialized before, this was the first time that both sets of parents were to be together with us for an extended period. Which, for someone as concerned about equanimity as I, was a cause for some concern. Sleepless, panic-inducing concern. Concern that would likely require medication.

Does Vicodin come in eggnog flavor?