Christmas '05 wrap-up
Well, another Christmas came and went. Technically, it's still here, but the bulk of the action is now over.
We went to my Dad's house early yesterday and stood/sat around snacking on various treats (shrimp, cookies, ham, cake, pie, nachos, crackers, etc.) and shooting the bull. Then we had lunch. It was much like the snacks, except we were expected to sit down and do it with silverware, and the food was different. Then we exchanged gifts. It was a good time, as Andrew shows here:
Then we went home to regroup for the evening's festivities. I let the dog out to run around a bit, and then headed for Mitch (brother)'s house. There, the routine was similar: Sitting/standing around snacking on stuff and talking. The crowd was much the same as the previous get-together, so most people were still full. So, we mostly stood/sat around and talked without eating, until dinnertime.
Mitch is the master of of all kinds of grilling, smoking, and other applications of fire to meat. If you want to eat meat heated by experts, you can go to Ruth's Chris steakhouse, or you can get yourself invited to Mitch's house. So we ate, and it was good. Then there was another gift exchange.
When my brothers and I were kids, this picture was taken of us sitting in the wheel of my dad's tractor:
My sister-in-law, Stacey, took this picture earlier this year:
Each kid in this picture is a child of each kid in the first picture in the corresponding position. Stacey (sister-in-law) gave this pair of pictures to everyone in a bi-fold picture holder. Pretty cool, if you ask me. The pictures above look pretty bad, because I took a picture of the pictures. That's why you can see a ghostly image of me with a camera in both of them.
My other sister-in-law, Anna, is a masseus (sp? "masoos", whatever). She gave her married in-laws a bottle of massage oil.
After the gifts were exchanged, we loaded up and came home. We put the kids to bed and stuffed stockings (Cue the wah-wah guitar music!).
This morning, we went to church. I played in the band since December is my month to do it. I thought it sounded like a trainwreck. The mix was a rolling ball of crap! Nobody in the band was happy with the way it sounded. Afterward, a far larger number than normal of people from the audience came up and said "Wow, that sounded great!". Stupid mix. I don't get to hear what the audience hears, so I never have any idea what's going on.
Afterward, we came home and opened our presents. I got an iPod nano. I haven't opened the box, because it's a 2GB model and I'm going to exchange it for a 4GB, but I can hear it inside the box screaming "quality! quality!". My guess was correct about getting an iPod.
Andrew's big present this year was a new skateboard, a good-quality model with interchangeable parts, a toolkit, and a stick of wax for doing stunts. One of the most fun parts of Christmas is watching Andrew's eyes light up when he gets something he really likes. He also jumps around and yells alot, so it's a little like sitting in a room with David Lee Roth.
Jiana got some dolls and a bunch of boxes of girl paraphanelia. Jiana's funny when she gets a present. She opens it, looks at it for a minute or so, then says "Mine. My <whatever it is>. My own." A few minutes later, she'll come up and say "Daddy, thank you so much for the <whatever it is>", and give some explanation of how she'll use it if she's thought of anything yet.
One of Jiana's attractive Asian friends stopped by to say hello:
Her and Jiana got ready to go out.
They're a pretty cool set of kids.
I got Alissia a diamond necklace, but a picture didn't get taken of it. It's pretty cool though. I also got an LED flashlight on a keychain in my stocking. LEDs are weird, because they are really bright when you look at them even though they hardly illuminate anything.
We spent the rest of the day messing around outside and watching movies. Since the weather was nice, we took the dog for a walk, which was kind of a cool thing to do on Christmas evening.
Overall, a pretty uneventful and pleasant Christmas. No one puked on our couch, and I'm ending the day by watching a Christmas show.
That leaves one week to ramp down off of Christmas, and then it's back to hibernating and waiting for spring!