Christmas 2008

Before we get started, please run your mouse over the below video and hit the pause button. I’ve embedded this from Flickr and though I love Flickr, their slideshows are formatted to automatically play and I don’t know about you, but that personally drives me crazy. πŸ™‚

Link to Flickr slideshow. (The embed code is acting squirrelly, so I’ll just link to it – problem solved).

Sorry about that.

So, here we are, the day after Christmas and all through my house, I have four teenage boys and one missing husband. My sister’s boys are spending a few days with us before they go over to their dad’s house and the husband had to work.

*sad face*

The day has been pretty quiet. The boys are busy playing with new games, I’m busy cleaning off camera cards and straightening up the house.

We had a really relaxing Christmas. I was the first one up though I suspect MK was up but just hadn’t come out of his room. GD actually crawled out of bed at 7:00 a.m., voluntarily, which is a miracle in itself. *grin*

We dived into presents about 7:30. The boys started, as you can see in the slideshow. They didn’t get as many presents this year as in year’s past, but I don’t think they cared overly much because what they received is what they wanted.

The pictures where they are peering into a box and pulling stuff out of the box is their Dreamcast system. The husband thought it would be fun for them to play around with a different system and found a used one on EBay, along with a ton of games for it. They haven’t hooked it up yet, but when the newness wears off their other toys, I’m confident they will have fun experimenting with it.

After the boys finished their Christmas, the husband and I got started on ours. We bought each other three gifts this year. And though we had given each other a wish list and we’re pretty good at sticking to our wish lists (thereby never really being surprised, which is sort of boring), we did manage to throw in a present that we weren’t expecting.

We number our gifts. We have to. Because by the time Christmas rolls around we have forgotten what we bought each other and we spend precious time Christmas morning trying to figure out which one we want the other one to open first.

So, the husband’s number one gift? Was the one he wasn’t expecting. I bought him Ace Combat (for the XBox) and Brain Age 2. The husband really enjoys flight games and he’s a puzzle guy so I thought that would be something fun for him to occupy his “down” time. (He always has to be busy doing something).

Gift #2 are the speakers. He enjoys creating, and playing, music. And these speakers are apparently specially made for this sort of thing. When he first found the speakers on Musician’s Friend, he actually salivated, he was so excited to buy them. I talked him into allowing Santa to bring him the speakers. So even though I didn’t come right out and say, “Honey, I bought those speakers for you”, he knew he would get them at some point.

Gift #3 was something on his wish list but not something he really expected to receive. My husband has always had a thing for photography. In fact, that was one of the main things we had in common when we first started dating. We would take off on the weekends and experiment taking photos of nature and each other.

And we’ve always had an interest in taking portraits. Last year, my husband went over to play photographer for his sister’s family and when he came home, he told me about their professional light set up. Ever since then, we’ve wanted photography lights. So, that’s what he got for Christmas – a set of professional photography lights complete with shades and umbrellas. I’m looking forward to playing around with that.

The three gifts the husband gave me were:

Gift #1: A jacket vest and pretty pink slippers from Land’s End. I sort of have a slipper fetish and it’s becoming a tradition that I receive one new pair of slippers each Christmas. (Since I work from home and am always home, I go through slippers pretty fast). I can’t wait to break them in.

Gift #2: A Canon A590 PowerShot camera. Again, we’re back to the photography interest. I have used a PowerShot A40 for a number of years. And it’s a great camera. But I wanted a camera that had a video function – something that I could record videos on and then easily transfer to my computer and upload. This Canon A590 has that function. I haven’t had a chance to play around with the video yet, but brace yourself – it’s only a matter of time. πŸ˜€ The camera is also small enough that I will be able to easily carry it in my purse. Of course, this means I’ll have to buy a snazzy case to go with it.

Darn. πŸ˜‰

Gift #3: Was a “I can’t believe he carried it off” surprise.

It was a Kindle e-reader.

Though I had put a Kindle on my wish list, come on, there was no way that was going to happen. One, the price. Two, they’re out of stock right now.

So, when I opened my last gift and saw the Kindle, I was speechless.

Which is really saying something, let me assure you. *grin*

Actually, it’s a refurbished Kindle. Someone had returned it; the Kindle people had fixed it up and then offered it for sale at a reduced cost.

The husband snatched it up. I love refurbished stuff! And I’m LOVING my Kindle! I can’t wait to fill this baby up.

After we finished with our gifts, we cleaned up and my folks and nephews came over. We ate turkey/ham sandwiches, potato salad and chips and dip for lunch (no one wanted to cook and honestly, I’d RATHER have sandwiches) and then we watched the boys open their gifts from grandma and grandpa.

We then exchanged our gag gifts. There are different ways to play the gag gift exchange, but we followed my nephew A’s rules. His version went something like this:

The person who drew the number 1 got to go first. (that was me)

I picked a package from the pile in the middle and kept it, without unwrapping it.

The person who had number 2, could either pick a gift from the stack or take my gift. If he/she took my gift, then I would pick another gift.

And so on, so on. Then, when we were done exchanging (i.e. stealing each other’s gifts), we opened them.

There was one package that was quite obviously a calendar. No one really wanted the calendar, but my mother kept telling MK, he REALLY needed that calendar. He would begin to exchange it but grandma would say, “No MK, trust me. You REALLY want to hang on to that gift.”

Finally, he decided to keep it. And when we opened them up? It was a girly calendar!! HAHAHA!! He’ll never trust grandma again!

MK tore one corner of the gift, saw what it was and threw it down like it had suddenly grown fangs and was about to bite him. His face turned beet red and he shook his head. “Nuh uh, I don’t want that!”

We had quite a laugh at poor MK’s expense, but he was a good sport about it. It’s not that MK doesn’t like girls, he does, girls his age. But half-dressed women? He wasn’t sure what to do with that staring at him in the face.

We all burst out laughing again when GD (to my UTTER ASTONISHMENT) picked it up and said, “Then I’ll take it!” HAHAHAHA!

It was all in good fun and MK actually walked away with a fun gag gift (GD and MK swapped gifts). The other really funny moment was when my husband opened up the gift that M brought to the game – dancing hula girls. You know, the kind you put on your dashboard? That was hilarious and it couldn’t have gone to a better person. *grin*

My nephew, M, was quite proud of his gag gift and indeed, it was one of the best ones. I think we’ll hang on to the hula girls and re-gift it to someone else next year.


After we finished our games, we dived into my mom’s goodies she brought with her. There were all sorts of cookies, candies, fudge and pie (she brought a raspberry cheesecake that was to die for!!) and I ate so much that I felt guilty and worked it all off (mostly). In fact, mom left the fudge with me, so I have a feeling I’ll be working out every night this entire week to stay on top of those calories.

But oh, they are so worth it.

That brings us up to today. It’s a mild 60 degrees today and to my complete surprise, the boys stopped playing games, put on their shoes and are currently walking around the neighborhood. (We have a firehouse a block up from our house with a track, swings and a slide. I’m sure they’re having fun goofing off there).

GD took our video camera *gulp* so there’s no telling what sort of video he’ll bring back. If it’s not too silly, I might post a portion of it.

It’s 1:48 and I can’t believe this day is already half over. I’m feeling pretty sleepy now and I might go take a nap, once the boys get back. I never sleep very well when we have company stay the night … but I’ve talked about that before.

It’s also hard to believe that Christmas 2008 is over. I swear, we just put the tree up yesterday (actually, it was a month ago) and before we can blink three times, Christmas 2009 will be here.

Our family dynamic is changing. The boys are getting older and we’re getting one step closer to new faces (girlfriends) joining our little clan.

I’m ready, I think. I used to sort of freak out at the thought of the boys bringing a girl into our holidays, but … well, that’s bound to happen sooner or later, right? I suppose I need to get over myself and just deal with it.

I hope you had a great Christmas! If you wrote about it on your blog, or if you want to share your Christmas in the comments, please do! I’d love to read all about it.

If you’re still celebrating the holidays, happy holidays!

ADDED: Oops! I forgot to tell you this part … there are several pictures of GD and my nephew, A, opening several gifts. They are actually opening the same gift, it’s just that every time they opened one part, there was a smaller wrapped part inside. They did this about four times before they finally got to the tiniest gift, a folded up $50 dollar bill. This, of course, was another one of my mother’s brilliant ideas because hello?! What do you give an 18-year old and a 16-year old? Exactly. Money. Good one mom, what a great Christmas memory.

Excuse me, I feel a fudge run coming on.