Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

The past couple of days were spent at Julia's house with her family, so I didn't get a chance to do any updating. The couple of days before that (the weekend) was spent watching a heck of a lot of the second season of Big Love (via Netflix . . . still loving it), The Fellowship of the Rings, the first-half of The Two Towers, and generally just relaxing. Sure, there were some preparations for the holiday that we took care of and we met Shana, Jen, Hays, and Lilly for breakfast on Sunday, but mostly, it was just downtime.

Christmas was a lot of fun. Although it was my first Christmas ever apart from my family, it still felt pretty Christmasy. The differences between how Julia's family spends the holiday and how mine does is pretty different, but it was all good. The main difference is that her family makes the event last for two solid days, whereas mine is much more "in-and-out, nobody gets hurt"; meaning that we only spend a few hours together each day. I think we've always done that because we don't want the younger kids to get too tired/crabby/wild/hurt/etc. so people start leaving when the kids start getting out of hand. Seven nephews will do that for you.

Early on Christmas Eve, Julia and I traded some gifts, then we went to her parents' place where everyone in the extended family put a gift in the middle of the room and we each took turns choosing a present or taking a present from someone else. It was a lot less annoying than you'd think, but there was a five-minute time-limit, so everyone decided and acted pretty quickly. Julia and I ended up with Starbucks gift cards, which were pretty hotly sought-after, so we were lucky. In total, there were about twenty people in attendance, most of whom I've only met a couple of times in the past. It was nice to see them again.

Christmas Day we were back over at her parents' place for breakfast, stocking opening (that's a funny thing to say), and gift-opening from immediate family. This day there were only seven of us, so we talked and snacked and slowly opened presents (one at a time) over a couple of hours. Last night we drove to the Bellevue botanical gardens to see the light show, which was pretty damn cool. You can see some pictures of it here.

Due to long-distance shenanigans, I ended up with three duplicated gifts, but all of them should be easy to return and find new things to put the money towards. I'm pretty excited to watch the first season of Heroes that I got on DVD and I've already started reading some of the new Steve Martin (auto)biography Born Standing Up.

I was very happy that I was able to find some good gifts for Julia. She was pretty happy with the boots I gave her. One thing didn't arrive in time for Christmas, but I bet it'll arrive today.

So, how was your holiday?


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