Post-Christmas Recap

December 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, Christmas has passed us by now, and I guess it was fairly nice. Spent Christmas eve a little bit north of here with some of the extended family, and then spent Christmas day here in town with the more immediate family.

Unfortunately I didn’t get as much time off for the holiday as I would have liked because so many pre-booked their time off like six months in advance, so I only got the 25th off, but I guess it could have been worse, as I know there are people out there who had a actually work on the holiday itself (which, BTW, I think is a load of shit, and I boycott any and all businesses on the 25th).

As usual gift shopping was a chore this year, though I think in the end I did fairly well. Mom probably got the most “generic” of the gifts (candles, teas, etc) because she seriously does not seem to have any real hobbies or interests at all… so always tough to shop for. The primary gifts I got for dad were a huge coffee-table book of lighthouse photos, and a DVD collection of 150 episodes of old TV westerns, both of which he seemed to love. My 13 year old nephew I gave a copy of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is all five novels of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series bound into one book (I first started reading these books when I was about his age and have loved them ever since), and also a copy of a board game called Hive. This kid spends 90% of his free time staring at a television set playing video games, so every year I try to encourage him to do something interesting that might pull him away for a few minutes. Rarely works, but I’m going to continue to try. For my 4(?)year old niece I gave a stuffed dog and a cartridge for her new V-Smile, which is a video game system for young kids that lots of parents buy, but from what I can tell kids usually get bored with after about 15 minutes.

LabGirl and I did our thing Friday night, and exchanged gifts after spending some romantic time in front of the fireplace. To her I gave a small collection of gifts (just didn’t have as much to spend this year as I have had in years past), including a sweater, a corset, a pink Bears jersey, a silver necklace with a heart pendant (which she seems to really like), and because over the last several months she had mentioned repeatedly a desire to learn, a shiny new pearlescent green fiddle, complete with an instructional book and DVD.
She seemed to really like the necklace, and seemed to be practically in awe of the fiddle, so I think I did OK with the girlfriend gift giving thing.

As far as my own gift stash, from the family I received a couple of DVDs (Legend, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s), a few food goodies, and a few gifts that were “inspired by” things that I actually suggested, such as Yet Another Generic Game Set, one of those little cases with like a dozen cheesy little games in it like checkers and chess and backgammon and several other games that I don’t play that much and probably already have at least two copies of each collecting dust in the closet (instead of what I actually suggested, which were actually interesting games such as Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, or Killer Bunnies), and a couple of cheesy cookbooks like a collection of low-carb recipes, a book of grilling recipes (Uhhh… maybe in another 4 months I can use it), and for some reason I can’t fathom a book on walking fitness that appears to be geared towards women (all apparently inspired by my wish list inclusion of the book I actually wanted, The Idiot’s Guide to Cooking…For Guys). I mean, I need to say here I do appreciate the thought of my family wanting to give me gifts and I know that they’re not exactly wealthy and that the focus should be on the kids – but c’mon, if you’re going to go with an “alternate” I would have seriously just preferred to get a gift card or something rather than more stuff that’s just going to collect dust in my closet.

LabGirl gave me a few rather nice gifts, in fact I actually almost kind of feel bad because I think she may have spent significantly more than I did (of course, I suppose I should simply justify that based on the fact that she makes like nearly twice as much as I do right now…). From her I got a pretty awesome thick & soft winter robe, a couple of nice shirts, the Traders and Builders expansion for my Carcassonne game (one of the few “non-traditional” games I have that I’ve actually managed to talk her into trying – she really digs it, BTW), and, oddly enough, a tent, just like this one:

The package says it’s a “backpacking” tent, which makes me uneasy because backpacking tents are usually tiny, but it also says it has an 8’x9′ floor and a little over 4′ height, which doesn’t sound bad at all for two people – I’m actually thinking I may need to set it up in my living room soon just to check it out 😉

Anyway, was a decent holiday, even though I had to work through most of it and it was fairly hectic and my niece kept throwing tantrums all day on Christmas and both LabGirl’s and my families kept asking why we didn’t bring the other along (sorry, after only 7 months I’m not ready to deal with the “let’s negotiate visiting times between the two families” crap yet).
I didn’t get much in the way of games, but thanks to an Amazon after-Christmas toy sale I was just able to order Settlers for $19 (that’s more than half off! Woo!) and I’m hoping that I might get another 40% off email coupon from Borders before they sell out of the Battlestar Galactica game, which after hearing a couple of reviews of I think sounds really cool now even though games based on TV shows or movies usually suck total ass (even though it sounds a little bit like Shadows over Camelot, a game I’d prefer to have but that would probably cost me a lot more).

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