Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Little Family Christmas

Although I've now cooked four Thanksgiving meals on my own, until this past year I'd never had Christmas in my own house. Obviously, for years I was coming home from school to my mom's house and doing Christmas there. Complete with arguments over whether we had room for the tree, and desperate pleading (which eventually succeeded) for all my old favourite Christmas cookies to be made. Then, I moved here and was engaged and then married to the Husband. Since his family is so close, we've generally spent Christmas - and as much of the time leading up to it as possible - at the in-laws' home. This year, though, with both grandsons getting more rambunctious - and with two families hosting out-of-town sisters - it was easier to have us all stay at our own places until we showed up at the in-laws' house for Christmas dinner. This meant, for the first time, the presents under my tree didn't have to be packed up in the car to be opened elsewhere: I got to enjoy my own Christmas tree on Christmas Day!

(I confess, this may seem like a small thing, but it's a big deal to me.)

So, first: Mom, I apologise that there aren't any pictures of me. This is what happens when you're the person wielding the camera. And now: a small glimpse of our Christmas...

E quite enjoyed pulling things out of his stocking: a new set of his own cutlery (I promise, he wanted it!), some Haribo gummies, yoghurt-covered fruits, and a sippy cup with polar bears floating inside, courtesy of his Nana. When it came to the presents, he was equally pleased with the toys and books he received, though once he had opened something he could play with, he wasn't too fussed about opening the next gift...

The Husband made out like a bandit when it came to stock stuffers. We inaugurated a tradition of going out and spending £5 - $10 per person on little stocking filler presents. Boots and Poundland were our go-to shops for this. You'd be surprised: the Husband ended up with some travel-sized shower gel for work, a bike puncture repair kit, a bike cover, a chamois leather, a giant Toblerone, some crisps, Maltesers, and assorted other odds and ends. It was all pretty impressive. I think, though, that his favourite presents so far have been a gorgeous black polo shirt from my mom and The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins from my sister.

Why can't I hold all these limes presents!?
Victoria was best-pleased with the pair of socks our mom knitted her (may I now have a new pair, Mommy? Mine have holes...I'm making my sad pleading face, if that helps to sway you!), and her Kindle. Truth be told, we're all a bit enamored of that Kindle and it won't even be staying in our house for much longer! In case you haven't noticed, we are moderate tech nerds in this house.

And Yours Truly? Well, my running shoes are pretty dandy, and I've been tucking into my Christopher Hitchens book whenever I get the chance. He's just so witty and erudite! But even with all those lovely prezzies, I was mostly just happy to put on my Christmas playlist in iTunes, open stockings, eat a lovely breakfast at our dining table (that the Husband cooked!), and then sit on the couch and pull gifts out from under the tree. It was nice and cozy with just the four of us. And in any event, having Christmas with a kid who can (mostly) unwrap his own presents just makes it all that much better.

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