God Bless Us, Every One

Annie looks thrilled, doesn’t she?
We stayed around here for the holiday. I went over to my parents Christmas Eve. Usually, I’m a bit defensive at these things, this time I had a blast. My brother and sister inlaw were pleasant to to talk to. I sure do pity my nephew, though. He’s a gymnast, and the conversation got ’round to how my brother takes him (my nephew) out to a gymnastics center in my neighborhood (right next to where I catch the train every day), and wouldn’t it be cool if we (my brother and I) went somewhere to “work out” while my nephew as at practice? I inquired how often he went… the answer was every day, from six to ten. That’s a hell of a workout.. oh well, maybe we’ll see a future Olympian there.

It was good to see my cousin Danny; he’s an artist and professor in NYC, married to the lovely Marjan, also an artist (I performed their marriage ceremony six years ago). Danny’s turning into quite the numismatist. He gave us all silver dollar coins from various eras– I got a “Fat Man Dollar” from China, circa 1904.

My sister is always fun to hang out with (and I’ve always enjoyed her partner, Lynne). We performed the “Schwetty Balls” skit together from Saturday Night live’s “Delicious Dish NPR” bit for my somewhat shocked relatives.

We went home; Drey and I did the wrapping/packaging Santa thing. The next morning, we popped in the Yule Log:

… and woke everyone up to come downstairs.

And What did Santa bring us? The kids did alright; Gar got a Robo Raptor, Anne got her Ipod (*Shuffle), which we still can’t seem to get to work. Gar got a cool rocket from my folks that turns tap water into hydrogen rocket fuel. We’re going out to try it today. Anne got lots of girly stuff– makeup, clothes, etc. I also got them lots of small things from Archie McPhee. I got Drey (mostly) jewelry– you can’t go wrong there, plus a few items that she likes every year, books and such (but not clothing– I often fail at clothing). I didn’t get the Japanese fleet from YALU that I was requesting– no surprise there— I’ll pick it up some time in January. I DID get DESCENT (fantasy flight), the mapboard, eastern front and terrain upgrades to MEMOIR 44, and game about ballooning (gee, who knew I might have an interest?). I also got a nifty portable DVD player and the HORNBLOWER SERIES from A&E, which I’m now watching on the train. I had nothing to complain about, gifts aren’t that important to get at this stage of life. I do still enjoy Christmas quite a bit, and this was one of the better Christmases in recent years.

After that, did equal time over at the inlaws, who had another blazing Yule log going:

As soon as I can find a camera cord that works, I’ll post Christmas Tree Pictures.

Gar reports success!

*We thought that Santa would be remiss in giving a THREE HUNDRED DOLLAR piece of gear to an 11 year old that loses stuff constantly, so we requested he bring the Shuffle, not the regular Ipod (color: pink) that was in said child’s letter to Santa.


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