Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Recap 2016

Well, for the first time in … forever, I’ve had a four-day holiday weekend where I got paid for the Friday and Monday without having to take personal time. The company that’s employed me for the past seven months was officially closed those four days. What a nice, pleasant surprise (though I knew of it far in advance). Working for these people won’t make you a millionaire, but the benefits are sweet and they give lots of paid time off.

So that was cool. The little ones had school on Friday, so after dropping them off I worked a bit on my online training for the night-time tax-preparing job, taking and passing one of my required tests. In the afternoon I ran a bunch of last minute errands (mostly buying booze for family and friends). Borrowed an audio book “biography of Plato’s Republic,” and listened to it all afternoon, which made the errands enjoyable and beat talk radio hands down.

Saturday we drove over to my brother’s house to spend Christmas Eve with the extended family. Always a great time. Chugged some good beer, ate some excellent filet mignon and lobster (a once-a-year tradition), opened some presents. Had to leave after dessert as both my girls were scheduled as altar servers for the 10 pm Christmas Vigil mass at our church. Did that, congratulated the priest on an interesting sermon, took some photos against the crèche. Got home around 11:30, put the girls to bed, and then the wife and I finished wrapping gifts and placing everything under the tree in the living room.

No rest for the weary at Christmas, though. The girls woke us at 6:20 am, and somehow I manifested an extraordinary effort of will to haul my bleary carcass vertical. We opened gifts downstairs for the next hour. I did some more tax learnin’ while the wife made her renowned breakfast braids for brunch. The four of us watched Home Alone, then we all drove two towns over to our friends’ house for more gift giving and, well, drinking. For those keeping score at home, I had some German beer, a chocolate-tini, and a Bailey’s Irish cream with vodka variant.

Monday was relaxing. The wife had to get up and go do that insane “buy-discounted-leftover-wrapping-paper-with-a-hoarde-of-other-crazed-women” things. This enabled me to sleep an extra three hours – until eleven am! She returned and took my oldest and her friends to see Passengers in the theaters while I stayed home and watched Coraline with Patch, who was fighting the sniffles. Later I tidied up the house, did the dishes, did some laundry. Walked a mile-and-a-half in the mild winter weather with Little One when they got back. Played some games with the girls (Scrabble and Jenga). After dinner I did two more hours of virtual learnin’, then read a two short science fiction stories, and went to bed, sad that the 96+ hour Christmas extravaganza had come to an end. For me. The girls are all off until the new year.

So how was my haul this Christmas?

Well, the older I get (true story – just typed “odder” and didn’t catch it right away), the more I enjoy the holiday for the little ones. Honest, I’m not in it for the getting, just the giving (though I seem to be impossible to shop for, and I never seem to know what to get anyone else). In no particular order, this year Santa brought me:

A humorous math t-shirt (humorous for 1.76% of the population, that is)

Two B&N gift cards

A pair of much, much needed slippers

A massive 20-ounce New York Mets drinking glass

Tickets to see Puccini’s La Boheme with the wife, from the wife

Tickets to see Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet with the family, from the wife

Have no idea what I’ll use the B&N gift cards for. Probably can get ten used books, or three-to-five new ones, if I had a subject that currently excited me. Or I can pick up La Boheme and a couple of other CDs. Dunno. That’s a subject for another post.

On deck – the Hopper’s 2016 Best Ofs!

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