I've been sitting here for five minutes trying to think of a way to begin my post-Christmas blog without a sentence that begins with, "Aaaaaaargh." I've dragged myself into work on the Tuesday following Christmas after a vacation day and a sick day, and yet I still feel like I could sleep for a full week. Mom's sick, Benjamin has a stomach bug, and I stayed home with a headache yesterday.
But Christmas was great.
Both Janet's side of the family and mine kept things very low key. Janet's family chose not exchange presents because of the pain of having lost her mom just as few weeks ago. I tried to talk my family into not buying presents this year except for the children because we were all so broke. We discussed it, and we ended up having a grab as a compromise. Mom still spent more than she needed to, and probably more than she had to spend. That bugs me because my suggestion was largely aimed at trying to spare her from doing just that.
But what we each got was great. My favorite gift this year was an "antique" of sorts: a vintage Magic Shot Shooting Gallery, in an original box, from 1975. I loved this game when I was a kid. It was whizzer, and neato, and I was wicked good at it too. I could nail the clock, the bell, or put it a BB through the hoop consistently.
My nephew, The Nooch, got an exciting gift as well - a framed personalized autograph from Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. My sister and her husband spotted him in a coffee shop one morning and, after some hemming and hawing, she managed to work up the courage to walk over and ask for his autograph. Good work, Sue!
But the real news, of course is little Benjamin. He had his very first Christmas. As expected, he made off with lots and lots of loot ("phat lewts", for you Warcraft players out there). He sat on Santa's lap on Christmas Eve at the annual family get together, and of course, Christmas morning was complete sensory overload for the little guy. True to form, he was nonplussed, not crying, not laughing, but just taking it all in with that little look that says, "My, but what an interesting culture you have on this planet." We all tried to keep him entertained, but he just yawned, and kept observing us and taking notes in that little book of his. (One of these days I have to sneak a peak in that thing to see what he's writing about us.)
It was a good Christmas, one filled with pictures and toys, and memories - some good, some not so good - but a good Christmas overall.