The Christmas Update
The best thing I can say about Christmas is that it's over. I didn't used to feel that way but these days it seems like one unending round of duty and obligation - and, no, I don't mean the shopping. I enjoy the shopping... and the wrapping. It's the being social with people I don't particularly have anything in common with (i.e., John's family) that is absolutely drag out tiring and, really, when it comes down to it, being short on cash sucks.
But there were some good things...
The absolute highlight of my Christmas was singing the Lessons & Carols service with the choir at South Church in New Britain. The choir is quite good and very nice, the music was challenging, the director is awesome, and they made me feel really welcome and valued as a guest.
The next best thing was that my rolls came out wonderfully and I was able to co-opt John's niece who went to culinary school into making the gravy so I didn't have to. Yes, for some reason, making gravy scares the shit out of me. Probably because the first time I made it, it turned out more like chicken-flavored jello than gravy and my family has never let me live it down. And, yes, I do realize it's sad that the second best thing about Christmas was great rolls.
Beyond that, it was pretty typical. Christmas Eve, we hosted dinner here for 15 (John's family; was supposed to be 20 but one family came down with a nasty puke bug - ugh!). It went well. I meant to get a picture of the table but forgot in the rush to get stuff done. I made the cutest little place cards tied to miniature candy canes.
My home choir had the 10 a.m. Mass to sing on Christmas morning so we woke Katie up at 8 to check out her Santa loot. After spending 1.5 hours blowing this damn thing up the night before, she couldn't have cared less. Not only was my ass killing me from using the footpump, I was brokenhearted because I was sure she was going to love it. She did wind up liking some of her wrapped non-Santa presents that we opened after Church - including her favorite which was a box of toy pots and pans and dishes that were mine when I was a kid. Then we spent the afternoon with John's family at his sister's house. An absolute madhouse but Katie got some lovely (and non-annoying!!) stuff. And then I worked Christmas night.
So what did I get? I got a Starbucks card from a WONDERFUL fellow blogger - it was a huge surprise and Very, Very Appreciated. I got the aforementioned resin snowman lamp (by the way, it's no longer on offer - I was able to regift it to a woman who loved it thoroughly!) from my work draw. And from John's family draw, I got a donation to Habitat for Humanity and a $25 Nordstrom gift card. I was thinking shoes but then I realized (a) $25 isn't going to buy much in the way of shoes at Nordstrom and (b) Nordstrom has a MAC counter... Hee hee!
What was cool is that John's teenage niece (not the culinary school grad) absolutely *loved* the scarf I got her. It's pretty hard to impress a late teenager - all that insufferable ennui - but I did and I was very happy about that.
So, that's our Christmas in a nutshell - which seems appropriate coming from this nut. I hope you all had a wonderful day!
We are headed out to my brother's house in PA for this weekend and I will be without my laptop in a house of tremendously early risers so you probably won't be hearing from me for a while so Happy New Year!!