My Christmas 2001
This Christmas was a bit unusual in that it actually happened three times. Let me explain:
Some time during the summer, Carrie's family decided that they should all go out to Ohio (where they're from) to have Christmas with the family still out there. I decided not to go, because all my family is still here in Washington (all six of us). Carrie bought her tickets and everything, and then the rest of her family backed out. So she was the only one to go to Ohio. Not only that, but her grandma who lives out there actually decided to come here to Washington for Christmas. So Carrie ended up flying out there all by herself and didn't even get to spend Christmas with the whole crew out there.
But anyway. Because of our having Christmas in two separate places, Carrie and I wanted to have some Christmas together. We also have two families wich which we each wanted to have Christmas. So here's how this worked:
- On the friday before Christmas, Carrie and I went over to her parents' house and had Christmas there.
- Carrie flew to Ohio and had Christmas with her family there; I had Christmas with my family here.
- The Friday after Christmas, Carrie was back, and she and I went over to my parents' house and had another Christmas there.
Wacky! Since I had three Christmasses, I'll break this into three sections:
Christmas #1: Carrie's Parents'
As is tradition, Carrie's parents spoiled us rotten on Christmas. They have a very interesting tradition with their stockings. First of all, they wrap everything in the stockings. This takes forever to open things. Second of all, the gifts for the stockings usually take up a few cubic feet, so they aren't actually all in the stockings, more like clustered around them (Carrie even has two stockings there, and they were both full and overflowing).
All in all, it took a couple hours to open all the gifts there. I can't even remember all the things I got. I got Titus on DVD. I got a new chair for my computer desk here. Carrie's Grandma got us a big nice workstation for our kitchen. We got so many candles that they're mosly in a bag in the closet here.
But this Christmas was where Carrie and I also exchanged gifts with each other. I gave her a couple fancy shirts, a pair of gloves, the DVD of Drop Dead Gorgeous, a cool bamboo-filled bottle thing:
She'd given me a whole bunch of cool little things, like Alf trading cards, a neat set of magnets, some nice clothes, a cool retro-30s poster from Shanghai (which I haven't put up yet). Stuff like that.
But we had both saved out our "big" presents until the end. I got her Carrie really fancy tray (she collects trays) to go in our bar area. It has old liquor and food advertisements on it.
Then Carrie had me open my final present. Surprise!
She had gotten me a GameCube with Super Smash Bros. Melee! This was a very big surprise, as I didn't think I would be able to get one until I had saved up enough money myself. Shortly after this, we went home and I played a whole bunch on the GameCube.
That Saturday, Carrie flew out to Ohio, leaving me with my family for Christmas...
Christmas #2: My Family
My family has a very precise ritual for Christmas. On Christmas Eve we all go out for breakfast at a restaurant somewhere in the morning, then in the evening usually drive around and look at Christmas decorations. Then on Christmas we do things in the following order:
- Open Stockings
- Shower/Shave/Get ready for the day
- Have breakfast
(Breakfast always consists of Orange Rolls, Scrambled Eggs, and Sausage)
- Open Presents
- Play with presents until the afternoon
- Go over to Grandma's
- Open stockings there
- Open presents there
- Play with presents until dinner
- Have dinner
(we used to do this at Grandma's. Now she just lives a couple houses up the street, so we do that at my parents' house)
- Play with toys
- Go to bed
Of course, things have changed some since I've moved away from home. Now I have to drive over there in the morning, and I'm already showered, etc. Also, this Christmas I gave the best present of all: My dirty laundry for my parents' washer and dryer! This made their cat Ace very happy, as he hijacked my laundry basket.
Anyway. First off is always stockings, of course. My family's are much tamer than Carrie's family's. This year, my mom bought us all video camera tapes thinking they were audio cassettes (they're about the same size).
Then whily my sister took her hour-and-a-half to get ready, my brother and I played on the GameCube for a long while. Had breakfast. Then opened presents.
This year was a little different. Usually the three kids would be given a certain number of "slots" to fill on their Christmas lists with what they wanted, which would be gotten by the parents. Nowadays, since I'm not living at home or at college, everybody had to give everybody else presents on their own. I got my dad some new slippers, my mom a book of poetry by a famous Suffist, my brother a couple of books (including the compiled David Boring by Daniel Clowse) and a mirror with Mr. Bill's face painted on it. For my sister, I did something unusual.
About a month or so before Christmas, she had been in a crazier than usual mood, so my brother turned on a tape recorder and the two of them filled both sides of a tape with an improvised "album." My sister called the "band" Chubby Mummy. Later my brother edited it all down to about 40 minutes of solid material, and we recorded it onto my computer here and I burned a CD for my sister for Christmas. Chubby Mummy is not quite like anything you've ever heard before. It is probably closest to Tenacious D, except without any instruments, and no talent. But that same craziness. You can listen to one of the songs, the title track from the album Chubby Mummy's Comin' at Ya! by clicking the link below:
I got several things, including an assortment of cheeses. The best thing I got was the collected Pixar DVDs: Toy Story 1 & 2, and A Bug's Life.
After that, instead of sticking around and playing with the toys, I went back to Carrie's parents' house, because when Carrie and I were packing up all our presents the previous Friday there, we had accidentally packed up some stuff of theirs as well. So I went over and gave it back.
Then it was off to Grandma's, just up the street from my parents'. She didn't have a real tree, or even a real fake tree, just a tree that mounted to the wall above the fireplace.
Anyway. Then it was time to open stockings there.
And then it was present time. I gave my grandma a pair of blown-glass hummingbirds. She in turn got me the digital camera with which I've been taking all these pictures for this article. After presents, we all hung out there for a while. My mom and sister banged away on the piano for a while. There was much good food.
Eventually we all went back to my parents' house for dinner. My dad indulged in his favorite passtime:
That's right: computer solitaire. Anyway. We played with our stuff some more, and eventually I went home and to bed. Two days later, on Thursday, Carrie came home. The next evening, we went back to my parents' so she could give her gifts to my family, thus ringing in:
Christmas #3: My Family With Carrie
This one was nice and short. Carrie gave everyone presents, everyone gave her presents. Kind of makes the whole story a little anticlimactic, huh? Oh, well. To make up for it, we all watched the worst Christmas special ever made: Christmas at Walt Disney World. The first time I tried to watch this special, I actually had to get up and leave and go home. That's how embarrassing it was. I really don't like to watch people embarass themselves.
Now that I have a digital camera, I can actually take photos of things and put them up on websites! Exciting!