E and I spent a busy Christmas day house hopping. E and I found this very sad the first year after my parents split up, but now it is the norm. At 6:50 am E's alarm went off. I knew it was going to go off soon, because I had been awake for awhile, excited to open presents. E hopped in the shower while I took some photos of our presents and tree. Then it was time to open! On Christmas Eve, right before we left the house, we realized that we had received a huge package! And we didn't know who it was from. The first thing E and I decided to open on Christmas morning was the enormous box, it was a solid cherry patio bar cart! Wow! We looked at each other perplexed, and realized finally (after digging out the shipping tag) that this was from Ben and Jo! And we only got them something small... darn them. They are too nice. E and I were jumping for joy, because we've wanted a bar cart for a long time, and this one is stunning!
Next, I pulled out my presents for E and told him to start to open! He did the same for me. E gave me a beautiful doll I've been wanting for over a year. Her name is Alyssum (a-lis-sum) and she is a ball jointed doll, so she can move like a real child. She is from Korea and is just stunning. Everything about her is customizable from her wig to her eyes to her clothes. I am planning an entire story and world for her, but I do know that she lives in the woods, and in the winter has a full head of white hair! I gave E some special gifts for the house which he loved.
Alyssum is a little woods fairy that lives in the snowy north. By 7:50 we were packed in the car with the presents we were giving and a huge dish of Christmas hash brown casserole. We drove up to E's family's house and unloaded gift after gift. E’s family was still a little groggy, but were soon ready for gifts. I popped the casserole in the oven and soon we were ripping paper. E’s family went all out this year (they always do) and got us some of the most wonderful items. I got quite a few doll dresses I’d asked for, some clothes, socks, an eBay gift certificate (thanks David!) and a purple iPod Nano! I couldn’t believe that I got the Nano, I totally wasn’t expecting it, and was really surprised to have received it. After most of the present unwrapping was done we descended on the casserole. E’s family had never had my family’s traditional Christmas casserole, but I think they liked it, since the dish was scraped clean and there was nothing left on anyone’s plate.
E got the lens he was hoping for. Yes we had to pay half, but he says it is worth it! I am always thrilled to get doll items. Connie was happy about her gifts. And Chelsea was happy too. Note: The men of E's family were not easy to photograph. They were there, but not willing to have a good photograph taken.
Soon it was time to pack up and go to the next house in the circuit, my Dad’s. My siblings were already at my dad’s, and when we arrived more present opening began! My dad gave E and I the most thoughtful wonderful gifts. We got a year gift certificate to Red Butte Gardens, one of my favorite places in the entire world! We also got a really nice universal remote and some clothes. I exchanged presents with my siblings, and was happy to see each of my sibs thrilled with what they received. We left tired and ready for a nap. E and I talked about heading home for a rest, but we had promised E’s family that we would return. So back to E’s house we went. When we arrived everyone was curled up in the living room sleeping. E and I found a little spot too, and took a nice Christmas nap. Once I woke up, we did some doll presents (yes, Connie and Chelsea’s dolls give my dolls presents, and visa versa!), ate a little lunch and relaxed more.
By 4:00 it was time for us to pack up yet again and head to my mom’s house. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked into her house. Dozens of presents lined the walls and were stacked everywhere. We organized all the gifts and started opening again. I could tell my “tearing paper hands” were really well seasoned by now. My mom and Chuck got me really nice sewing scissors, clothes, toys, candies, scarves and a cooking class for E and I in January. In return, we gave Chuck and my mom the same cooking class! It is going to be really fun to go together in a month and learn some more Italian cooking tricks. My Grandma was also there, and she gave us a stay on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in July! She really thought about this gift, and knew we would like it because it was one of my Grandpa’s favorite places in the entire world. We are going to stay in a log cabin for two nights in mid July, I can’t wait.
Chandler was quite excited to get his first razor. Dinner was a blast. Soon the rest of the party arrived and we exchanged even more gifts! Plus, it was time to eat! My mom had made 60 stuffed shells the day before. We sat down to a huge dining table and enjoyed a fantastic dinner. Afterwards, for dessert we had peppermint ice cream pie. E felt like once slice wasn’t enough, and had two slices plus some leftover tiramisu from the night before.
At some point during dinner Brandon looked outside and realized it was snowing, and heavily! We enjoyed each others company for a bit longer and then all spread out among the cars to help scrape and clear off windshields and side mirrors. After too short of a stay, E and I made our slow and slippery way home. Merry Christmas!