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2003-12-26 - 5:30 p.m.

So this is Christmas

I added a couple of back entries, but I think they are out of order. Oh well.


Christmas tree 2003Christmas this year was a long series of events. The Scientist took me to see The Wizard of Oz at the Children's Theater on the 23rd. My parents arrived later that day from the Far North and my grandma arrived from Corn Country. We spent the 24th doing a combination of family bonding, cooking, eating, and shopping (I skipped that last one). Also, more eating. JR arrived Christmas Eve from the small MN town he lives in and we had a big family dinner at my aunt and uncle's house.

My dad brought down some Christmas Carol Mad-Libs and we sat around playing those for a while after gorging ourselves. Does everyone know what Mad-Libs are? You fill in the blank with an appropriate word - adjective, verb, noun, etc. - without knowing what the larger context is and then read the results - in this case, things like Stinky the Purple-Nosed Reindeer.

At one point, my uncle mentioned that we would need to start getting ready soon if we were going to make it to the Christmas Eve church service. Both my brothers were already boycotting and The Scientist and I were going to excuse ourselves on the grounds that we had to go home and start cooking for the brunch we were hosting the next day. Shockingly, my aunt responded with, "I don't think we're going to church tonight - I'm tired." For the first time in my entire life, my family did not go to the Christmas Eve service and instead played Mad-Libs. It was a new frontier in family slacking.

On Christmas Day, my parents, brothers, aunt and uncle, and grandma came over for brunch. (Side note: It's been fun hosting events - even if so far they've been mostly for family. We've had friends over for casual gatherings and movie-watchings, but no housewarming party. Since we've been moved in for over 5 months now, I think we're skipping it.).

Learning our lesson from Thanksgiving, we did all of the food prep possible in advance. This meant we were up until midnight cooking on Christmas Eve, but since it was just the two of us, it was fun. Plus, at about 11p.m. "cooking" really meant "opening presents while waiting for the coffee cake to get out of the oven."electric train

The menu included a quiche lorraine (bacon and cheese) and a leek and feta quiche, apple cinnamon coffee cake, fruit salad, mimosas or bellinis (actually, most people had mimosas and bellinis), cranberry scones, and cookies. Plus the usual coffee, tea, etc. It was a rousing success, although for a moment I thought it might be a sad disaster. My parents and brothers arrived on time, but my aunt, uncle, and grandma were missing. My grandma had a relapse of her arthritis (for which she takes nothing but an ibuprofen or two because Celebrex, the drug she was prescribed, is "too expensive") and almost didn't come. My aunt and uncle would have stayed home with her, but they all arrived a few minutes later, and came in the back door so my grandma would have a shorter distance to walk. Luckily, our bathroom (and everything else) is on the first floor.

We opened presents from Santa (yes, my family still fills stockings for everyone) and we got The Scientist's favorite present of the year - an electric train. He set it up right away and kept coming back to it during the day, experimenting with running it backwards and forwards and revving the power up. His favorite thing was to try to get the cars to run into each other (by pushing them or pulling them with the engine) and connect themselves. Hours of entertainment. The cats, on the other hand, were not so amused by it and hid under the dining room table.

electric train

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