The Christmas Aftermath

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Christmas 2003 has come and gone, and with it has arrived a bountiful helping of goodies and fun. Not to mention some cool toys that I’ve been wanting.

Here’s a picture of the majority of Jenn and my Christmas Haul. Not everything is pictured; some things have already found homes, are in use, or have been taken by Jenn to work today. Click the picture to get a larger version.

Most of the 2003 Christmas Haul. Click to
enlarge.

The first thing that long-time readers will notice is that the picture quality is much improved. That is thanks to my parents’ gift of a 2.0 megapixel digital camera and 128MB smart media card. I can now take up to nine minutes’ worth of 320x240 video, or like 275 pictures at 1600x1200. It’s got a flash, it’s got a nice little preview LCD display… perfect. Plus, plenty of space for pictures! I’ve been hoping for something like that. Now I’m in business.

Other highlights…

That’s not all, but that’s the majority of it. If you’re reading this and I didn’t mention your present, nothing personal.

Jenn got two George Foreman grills - one smaller one, and one larger one. I think she’s going to take the smaller one back and get something else. We hardly have counter space for one grill, let alone two.

I always have trouble deciding what to get Jenn, mainly because she wants “nice things” but she also wants lots of things to open. So what do you do? Buy fewer, more expensive things or several less expensive items? The last couple of years I erred on the “several less expensive items” side, but this year I got her a nice Mickey Mouse watch that she wanted; a Citizen Eco-Drive watch that’s solar powered so she’ll never have to get a new battery. I think she liked it, but you could see her disappointment with not having a lot of stuff to open. Next year I’ll probably go back to several less expensive items.

So here’s how the holiday went:

Christmas Eve we went over to Jenn’s… uh… cousin’s? uncle’s? I dunno, some relation’s… house and had some food. I wasn’t too hungry, particularly considering it was a ham dinner and I don’t like ham. But it was nice to meet some of her relatives that I haven’t met before (there seem to always be more).

After that, we went over to my parents’ house and watched Pirates Of The Caribbean and hung out. We got home, exhausted, about midnight.

The next morning we were promised breakfast at her parents’ house, so we busted over there by about 9:30a and found that there was no breakfast. Bah. We opened gifts (which, as ever, consisted mainly of watching Jenn’s niece open thousands of gifts - every child should be as spoiled as she is; I know I never was) and hung out for a while.

At around 11:00a or so, we went to Jenn’s grandma’s house to visit. We hadn’t seen her grandma for a while, so it was good to see her again. Not much was going on there (surprise) but that was just fine by me. Usually it’s utter chaos.

We got to my parents’ house around 11:45a or so and stuffed some food in our faces (leftover pizza from the night before) because we hadn’t eaten. After that, we opened gifts until about 1:00p when my grandparents showed up. We ate, talked, and did a small amount of further gift opening. About 4:00p or so people started leaving, so Jenn and I packed up and headed out.

At 6:00p we headed back to my parents’ house so we could meet up and head to the theater to see Paycheck. I liked it quite a bit - I had hoped it would be good and was excited by the previews, and I wasn’t disappointed.

After the movie we went straight home and, well, now it’s today. Tomorrow Jenn and I will go shopping to return the things we don’t need and buy ourselves the prizes we didn’t get.

I think the only thing I’m really disappointed about is that, as time goes on and I get older, Christmas loses more and more of its magic. I do my best to keep it in perspective and try to maintain the wonder, but the hustle and bustle and commercialization of the season usually overtake me and I don’t get into the Christmas spirit until it’s far too late to really appreciate it. Jenn noticed it, too, and we don’t know what to do about it.

The part I think I have the hardest time with is trying to make everyone happy. This includes making sure we make it to everyone else’s house with enough time to spend some quality holiday time with folks as well as making sure we get gifts for people that they’ll like. It’s hard, and even with my online shopping I think the simple fact that so much weight rests with good gifts is what brings the season down. We’re toying with the idea of doing a secret Santa style drawing in my family where everyone just buys one really nice thing for one person and that’s it. It would definitely make it easier…

So that’s that. One more year, and now we start anew.

If anyone’s looking for a belated gift idea, I just discovered they’re releasing a two-disc version of Alice In Wonderland. Booyah! Then again, maybe I’ll just buy it myself…

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