Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

t is December 26th and I have emerged from beneath the Christmas rubble into the after-Christmas haze. The empty boxes, shreds of wrapping paper and abandoned bows have all made their way to the trash, most of the gifts are resting comfortably in their new homes, and the holiday leftovers have been tucked away in the refrigerator. We tried to keep things simple and low-key, but that is not the way things looked around here yesterday. When you have seven people each giving one another just one gift you end up with 49 gifts. That’s a lot of stuff!

Those of us that did not already have iPads got them for Christmas. I wasn’t sure that I really wanted one, but it sure is a lot of fun. It may even prove to be useful and make me more productive – or at least make me appear to be doing something useful and productive. The iPads themselves were a gateway gift to many other gifts – speakers, headphones, cases, and even a few iTunes gift cards. One of the funniest iPad accessory gifts that I saw, though none of us actually received this, was the book The iPad for Dummies – The Kindle Edition. We have all managed to download Apps, books, and music just fine. I am thinking that first of all if you actually need this book and secondly if you are reading it on your Kindle, perhaps the iPad is not for you.

Though no one received The iPad for Dummies book, there were many other books, real paper ones with actual pages, that emerged from under the tree – cookbooks covering everything from good old southern cooking to vegan Italian, The Cat in the Hat in Russian, graphic novels, daily mediations, and tales of an American naturalist in Italy. Despite that fact that we all have access to ebooks, none of us has been able to give up real books.completely.

Handmade gifts were also in abundance. Erin is our queen of scrapbooking and master of Photoshop. She put her talents to use making each of us something to preserve memories from 2010. Brooke created a recipe collection especially for her sister. These two have taste buds that reside on opposite ends of the culinary spectrum so this was truly a gift of love. The recipes included ingredients such as cheese, eggs, bacon, and butter – things that Brooke does not herself cook with or eat. She did manage to sneak in one recipe that called for swiss chard or some other leafy green vegetable such as spinach – ingredients that Erin does not cook with or eat.

I did get some knitting done for this Christmas, not as much as I had hoped but more than I have managed in a long while. I made Erin an afghan for her dorm room and a pair of socks for Jason. Ok, I started the socks last year with the intention that they would be a gift for Christmas 2009. Now I realize that I had really just gotten a head start on my knitting for 2010. Despite this head start, I did fall short with what I hoped to accomplish for this year.
My goal was to knit hats for Erin, Brooke, Mike and Weber. I fell about 33% short of this. I finished the hats for Mike and Erin in plenty of time to actually wrap them and put them under the tree.

Brooke’s was under the tree; it just happened to be in the form of two unknit balls of yarn and an IOU. Weber’s was about half done and I didn’t even bother with trying to make it look gift-like. I humbly admitted that it was not done and promised that I would finish it as soon as I could. Unfortunately, the temperature is in the 20’s in Dallas right now. He could be wearing the hat if I had finished it. I figure I will have it done in a few days – when it is supposed to be 70 degrees here. This should come as no surprise to him since I finished his last pair of (wool) socks for his birthday – in June!

All in all, Weber is a good sport with regard to my poor timing with knitting projects though he did point out that he thought it was a little ironic that the bald guy got a hair (and beard) trimmer for Christmas but the hat to keep the bald head warm had no crown.
What can I say . . .

Don't tell him that using his reading glasses as a magnifying glass (like we used to do as kids to burn a whole in paper) probably won't work to keep his head warm.

Though we all had a great time giving and receiving gifts, by far the best part of Christmas was all being together laughing, doing crossword puzzles, playing with Squirmles, and eating Brooke’s homemade cinnamon rolls.

I wish you and your loved ones a blessed twelve days of Christmas.