Monday, December 23rd
We received a gift package from a friend that moved several months ago to Wisconsin. This woman used to live in the apartment complex directly behind our own, and Melanie and the boys used to go over and hang out with her and her son quite frequently. The Christmas package was chock full of fun and was a shocking and generous surprise. Despite Christmas being two days away, we let the boys open the gifts, figuring they’d have plenty to open on Christmas Day itself.
That night, we went to Dorothy B. Oven (pronounced “OH-ven”) park, which offers the premier Christmas light display in Tallahassee. It had been raining almost right up until we went to the park, so the ground was a bit saturated. They also didn’t have any music playing at the park, which is unusual and which gratefully affected the atmosphere. It felt much less celebratory, which was kind of a bummer. Nevertheless, our kids had fun and, perhaps due to the soppy climate, the park was not the least bit crowded.
Melanie gets in on singing with the carolers.
I couldn't resist that open mouth.
Time to make gingerbread cookies—some for us, and some for Santa.
This was quite fancy for me.
We continued our Christmas Eve tradition of having homemade soup in bread bowls. This year, we had to improvise on the bread bowls because our original plan for acquiring them failed. Melanie found some crusty buns that we used as mini- bread bowls for the kids. She also bought a loaf of Italian bread (or something) that we cut in half and turned into makeshift bread bowls for the adults. As far as soup selection is concerned, Melanie made two kinds: chicken noodle soup and a creamy soup made from eggplant, sweet potato, curry, and more. Just a warning, the eggplant soup looks rather unappetizing in the bread bowl. There’s something very rectal about it, but it tasted good. (I officially nominate the previous sentence for quote of the year.)
Eggplant soup in makeshift bread bowl.
A less flattering view.
After dinner, we read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke, and then Melanie and I let the kids each open up a select present from us. Spoiler alert: they were Sonic the Hedgehog pajamas.
Continuing our Christmas Eve traditions, we then went on a drive to see Christmas lights and let the kids grow weary. Creegan successfully fell asleep. Eddie and Peter didn’t, but we didn’t expect them to. Eddie did continually express his concern that he would be unable to sleep at all that night. Spoiler alert: he did.
This house we lovingly refer to as the “Christmas barf” house. It looks like Christmas vomited all over the place. Seriously, this guy’s lawn is absolutely smothered with inflatable Christmas decorations, and this photo is a mere teaser. There’s plenty you can’t see in this photograph alone, especially considering that it’s a corner house and the decorations wrap all the way around. It’s absurd, but it’s tradition to behold this spectacle at some point every year.
With the generosity of Melanie’s parents and some others, there was plenty to enjoy on Christmas Day. I’ll let the photos do most of the talking. Here you go:
The laptop isn't new, but it was loaded with the PC version of Minecraft, which Edison was hoping for above all else. He was pleased.
Creegan was quite excited by the movie collection and has since watched several of the films. Wreck-It Ralph has been the most requested of the bunch. We've watched it numerous times already.
Sliver, a VTech Switch & Go Dino, has been Peter's favorite gift this year. Thanks, Grandma!
For Eddie, it was pretty much all about Minecraft. Here he holds a replica of the torches you can get in the game, complete with pixelated appearance.
Peter refers to his art set as "a toolbox with pencils and crayons and stuff inside."
All three of our boys received ninja jackets.
Creegan is finicky about having his photo taken, as evidenced here.
Eddie and Peter each received a magic set.
A crapload of cars for Beegy.
Time to play Minecraft! And we haven't seen Eddie since.
Creegan shows off Melanie's new necklace.
Inside my stocking, I also received a pen, some more goodies (a Whatchamaclit, a bottle of Dew, cashews), a Christmas ornament that looks like a synthesizer, a pack of awesome guitar picks, a tie, and Terminator 2 on Blu-ray.
The majority of my non-stocking Christmas haul. Not pictured is another book, an mp3 player, and a couple of games (a Deluxe Edition version of Scrabble and the Tetris version of Jenga).
Santa gave Melanie and me some new bedding, which is great because our old one had pretty much been destroyed by the kids. They would crawl under the fitted sheet for fun, which led to a small hole, which eventually led to a huge hole. The new bedding feels luxurious. The gray sheets underneath the comforter here are especially swanky and sophisticated. They're lovely.
And that’s that. I’ve really enjoyed this holiday season, but I’m surprised how little I get done even in the way of relaxation. I thought to myself, “Surely Christmas will be the one day of the year when I can spend 30 minutes reading for pleasure, watch a movie, and even play a little guitar.” Did I? Nope. I didn’t have time for that. I don’t think I did a single one of those things. I’ve tried to make up for it over the last few days, though. I probably shouldn’t, of course. But I’ve tried.