Happy Holidaze

I always somehow manage to get a cold in November or December to end the year with...this year it was December. Specifically, Christmas week. I started getting the tell tale signs early in the week and tried to head it off by taking Thursday as a sick day (I already had Friday off as a vacation day) which seems to have helped as it never really got out of hand. Thursday was pleasant enough, work only beckoned a few times, but it was otherwise spent dozing away on the couch watching a Godzilla marathon on TV (thanks to Jen for letting me get away with that...your sacrifice has been noted).

Friday was slated to be the cut off day for finishing our holiday shopping. While we tried to do homemade type gifts this year for most folks, it was not to be for everyone on our lists. We managed to finish the shopping by 3:00pm which allowed us time to get home and clean up for dinner at my sister's house. Every year, as most people, we have a long list of places to visit and people to see, this year is no exception. Dinner at my sister's house was uneventful, it's an opportunity to see my mother and niece and nephew and re-affirm my beliefs in birth control. I love my niece and nephew, they really are great kids in the grand scheme of things, but I just do not have that parental instinct. As Moe from The Simpson's puts it: the laughter of children cuts through me like a dull knife...As usual, my mother spent way to much on us, but the shawl that Jen knitted for her was very well received and worn all night...dinner was a variety of polish meat delights like kielbasa, ham and city chicken legs, we provided dessert in the form of a key lime pie purchased from GFS that same day...I ate way too much as usual...

Saturday I was charged with the single task of acquiring a Honey-Baked ham to take to Jen's mother's house on Christmas day. We receive gift certificates to Honey-Baked every year from our office and usually get a big ham to share (it's just tastes so damn good). I tried to place an order early in the week, but the representative from Honey-Baked insisted I would not need one for a 7lb ham. This turned out to be a time consuming mistake...always insist on a reservation when you are picking up Christmas Eve. They were, of course, sold out when I arrived at their stand located within the Anderson's store in Maumee. But they had more on the way within one hour...they apologized profusely and it was obvious that loosing my temper was not going to accomplish anything. I roamed the store for the next hour, picking up some rattle toys for the bunnies (they needed Christmas gifts too), a Polish coffee cake, and a bottle of Just Desserts Thin Mint Liquor. I noticed the line beginning to form at the Honey-Baked counter so I guessed that ham would soon be on the way. An indeed it was, but they were larger then what I wanted, although not out of my gift certificate spending range...most everybody else in line decided to wait for the smaller hams, but I had things to do, so a 9lb ham it was! With sweet, succulent ham acquired, I headed home to relax a bit before dinner at my fathers. Coming from a broken home, the holidays tend to be trying on my patience when we have so many places to visit, but I do enjoy spending time with my father and his wife, something I never seem to have the time to do...They had their usual dinner fair of prime rib (drool), of which I probably ate too much...We did round the evening off playing Apples to Apples, a fun card game we brought them as a gift...

Today we spent the morning having coffee and Polish coffee cake while unwrapping the gifts we purchased for each other. This brief three or four hours is absolute bliss for me. And not necessarily opening gifts of my own, but I like to see how Jen reacts when she opens her gifts, everything from silly little trinkets in her stocking to items she has been longing for. That brief moment defines the holiday weekend for me...through all the stress of trying to finish last minute gifts, the obligatory visiting when you want to be at home with hot cocoa and Baileys and each other, and the inconvenient colds, those brief few hours renew my holiday spirit and I remember what the holidays are all about...

The rest of the day was spent with Jen's parents for a portion of the day and at her Grandmother's home for the remainder...We are finally home again, Jen is working on finishing one more gift she is crafting for a co-worker of mine and I can relax for the rest of the night once more...I feel bad that she has to work on this project when I know shw would rather be relaxing with me in front of the TV with some cheesey movie...next weekend is another long weekend and I don't think we are leaving the house, with all obligations out of the way, all craft projects complete, we can both finally rest and spend the days doing nothing productive (i.e., just having fun)...

Of course, Jen spoiled me for Christmas, she got me a ton of stuff from ThinkGeek and a couple of trunk emblems of the flying spaghetti monster, but by far the coolest was the Planisphere Watch and the Hubble Deep Field Scan...that one is getting put in a frame and placed in my office...I'm going to make a caption for it which states: In the grand scheme of things, your problem is probably pretty insignificant...