Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our First White Christmas

I truly hope your Christmas was excellent. Mine most definitely was. Time with family and lots (and lots!) of good food, what more could a girl ask for? Well, yes, and gifts, of course. I always feel really strange running down my list of gifts, which is why I don't generally do it. We don't really do birthday gifts or anniversary gifts or anything like that (for the adults), so we really go all out for Christmas. Which explains why our pile of gifts (which is actually missing a few that we had opened the night before) looks like this:

Um, yeah, we really need a bigger tree! That one is only about 4 feet (1.2 meters) high. It also doesn't include the gifts from Santa (mostly for Luke):

Luke did really well, of course. A huge Kingdom Castle LEGO set, a couple of Star Wars LEGO sets and coordinating Brickmaster books, a pair of LEGO Hero Factory robots, an Iron Man helmet and repulsor set, a Galactic Heroes AT-AT (that is bigger than Star!), a Super Hero Squad jet, several sets of Galactic Heroes and Super Hero Squad figures, a couple of Wii games, a great Star Wars Scanimation book, some ornaments, Season 2 of Clone Wars on DVD, some Pokemon cards, and several other things I am sure I am forgetting.

DH got a pretty awesome gift as well. My parents were really scrambling to come up with something for him for Christmas, as was I. I finally tossed out the only idea I'd had, and we split up the cost between us: a Playstation Move. We already had a PS3, so it was really just the camera and the controller(s). He's been fascinated with it since he saw it, and he visits it regularly at Best Buy. For the past few weeks, he's been showing me demos on how it works and how cool it is/will be once they develop games that can make full use of its capabilities. I knew he'd love one, but since I *thought* we were all doing a small Christmas this year (Jacob and I seem to be the only ones who got that memo), I felt it was out of my budget, but between us, we could get it. He was genuinely surprised, which is very hard to do with DH, and I know he loves it. Thank you so much, Mom and Dad!

That's not to say that I didn't get some really great gifts, too. I'll hit some of the highlights: several Blu-ray movie upgrades from my husband, the 25th Anniversary box set for Goonies and a lovely pair of redwood earrings from my brother, and a beautiful hand crocheted scarf from my mother (made by one of her coworkers).

Most of the rest of the items qualified under what I am calling "The Year of the Kitchen." I present my "small Christmas" gifts:

That would be a KitchenAid Stand Mixer from my husband (in silver, no less!), and a *very* nice set of Henckels knives from my parents (I think Mom was just tired of using my crappy knives when she visits, since she has Wusthofs at home). There were also oil sprayers, a small measuring plunger, a cookbook, a swanky new oil/candy thermometer, nylon covered tongs (to replace my super-cheap all metal ones that can't be used on my nonstick pan, much to my brother's frustration). Oh, and a Pampered Chef large rectangle baking stone from my sister-in-law (even though the adults don't do Christmas gifts for each other on my husband's side; not quite sure how we're going to retaliate for that one, but we will at some point). I'm sure I'm missing a few things, but those were the major items.

As awesome as the stand mixer and knives and baking stone are (and they truly are awesome!), the little gadget I have already gotten the most use out of is this one:

It bills itself as "the world's simplest timer." With the cube set so that the zero is on top, the timer is off. To set the time (5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes), turn the cube so that the appropriate number of minutes is on top. A single beep will sound and a little red light will flash to indicate that it is working. There is also a digital countdown timer on the bottom (that you can see once you flip a number to the top) so you know how long you have left. When the timer goes off, flip the cube so that the zero is back on top, and the beeping stops. The timer is ready to use again. I've used it nearly every single day since I got it. Love love love!!

And speaking of love, everyone was absolutely in love with Star. Here she is trying to figure out if she can fit behind this gift (I think it is a Wii game or a Blu-ray movie). Almost, but not quite.

Hey, Uncle Jacob, whatcha eating?

And my absolute favorite photo from all of Christmas, Luke showing Star his new game.

Cleo insists she can be a cute and adorable lap kitty, too. (Yeah, not quite the same there, honey, but we love you anyway.)

We also had the best time watching Luke arrange (and rearrange) his gifts. I guess it is no surprise that the child of two engineers had several incarnations of his "gift fort." The original pile:

Morphed into this. First the front:

Then the side closest to the camera:

And finally enclosing the back wall with the LEGO Castle. Too funny!

They had been promising snow all day. Our first white Christmas ever! No, really, I don't think it has ever snowed and stuck on Christmas day before in my life, no matter where I lived. By mid-afternoon, the snow was finally starting to come down pretty well. My parents and brother moved their cars up to the front of the driveway, since the middle can get a bit slick, though we weren't expecting it to stick much to the roads. By morning, the roads were still clear, but the house looked like this:

Perfect! Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Currently feeling: well gifted


  1. Love all the pics and I MUST have that timer!!!

  2. LOVE that timer!!! We only did gifts for the kids this Christmas, since we went to Disney as a family in early Dec. I bought a Wii as a "family gift" for us. It was so nice having a white Christmas, although ours came later in the evening. Sunday was absolutely gorgeous snowing all day.

  3. Gift fort! I love it!!! Hilarious...Luke is still not too old for "the boxes are as fun as the gift". =D

  4. You always capture things so well in your photos! Looks like you and your family had a Merry Christmas - Happy New Year! :) :)

  5. Lovely to read/see, Erin! Isn't Star a cutie?! So glad you had a good Christmas - they are to be treasured when you have a child and grandparents/Uncle Jacob all together. We had our son with us for the first time in 5 years and it was terrific, pity our DDIL was replaced by a new GF but that's Life for ya!

    Hugs & HNY


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