Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday happenings

Our Christmas holidays were fairly busy. I spent a good portion of last week finalizing presents and wrapping presents. Wednesday was the annual Girlfriends' Christmas Lunch, where about 20 of us get together to gab, eat and exchange presents. That evening we volunteered at the Zachary Scott Theatre's performance of Santaland Diaries. We've seen it at least once a year for the last 6 years; after a two year absence, Martin Burke returned as the Macy's elf and was in rare form. It was probably one of the best performances of the play that we've seen.

Friday night we attended a Christmas party at our friend's house and had a great time. Saturday was a few last minute things and time to chill, as Sunday we woke early to drive to Dallas. I wanted to go to the Galleria to the Franklin Covey store for a day planner, but when we got there, we saw the store is closed on Sundays, even if it is Christmas Day. However, we found a neat little tea store, Teavana, where we sampled some wonderful teas and even bought some.

After, we headed to BJ's Brewpub in Addison and met our good friends, Hugh and Rose, for lunch. We had a great time catching up. Rose (pronounced Ho' see) is from Brazil. I'm jealous because in a few weeks she and Hugh are heading to Brazil for a few weeks. It's been two years and Rose is looking forward to the beach. They are talking about getting married (for the second time) when they are in Brazil.

After two hours, it was tie to get on our way. Rose and Hugh had last-minute preparation and we needed to check into our motel. We got about a 30 minute nap and then headed to my sister's (Chris) house. My parents had already arrived. After a little while my brother-in-law's (Mark) parents and brother and his wife arrived (Josh and Susan). We had our traditional tamales and tortilla soup Christmas Eve supper and the nieces opened presents from Josh and Susan, and Josh and Susan weren't going to come over on Christmas Day. Kelsey and Allison, my two oldest nieces, played X-box football, with Doug and Mark coaching.

Yesterday we got up early, checked out of the motel, and headed to Chris' house. We had breakfast and then the girls started opening presents. As always, it was controlled chaos. Still, it's always fun watching the girls open their presents.

Once everything was opened, and the wrapping cleaned up, Chris and mom started cooking and we sat to watch Christmas Story with the girls. Unfortunately, now that they are teens, they'd rather spend time in their rooms. Mark's parents (Nancy and John) come over for Christmas lunch. After, the girls opened presents from them. By now it was close to 4 p.m. and Doug and I decided we needed to head home. We left the animals without a keeper and needed to get back.

We arrived about 7:30, fed the animals and had our own gift exchange, opening presents from Doug's parents, aunt and each other. We were in bed by 10.

This morning we got up to do errands and after-Christmas shopping. This year we didn't buy any trim-a-tree before Christmas and instead, purchased ornaments and decorations for 50-75% off. We even bought a new Christmas tree. I bought our current one in 1995, when it was all I could afford. While not quite as bad as the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, it is rather sad, and each year we talk about getting a new one. We just couldn't pass up buying a 7.5 foot pre-lit tree for just $100.

We also went into Spec's, a new wine/liquor store in Austin. We've heard about it as it's a big deal in Houston. Their customer service was great and they had some selections and gourmet groceries. We still think Grapevine Market has a better wine selection, but Spec's is better with liquor. Chris had bought Doug this thing to infuse rum (said it makes rum taste like adult kool-aid), so I insisted we buy rum and use the present.

The afternoon has been quiet. Doug gave me a photo printer and wanted to go check on the rebates. Dexter, who got a thing of catnip in his stocking, has been all lovey to me this afternoon, cuddling on the couch with me.

We had a good Christmas and are looking forward to a great 2007.

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