When I was growing up we always opened our presents on the eve, not the day. We tried Xmas morning once and it just felt . . . wrong. Since Boy's family always does Xmas morning, it is UBER CONVENIENT that my family does the eve. We worked out a little rotation whereby we spent Xmas eve with my parents, drove over to Boy's brother's house for Xmas morning with his family then ran home to prep for the big Xmas day feast which we hosted for everyone at our house. Our families actually really like each other (either that or they're all stellar actors), so spending the later half of Xmas day together eating, playing Wii games and generally hanging out was a ton of fun.
Things I was most excited about: Our "big presents" from my parents (a TomTom nav system, which if you'd ever been in a car with me you'd KNOW I needed badly!), from Boy's mom (a Wii!!!) and from Boy's siblings (DJ Hero for our new Wii!); hosting the big meal at our house . . . I love how our tree looked and how beautifully our cookie buffet turned out (I was thrilled to finally use the tea tray (pictured below) that Boy's family bought for me at Hampton Court as a wedding present); GIVING presents, which for me is always more fun than the getting. I made a few this year that I was super excited to give: a silver and garnet ring for my mom, a cable crocheted hat for my dad, a Vatican coin necklace for my mother in law and a copy of Bella's wolf / heart charm bracelet for my sister in law (nerd alert!). We also scored some awesome Star Wars related bits for my brother in law and an uber cool Hampton Court related DVD for my parents that (fortunatley!) they didn't know had been released yet.
Christmas Eve at my parents' house, opening Bean's gifts:
Christmas morning at my brother in law's house, opening more Bean gifts:
Christmas Day at our house, part of the post meal cookie buffet:
The day after Christmas, Boxing Day, if you will, we decided to sneak off and drive up to central CA to visit some friends and spend a night at the Historic Santa Marina Inn. We found an insane rate on Travelocity (seriously? It was cheaper than a motel.) and absolutley loved the hotel.
The following day we went up to Boy's uncle's house to help celebrate his birthday and spend time with him and his family, then continuted on to Monterey, where my mother in law owns a house. We spent three nights in Monterey and visited
The famous Montery Bay Aquarium
and Big Sur
Then we drove home, stopping at outlets along the way and buying cute Bean things. Like an Original Penguin polo. 12 months sized. Couldn't you just keel over at the cuteness of that?! We almost did.
There you have it: "What I Did On My Christmas Vacation"
Man, do I feel BETTER now!