OK, I told you about the rodent gang's Christmas on Friday. Now it's time for you to hear about mine.
We kicked off our holiday celebrations this year by watching the Frost Fair parade.
Then, on the same day we went back to the aquarium, we were lucky enough to catch a performance in the shopping center in town by some of the local children. I love listening to children singing - whether they're in tune and doing a good job, or not - so we stopped to listen for a bit. As it happened, these kids were doing a fantastic job; it was obvious they'd put a lot of effort in to getting ready for their performance, since they sang beautifully together, and were all in tune and everything.
We used to put up our holiday decorations on December 1st, but I broke from tradition last year, since I was missing Kero too much (he always got so excited when the decorations went up). So we changed it to doing it near to the Winter Solstice instead. This year, we put up our holiday decorations on Friday December 18th.
I've not been feeling too great lately, and we've always prefered the quieter celebrations anyway. So, I spent most of the time leading up to Christmas Day watching holiday movies and TV shows; sometimes by myself, sometimes with Kelly. We watched some non-holiday related movies and TV shows too, but I decided I'll tell you about those later this month.
So that we did something to celebrate the Winter Solstice - since we didn't want it going by completely ignored, but weren't feeling up to doing anything much - we ordered pizza and cheesy garlic bread on the 21st, and added a desert as a special treat. I'd never ever had ice-cream cake, so that's what we had. I'm not a big chocolate cake fan, but they only did a chocolate version at the pizza place, so we grabbed it anyway. It was pretty good, though we're both pretty sure I'd have liked the vanilla version more. Kelly didn't mind though, since he loves both ice-cream cake and chocolate cake, so he was more than happy to be the one to eat most of it. He ended up eating most of the pizza too, which I'm also positive he didn't mind, since he absolutely adores pizza. The menu wasn't the best plan given my issues with having too much dairy, but I enjoyed what I ate of it, so... *shrugs*
Hey, it was the holidays. I'm sure there's an unwritten law somewhere that clearly states you should eat too much of things you know are bad for you around the holidays. *wink*
On Christmas Eve we did most of the preparations for what we were having for dinner, and then did the final preparations and the cooking of it all on Christmas Day. There were roast potatoes, roasted parsnips, carrots, sprouts, my homemade holiday stuffing (which is cranberry and herb stuffing, if you're interested) and cranberry sauce. Plus, I had a butternut squash and sweet potato mash as my meat substitute. I'd planned to make it a bit more Christmasy by adding cloves to it, but discovered too late we were out, so I added a little ginger instead (since it was the only Christmasy thing I had in the herbs and spices cupboard that I felt worked for a savory dish; all the other stuff I had in there that I considered to be Christmasy were things like cinnamon and nutmeg).
The rest of Christmas Eve was spent watching movies while drinking cocoa from one of my Christmas mugs. I have two Christmas mugs. One is the only one left of a pair we got with pictures of toys and holiday ornaments on them when I spent the Christmas before we got married in Canada, and the other is one with a tactile reindeer on it. I was using the toys one. I don't have a photo of it though, so those who are curious about what it looks like will just have to stay curious, or try to imagine it... Think old fashioned toys like toy soldiers and rocking horses, and a couple of candy canes and baubles.
Anyway, we spoke to family and friends at various points over the holidays, and exchanged cards with many of them too. Here are some photos of the Christmas cards we've gotten this year:
I happen to know we have at least one more on the way, which didn't make it in time for Christmas, nor in time to be included in this post. I'll post photos of it - and any other late cards we may get - in one of my "random ramblings" posts.
As for gifts...
I had chocolates and sweets, of course, as well as some Scottish shortbread in this cute Scottie dog shaped tin...
I also had a boxset containing seasons one to eight of "The Big Bang Theory" on DVD, a great Beatrix Potter audio CD collection that's 23 disks, and in a really cute tin...
Plus modeling clay, scented candles, a few baking supplies, bandaids with cute pictures on them (since I'm always cutting myself on something, so my Dad figured at least if I'm covered in bandaids they'll look cute this way, which I thought was funny) and a stuffed animal keyring of Twilight Sparkle from the new My Little Pony cartoon...
Twilight Sparkle is my favourite of the ponies from the new My Little Pony show.
Then there was my deer...
He's actually a Brown Deer, not a Reindeer, but I'm calling him Prancer anyway. For one thing, I got him from my brother, Carl, and both of us love the holiday movie "Prancer" and always have, so it seems appropriate. For another thing, in the movie, Prancer has trouble with his leg, and because of how he was put in his wrapping, so did this deer when I first tried to stand him up. So, the name felt appropriate.
I had some cash too, which - knowing me - will probably end up spent on books.
Anyway, a huge thank you to everyone who sent us cards and/or gifts, or even just took a few moments to wish us happy holidays in any shape or form... Whether it was "Happy holidays" or "Merry Christmas" or even "Blessed Yule" or something else entirely that you said. I hope you had a blessed and merry whatever you celebrated too! :)
No, I didn't get my snow for Christmas. Plenty of great storms to listen to, which was nice. But no snow. The Winter isn't over yet though, so there's still hope for more than that light dusting before Spring. And if not... Well, the little we got was still more than last year, and it's better than nothing.
We didn't do much to see in the new year... We never bother to do so... But I did have a one-off Ponyfinder game on the afternoon of new year's eve with my Dad, my brother Carl, and Carl's girlfriend Tory. Which I suppose you could count as doing something special for the new year. Either way, it was something I'd been eagerly looking forward to since we decided at the end of November we'd be doing it. Tory doesn't usually roleplay with us, but since she's even more obsessed with ponies than I am, she was eager to join in with this session. It was great fun too!
I also had cake... Lemon cheesecake to be exact. Plus, I made a spinach and vegetable quiche for dinner on new year's day.
And that, in a nutshell, was how I spent the holidays this year.
Well, actually, it was in a blog post, not in a nutshell, if you want to be technical. *Wink*