Thursday, December 27, 2012

tiny tim tears

Good Afternoon!

Let me tell you, I had the most delicious German food this side of Bavaria last night. If you're in the LA area, check out Steingarten LA for some serious California Beer Garden-ing. 

Mm-mmm tasty.

Last I left you Santa was near arrival at Jenny and her mother's fancy Christmas day! There we were, silly new pajamas and all, opening our stockings and unwrapping presents bright and early. But first on the agenda: the traditional hashbrown quiche for breakfast! Yum. 

We have this every Christmas morning.

We skyped with Jamie and Paul to open our presents together, too. Have I mentioned I love the internet? It was almost as good as the real thing. Almost.

Jamie gave me some interesting gifts, as always... 

Wrapping and returning my book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
She borrowed this while at the beach in San Diego... two years ago. 

But she always balances it out with some pretty awesome things, too.

New glass water bottle from sister! I'm obsessed with it.
Cute new Anthro shirt from mumsiedoodle.
Paul found this Christmas classic at a thrift store, washed it, and sent it my way. It's actually super awesome and comfortable. And super sexy, obviously. Thanks, Bikey Paul

Yeah, thanks a lot. 

Mom spoiled me as always, but what's new. We have a present-buying disease.

Please note the wrapping paper with cats playing musical instruments.
This was the very last of the roll, which she's had for a couple of years. No!

New boots! I'm wearing them now.

I got little trinkets, Converse, cute sweaters and even a little canvas and gold paint to make my own Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You print. My mom's the cutest.

Don't worry, I showered her with lots of special things, too. J.Crew sweaters, jewelry, and a Whirley Pop for stove top popcorn precision. Mm hmm, I did good.

Grandma Bernie sent a bunch of lovely gifts as well, including these hand-embroidered pillowcases. I LOVE THEM. She's an embroidering machine! That sounds confusing... She's incredibly skilled, let me say that.

I also experienced my first ever Christmas bonus. Having a real job has it's perks.

My boss gave me an envelope last week and instructed me to not open it until Christmas. Being the anti-rule-breaker I am, I did as I was told. I wasn't expecting anything, just a nice card and a $5 Jamba Juice card or something. That would have thrilled me. What I got was unfathomable. I was in complete shock when I opened the envelope and saw what was inside. A check.  

I might have cried. Not like huge rolling tears but more surprised, appreciative misty watery drops. 

I felt like Tiny Tim.

Job bless us, everyone.

Another Johnny Mac Photoshop original.

My mother and I whipped up some treats and headed to Roy and Kathy's house-- my sister-in-law Emma's parents. There were eighteen of us inside their beautiful British home ready to eat and play games for hours. 

Enjoying some Glögg, a warm and spicy Scandinavian holiday drink.

There was English roast, yorkshire pudding, and the most delicious carrot casserole I have ever had. It was also the first carrot casserole I have ever had and the first time I knew that there was such a thing as carrot casserole. Like most English recipes it's much more enjoyable if you don't know what's in it.

After dinner we all opened our English Christmas crackers for surprise paper crowns, little toys, and a joke or two.

Fake laughing and taking pictures of it. Self-gratuity at it's finest.
But hey, that's a nice crown.
Here's half of the table listening to the silly jokes...

 Here's what mom got as her joke slip:

Q: What two words guarantee the origin of French wine?
A: Appellation Controlee

A real knee-slapper! She was the only one who didn't actually get a joke. Joke's on her.

After we cleaned up and had some raspberry trifle for dessert, the present swap commenced!

We each brought a $25 gift to exchange. In true Jenny fashion I brought a themed present-- Doughnuts!

Complete with:

  • 2 Krispy Kreme hats
  • 1 Krispy Kreme To-go Mug
  • Doughnut Baking Pan
  • Doughnut Mix

My brother of course ended up with it!

Picking numbers-- Emma and her brother, Paul;
Robin and Chris at the bottom are Paul's sister and brother-in-law.

After an hour of inebriated and laughter-filled swapping and strategizing, the game concluded. I ended up with a delightful bottle of wine, a box of popcorn, and Sour Apples to Apples! Score for me.

It has different cards than the original game, and a little green apple spinner, too! Fancy.

The kiddies then opened their presents from us, too.

Being silly with lobsters from Aunt Jamie! Look at those lovable scamps.

Then we wrapped up the night with a raucous round of Awkward Family Photos. Yes it's a game-- and a hilarious one at that!

It was such a wonderfully different day. Growing up every Christmas seemed identical-- perfect, but identical. I love that as I get older, year to year, the traditions and faces change and grow. It's quite lovely. Even sans sister-- it was a very merry Christmas. (But sister would have made it better). 

I drove home, dropped off my dear mum, and headed to the airport to pick up Sarah, who was flying in from New York City at midnight. No way was she taking a shuttle home on Christmas. We chatted about our holiday and hurried home to sleep!-- so we could get up. And go to work. BAH HUMBUG


Thank goodness this and next week are only three-working-days-long. Phew. 

I've got some planning to do before New Year's...

Hope you have a lovely winter Thursday.



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