Family Christmas, the Sequel

So here it is, February already, and I have been a bad, bad blogger. This tends to happen when real life gets hectic. We’ve been back home from Wisconsin for one whole week already, and it was a super busy week.

So to sum up the rest of the family Christmas, I wanted to just mention how during the second half of our vacation, we stayed with my in-laws. They do have the Internet, but their dinosaur desktop is kept in the room where M was sleeping, so I couldn’t really use it during the times I usually do, namely, while he sleeps. They don’t have wireless, and I admit that I was too busy playing their Wii to go looking for an unsecured connection.

We had our little family Christmas on Friday night, followed on Saturday by a bigger family gathering. We exchanged presents, and M got spoiled by a whole mess of new toys. He got a fire station house, complete with water canon (that shoots a molded plastic imitation of water), 3 firemen and a firetruck with a working siren. He was very intrigued, and my mother-in-law called it, “a dollhouse for boys.” He also got a musical instrument set with a drum, tambourine and harmonica. And we spent that evening (okay, so I spent that whole evening) coming up with new verses to the “2-Year-Old Blues,” in flagrant disregard of the fact that it’s not even a blues harmonica.

No one listens to my ideas
‘cus usually they’re bad–
They get me into trouble
With my mom and dad,
I got the blues…
I got the two-year-old blues!

Ahem. I wish I could remember some of the other ones. It was a pretty good tune if I do say so myself.

I always feel badly when it comes to receiving gifts from them, though. Because even after all the years we’ve been family, the gifts tend not to be quite to my taste. For example, last year, I received a watch that came with a number of interchangeable bands, many of which were holiday related. I don’t really wear a watch, and while the spider-web band for Halloween was my favorite, trying to wear it was uncomfortable. Not only because of my minimalist approach to adornment, but also because the watch/band configuration itself was poorly designed in that it poked my wrist in a very distracting manner. This year, I got some perfume. I don’t really wear perfume, and if I do, I’m kind of particular when it comes to my scent. So there’s another gift that will be sitting on my dresser until I figure out what to do with it.

It’s very difficult to navigate this, because they try so hard, and I could definitely sense a little bit of disappointment in the room when I found myself actually thrilled about one of my gifts and it happened to be the two packages of socks. Even the lens cap for my camera, which I desperately needed, according to my husband, didn’t get the reaction that the socks did. Oops.

I’ve been told that I’m difficult to shop for. I’m not sure why. I try to drop hints, or even flat out give lists when asked, but truly, I don’t feel like I need anything. I’m not really a jewelery person, and much like my scents, I can be a bit particular about my jewelery. Though I have had a number of people buy me pieces that I adore, not everyone gets there. I love my in-laws, and I appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into the gift-giving, so I really will try to use and enjoy the gifts I received this year. And if I can do a little something to make that purse more “me,” like decoupage it with some octopus pictures, I might actually find myself using that over the neat little handmade wallet that holds my stuff so well for now.

Anyway, enough of that. The next day there was a party. My parents came over, and a couple of my mother-in-law’s friends and relations. But mostly, it was my father-in-law’s siblings that attended. There is some family drama there, and we’ll just say that my mother-in-law spent a lot of her time and energy on stress and disappointment that day. Which was too bad, because we do like most of my father-in-law’s relatives and look forward to seeing them during the limited time we have to spend.

M got more presents. He played with James’ young cousins and had a blast with them. He was so fun to watch. So excited about everything. And aside from the occasional and palpable tension in the room, we generally had a good time.

So that about covers the family stuff from our vacation week. My intention is to get back to more regular blogging again, but with the extra hours I’m working and some other commitments I have, it may not be quite to the level I’d like. But I’ll try.


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