This year, we had three celebrations...
Round One: Sunday, December 18th, I brought the girls to Mimi's church to pick her up, then we drove to the club my mom belongs to. They were hosting/throwing an Xmas Brunch, and we had reservations for 1215p. After about an hour, we had all more than had our fill (definitely got our $30/person worth of food!), and headed up to Mimi's to unwrap some gifts. Highlights of that round -- Princess got books (one of which is all about Australia; their next adventure spot!) & some college money, Squeeks got a hand-made gloves/scarf/hat set & pillowcase and some new ornaments, and I got tickets for Storm Large's show in April (to see with Ace, of course).
Round Two: Saturday, December 24th, we invited Ace's sister & BIL up from Salem and GamerBoy down from the mountain. Everyone arrived between 1230p & 1p. We had a lovely ham dinner, fully prepared by Ace, and finished with lots of goodies for dessert (some made by me, some made by Ace, some bought). A small gift exchange, photos session, & lots of talking ensued soon after. We were happy to find that GamerBoy's next term is already scheduled, and he's really pushing himself to find a job (turning in roughly 15 applications per week); he's had interviews, but nothing's panned out yet. Everyone left around 530p, so the rest of the evening consisted of leftovers for dinner & playing games.
Round Three: Sunday, December 25th, both girls & Ace all slept 'til after 930a, so I spent a quiet morning with my mocha, my laptop, & my dogs... and wishing some friends & friends a Merry Santamas via text messages. Once everyone was up (& Ace was coffee'd), we got to opening the rest of the gifts. Every single gift this year was bought with CASH (or debit; no credit cards); so proud of that. Anyway, highlight gifts included: Ace got a new weather station system, I got a promise for an acrylic craft paint shaker (trust me, this is an awesome thing in my work world -- my arm's starting to hurt from all the bottle shaking I have to do) & Ace had my CND certificate professionally framed, Squeeks & Princess both got books, clothes, and lots of gift cards.
Ace & I spent the afternoon watching Stephen King's miniseries (recorded earlier in the day) "BAG OF BONES", based on his novel of the same name, but with a *lot* of updates. The girls, meanwhile, played on the computer, downloaded some music using their Amazon gift cards, and hung out together.
Today is another quiet day... I took the girls to Target this morning (not super-early though; those "early birds" are certifiably crazy -- NO deal is worth the lack of sleep). With their 50% off, plus using my Target card (an extra 5% off, plus $$ for Princess' school), I spent just under $60 on boxes, tissue, tins, cards, etc... prepping for next year! Princess got herself a new tank top & some new headphones, and Squeeks chose to wait to spend her gift cards for now.
Princess & Ace will get some one-on-one time this afternoon/evening while I drop Squeeks off at her friends' house, head up to work for a few hours, then pick her back up so we all can enjoy one more family dinner before she returns to her mother's tomorrow.