Christmas Whirlwind

Christmas Day was a whirlwind: Presents, Packing, Driving, Family, Presents, Eat, Stockings, Friends, Presents, Dinner, Cleaning, Relax. Whew!

Josh and I started Christmas in Indio with the Browns. We woke up and immediately started presents. We spent a good hour and a half with lots of laughter and fun while opening. Then we noticed the time. The rush began. We races to eat, pack, and get on the road.

A few highlights during the Brown Christmas:

  • The Prank: Nada did the best prank ever. Apparently there are boxes at Bed, Bath, and Beyond that show Infomercial type products on the box. Well, she found one that was a family snuggie and another that was a Dream griddle. The snuggie had two head holes and four arm holes. The griddle also had a alarm clock and showed pictures of a guy making breakfast in bed at his hotel. Quite believable actually. Don and Josh fell for it. They seriously couldn't believe Nada would gives these things to them. Then Don tossed the box to me. It seemed awfully light. Wait a second...that's not right! Hmm, let's see. Oh my, it opens to something else...a nice sweater and work shirt. Bamboozled. Gotcha! Well done Nada!

  • Josh's Big Gifts: Josh received every piece of technology he wanted this year. His lovely fiancee gave him the Kindle for reading on all his upcoming business travels. Don and Nada gave him the PS2 - with BlueRay and Netflix capability (I gain from this one too).

  • Don and Nada Gifts: Don got some great photography items and Nada got a trip for both of them to Hawaii (I'm jealous on this one!).

By 10:45am we were on the road to Encinitas. Josh's parents drove us since they were going to visit a family member in Orange County after dropping us off. We arrived to the O'Neill household at one o'clock. We hugged and got right to the circle of unwrapping. I say circle because that's how it works every year. We all sit in a circle (well, we all have our spots that are almost in a circle) and then we unwrap presents clockwise, one at a time.

The Browns joined us for a few rounds, but they were soon off on the road. The rest of stayed behind and  continued the circle of unwrapping. We tore through the presents, pressed for time. Then we quickly ate some food, but then got right back to unwrapping stockings with the "don't look, just unwrap" mentality. Go. Go. Go.

We finished at 3:50pm, just in time for guests to arrive at 4pm. We had quite a few guests: John, Jan, Lindsay, Heather, Josh, Johan, Don, Sue, Jessica, Dave, Jon, Nikki, Judy, Bill, Dorothy. You counted right - 15 guests. We enjoyed turkey, ham, cauliflower (this was delicious - Judy gave me the recipe), mashed potatoes, green beans, jell-0, stuffing, and some vegetarian version of some too. A feast indeed. Then to top it with dessert: apple spice cake, cookies, kahlua cake, and glogg.

A few highlights from the O'Neill Christmas:

  • Heather Gifts: Fossil purse, boots, warm clothes, and well plenty of other great stuff - practically everything that I asked Santa for...and more including the awesome camera from Josh.

  • Swedish Visitor: Johan is staying with my parents for a few months and joined us this year. Based off his good, Swedish judgement, I can offically say my pepparkakor is authentic. He also introduced drinking glogg, a classic Scandinavian hot spiced wine punch, after our decadent Christmas dinner.

  • Mom's Big Gift: Kindle. Josh and mom are Kindle twins.

  • Stockings: Over flowing with goodies. Can they really be stockings stuffers still if they don't fit into the stocking? This is my mom's favorite part of gift giving.

With family and friends all together, we had a great Christmas. We were all pooped at the end, but with smiles on our faces and sugar fairies dancing in our heads.

Christmas Day Christmas Day