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Obligatory Post-Holiday Wrap-up

I really hope everybody had a safe and happy holiday all around. We had a great time with friends and family for the last few days. We are fortunate to have a lot of relatives close by so we didn't have to leave the area and try to drive too far, and it was great seeing all of them.

I'm obviously not a rich man (far from it, according to my bank account balance), and while we couldn't afford to gifts for everybody (we have large families between my wife and I -- mostly my wife), we did our best to spoil our girls and make sure close family got something from us. We did manage to spend time and enjoy the holiday with a lot of friends and family and I know everybody was happy and couldn't really care any less what we got them (nor did we care if we received anything from anybody). I'm just grateful and very thankful to have such great friends and family, and it was wonderful seeing all of them.

That being said, we still got spoiled rotten by people who we would've just been happy spending time with -- the gifts were just a bonus. Since Nathan asked about the loot, so here is the rundown of it from and for all the folks in the family.

(Note: Yes, I do have Amazon affiliate tags in some of these links so if you purchase any of the stuff listed below or anything from Amazon via these links, I'll get a few pennies. If you object to the affiliate tags, I'm sorry, and you're welcome to just search the Web for these items or block the cookies.)

  • Two cords of firewood, which was much needed and very much appreciated considering our woodstove is our sole source of heat this time of year.
  • We finally joined the rest of the world who have HDTVs and got one ourselves. The person who got it for us got a screaming deal on it, and this is basically our Christmas, Birthdays, Halloween, Ground Hog Day, etc... gift for the next year or two. It's a very nice step up from the big and heavy 27" tube we've had forever (which we'll be donating), and I can finally put a hand me down Media Center PC that I got from a good friend to good use. I'll be talking to BendCable at some point to get HDTV service setup and going (I need to find a TV stand for the thing first).
  • A bunch of great DVDs: Up (an incredible movie if you haven't seen it), Snow White (my six-year-old's favorite), and Arrested Development.
  • Games are a popular thing in our family, and this year was no exception, as we received a bunch of good ones: Blokus, Clue, Wits and Wagers, Scrabble Slam, Guess Who Extra, Shake and a couple others whose names escape me at the moment (one came from my Reddit Secret Santa).
  • A hardcover version of The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes.
  • A few very nice handmade gifts, including a table runner and some nice pot holders.
  • My girls got a bunch of American Girl and Barbie stuff (mostly clothes and accessories as they have the dolls).
  • My youngest daughter has been banging away at her pink drum pad (with matching drum sticks) and is loving it. Considering when she was smaller that her favorite toy was a small drum, this doesn't surprise me.
  • The annual tool from my brother-in-law, this year a ratcheting screw driver.
  • Clothes for everybody.
  • My wife loves her new wood cutting board (we've just been using a dinky plastic one for years) as well as her new fancy eye makeup.
  • A popcorn maker, which the kids will have fun with (and will save us money on microwave popcorn).
  • As always, gift certificates were popular as our membership to Netflix and High Desert Museum memberships were both renewed, as well as gift certificates to Fred Meyer, Applebees, Wal-Mart, Game Stop and Dicks (all very much appreciated).
  • One of my bosses felt bad we didn't have a holiday party this year, so he got a bunch of frozen goodies from Omaha Steaks for the staff here, so that's taken over my freezer.
  • My kids also received a ream of copy paper. They're always taking it out of my printer at home to use for their drawings and craft projects so they got a ream this year so they'll hopefully leave ours alone.
  • The kids will also be cleaning out their closets like they do every year and give away older and out-grown but gently used toys to charity.
  • I also introduced my kids to a couple of great Christmas movies along the way.
I was already extremely blessed and grateful to have such caring wonderful people in my life, but after documenting all this down, I'm even more so. I wish I had the money to give back as much as has been given to me (and hopefully someday I will). To quote Clarence, I've really had a wonderful life. And I really have wonderful people in my life.

I didn't get a picture of my tree this year like Jon did, so here's my tree from a couple years ago for good measure.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by Jake on 12/27/09 @ 12:09 PM
Posted in Jake | Permalink

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