This Christmas was a good one. The only downside was I was missing my family. Unlike last year, where we hosted 10 people (I guess we only hosted 8, since we were the other 2) we had just 3 other people this time around. Quiet, but fun.
My husband and I had decided ahead of time that we wouldn't be giving each other gifts this year. Partially that was a financial decision, since we are trying to be as frugal as possible while he finishes school, but mostly it was a "why pay ridiculous prices to get each other something when we could go shopping during boxing week" decision.
As it turned out, we have some extremely generous family members and employers. Our grandparents and aunt and uncle sent some money our way, and I was completely overwhelmed by an extremely generous bonus from each of the families that I work for. We decided that with all that money, we would go on vacation. We aren't sure where or when yet, or whether we even have enough but we are sure going to try! It looks like maybe Mexico or the Dominican for a week in March, which will be perfect because frankly, the thaw doesn't even start in Calgary until May most years.
Here are some highlights from Christmas:
A new camera! How lucky am I? I have been wanting to move a step up from the Kodak camera Joel and I have been using since our honeymoon. It's a good little camera, but limited. My step-dad is a camera nut and replaces his regularly. Lucky for all us kids, he is super kind and hands all his cameras down to us. It had been a while since I had received one, so he sent me the Canon sx10is for Christmas! It has been super fun learning to use it (I still have a lot to learn) and even inspired me to try out the 365 photo project. Check out the Flickr stream for that.
Moccasins! My parents love handmade and local items, and picked up a pair of moccasins for Joel, my brother and I. They are deliciously soft and comfy and I wish I could wear them absolutely everywhere.
Also in the footwear category:
New slouchy boots! Not Uggs, which is perfectly fine with me since Uggs are SO slippery, I almost die every time I put them on. These are cozy knitted sketchers with a real tread on them. I really needed some new boots and these are perfect. Not actually a Christmas gift, but my mom sent them out with the Christmas box.
A $200 gift card to either of the two biggest malls in the city. Seriously. Part of the bonus I got from one of my families, they specified that I should treat myself to something out of the ordinary for me like a BCBG dress or a new purse. Excited!
Apples to Apples. Have you played this?? So fun, I can't even describe. Perfect with older kids, or friends and coincidentally, (if you are so inclined) the more you drink, the more fun it is. We played this on Christmas day for almost 3 hours.
Finally, not in the material objects category, but a gift non-the-less, spending time with my hubby. He finished up all of his course work and internship hours by the 23rd, and it's been pure relaxation since then. He has until the 3rd to continue relaxing, but then it's back to hard work and long days for him!
It was also super fun spending time with my brother. As we've gotten older we've spent less time together even though we live in the same city. We both have strong (and very similar) personalities so it's easy for us to get on each other's nerves quickly. But this was almost 3 days of fun. I'm glad we can have Christmas together.
For christmas my brother gave me two things: Glee Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack (random but cool!) and a shopping trip with him. He is a super geeky cool dresser with a bit of an Elvis Costello flair and it is really fun to shop with him. We went to Chinook Centre on the 27th to check out the new wing with all the awesome American additions such as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Fossil. I picked up a pair of skinny jeans, a belt and a cozy sweater from American Eagle, and another pair of jeans from Urban Outfitters, which I have now decided to exchange for a sweater. Oh well, a good excuse to go back to such a cool store. Here's my weird self portrait of the outfit I'm keeping:
I did some sewing for presents. Actually quite a bit of sewing, and the last of it is sitting downstairs waiting to be finished. I'll post about all the handmade gifts when the last one is done.
Also, look forward to a year in review post. :)
I hope each and every one of you had a fantastic Christmas (if that's what you celebrate) and got to enjoy some rest and relaxation.