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Holidays Are in the Air

So I’ve been slacking on the posting but I decided to take a week or so off during my vacation from work for myself. I wanted to spend time with friends and family without taking time out to write blog posts. It was purely selfish, but I really think it was needed. It’s help me re-evaluate what I want to write about and ideas to make our little corner of the internet better. While I’m a week late her are my Christmas recaps.

Christmas Celebration #1 – With Darren’s Family

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Before Darren and I headed to his families house for Christmas we exchanged gifts before hand. I got the bike (which I took for a spin for the first time this weekend), a Adele live DVD, dark chocolate of the world (from Trader Joes) and a few other small things hidden in my stocking. Darren’s gifts from me were of no surprise either since he practically hand picked them without knowing for sure if he was getting them. He got a watch, new running shoes and some Irish chocolate. I’d say we did a great job with the gift exchange this year. Most of the gifts were practical and we would get TONS of use out of. Those are my favorite kinds.

This Christmas at Darren’s families house is  the first time I’ve been away from my family for Christmas and it was a bit odd for me. Everyone has their own traditions and way they celebrate and it was interesting to see how another family does it. We attended a party on Christmas eve at a family friends house after having dinner all together.

Christmas day we woke up bright and early and opened gifts, had coffee and breakfast before everyone hide out and relaxed as preparations for Christmas dinner approached. Me and Darren watch Band of Brothers, which I’ve seen before. I LOVE this HBO series. It’s well done from the story, to the cast, to the visuals and so forth. If you are like me and are interested in WWII this is a must see.

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I was in charge of bringing sweets, which was right up my alley. I made a variety of things which of course I HAD to taste test. I made peppermint bark, Oreo cheesecake truffles (which Darren’s dad LOVED), Puppy Chow, English Toffee and brought some dark chocolate shortbread cookies. Phew that sounds like a lot when I write it down but didn’t feel like too much when making it all. Everyone ate most of it which is good because I didn’t want any coming back to my house. 🙂

Although it was odd to not be with my family on Christmas eve/day I enjoyed the holiday knowing that in less than a week I would get to celebrate with my family, including my brother who got time off from the Navy to come.

Christmas Celebration #2 – With My family

I took the week off work the week after Christmas. It was much needed and I’m itching for another one on my first day back to the office. My parents and brother came to good old San Francisco to celebrate together for Christmas on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Even though it was a week later it wasn’t weird or odd at all. The tree multiplied in gifts once my parents arrived.

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My mom is the kind of person that listens all year and stocks up on stuff throughout the entire year. She is really good at getting things you wouldn’t normally buy yourself but could really use. There were so many gifts, big and small. As was to be expected (knowing my mom) she got me and Darren several things for our apartment including a sweet new rice cooker, stacking mugs, and glasses. We also got some great individual gifts. I’m EXCITED that I got the Garmin I’ve been pining for and the curling iron – hopefully it will curl my hair. I also got some new running gear which is a great motivator to keep running.

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But more important than the material items are the time I got to spend with friends and family. My family very rarely gets together. My parents live 3+ hours north of me and my brother is in the Navy stationed out of state. I think the last time we were all together was over a year ago when my brother moved to where he is stationed. It was nice to get together, chat, see each other and just enjoy ourselves. We ate, we drank, we were merry and may have even watched a UFC fight – per my brother’s request. It was a great reminder what’s important and how much spending time with people is WAY more important than any material gift.

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season – no matter what you celebrate!

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