We went over to Mom's place on Christmas Eve. I guess the idea was to just hang out until everybody was ready to leave/go to bed, and then have the traditional reading of the Christmas story from Luke. We brought all the Christmas movies we own, and it was decided we would watch The Santa Clause 2, followed by The Santa Clause 3, because Steve hadn't seen them. Actually, someone said we were going to have a Santa Clause marathon, so when Steve put in the second one, we were all kind of like, "Huh?" but we're flexible, so we went with it. Sarah questioned it, though, and mentioned how whenever a new Harry Potter book would come out, some people would read all the ones that came before it to refresh their memories, so Steve asked Scott to summarize the first Santa Clause movie, and Scott did a brilliant and succinct job by simply saying, "He turned into Santa."
So we watched the second Santa Clause, and after the movie, Mom and Steve went to pick up a gift for Kimee (since Sarah had drawn Kimee's name and forgot to buy one, I guess because of all the wedding stuff going on), and then pick up Steve's mom from the airport. In the meantime, we all had dinner, and instead of watching The Santa Clause 3, we decided to play Mario Party DS. I wish I could remember some of the more interesting excerpts. By the time the older people got back, it was too late to watch a movie, and Sarah's boy was falling asleep, so we all listened to the Christmas story, and then we talked about some of the things everybody associates with the nativity that weren't necessarily a part of it, like how we don't actually know how many wise men there were and stuff like that.
Then we came home and played Final Fantasy V, and woke up the next morning at eight-thirty when Mom called. She had told us she would pick us up after nine, but I guess since Sarah's boy showed up early to take her to his family's Christmas celebration, they were all awake. So we got out of bed and headed over there, and then waited until Celeste and her husband arrived with the new edition to their family--a black Labrador retriever puppy (three months old) whose name might be Eclipse or might be Twilight (but not because of the books). She was very cute but not yet house-trained so had to be kept outside while we all opened presents.
There were a lot of good gifts for everyone this year, and we were pretty pleased that whenever someone really liked a gift, usually we were involved in the selection process. We were so worried, but as the time to open presents got closer, we kept getting hints that we had done a good job choosing. For example, Sarah told us on Christmas Eve that she sometimes felt bad because she wished she could be a better cook for her future family, and we had gotten her a DS game that's like a cooking coach. She was really excited about it, and spent a long time going through it, looking at everything it had (it has demonstrations on things like chopping vegetables, cleaning fish, etc.!), and then put in the other game we got her and played it until she and her fiance left. And Celeste told us that very morning that she was finally going to take the second semester of her Chinese classes next semester, and now she had to try and remember everything she learned in her first semester. And we got her My Chinese Coach for DS. It's like inspiration!
While I do tell this a little because I like to show off, it's mostly because not only was it a relief, but we're very glad they liked their gifts.
As for us, we got a bunch of awesome stuff. I got a book on The Art of Disney, and Athena got a storybook of Mickey Mouse stories (storybook versions of the old Mickey Mouse shorts). Kimee gave me Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? for PS2, plus a little Mickey Mouse plush toy--she is a very good gift selector. Athena got a Game Stop gift card, we got a set of shelves (now we can finally clear up some of these piles lying around!), and an emergency preparedness kit, which is especially awesome, because lately our old fears of the apocalypse have been revived.
And Sarah and her boy got Athena Batman Begins and The Dark Knight on Blu-ray! There are so many extras on these things we could probably spend all week watching Batman stuff and still not finish it. We like to look at the audio options and half-joke about, "We could watch it in French!" so I went to do just that and discovered that the Blu-ray version of Batman Begins has a Japanese track! This is the awesomest thing ever! Unfortunately, the Dark Knight only has the regular English, Spanish and French (dubbed in Quebec). But Batman Begins also has Portuguese!
Sarah's boy decided, surprisingly, to keep the Disney Princess CD we got him. In Japan, they have a saying that's something about grudges about food lasting a long time. In our case, grudges about Disney music last a long time (it's why we hated classical music for a couple years). And some of you may remember we had a little bit of a falling out over Disney music when we went to Disneyland with Celeste and Sarah and their boys back in August. So we decided to give Sarah's boy a joke gift in the form of Disney music CDs, and then give him his real gift. We took it one step further, for dramatic emphasis, and gave him one regular Disney music CD (only they didn't sell Disney's Greatest Hits at Best Buy, so we just wrapped one of our own, and we had to take that one back), then, to give him a false sense of security, we put another CD in a DVD case--this time, Disney Princess (he's a manly man who likes sports and superheroes). And then we would give him his real present--season one of The Justice League. The joke didn't go over quite so well, because he's a very polite boy, which is just as well and kind of expected. And so I'm still not entirely sure he wasn't just being polite when I heard him say later that Sarah didn't understand how completely awesome his real gift was.
There was dinner and card games and eventually The Santa Clause 3, which didn't go over quite so well as The Santa Clause 2, despite the fact that we think the whole North Pole as Canada thing is hilarious. And then we came home and played some video games. Fifth Grader is so addictive because every time you fail it's like, "But I can totally do it! I have to try again!" and Lego Star Wars is addictive because it's Lego Star Wars, but we managed to pull ourselves away and watch Dad on Star Trek, which was awesome. The episode also features Captain Picard in a green puffy shirt and spray-on pants! And we got to confirm our suspicions that the actor who plays the Sandman in the Santa Clause movies is, in fact, Worf. He just looks so different in the Santa Clause movies. Go figure *grin*
And now we have finally done the cleaning we needed to do before Dad comes in later tonight, and we found ourselves an awesome Japanese webcomic with personified countries as characters, but I think I'll talk more about that later. For now, suffice it to say, it is awesome.
Today I'm thankful for getting our cleaning done, getting a bunch of awesome gifts, having some time to finally open the shiny that's been waiting in our living room since Monday (or was it Tuesday?), getting to see Dad on Star Trek last night, and Dad coming in tonight.