Happy Holidays to everyone. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah! Falalala Festivus! Is Darren Bleuel still celebrating Agnostica? Apparently so — Happy Agnostica! Good cheer to all Jedi and Pastafarians too. Really, best wishes to everyone trying to make the world a little better.
We had a nice time at the X compound today. Parents, Parents-in-Law and extended Family-in-Law have all gathered at various times from the weekend until today. It’s a bit more extroverted immersion than I’m used to on a daily basis but it’s been fun and it’s been worth the exhaustion. Today was the annual Running of the Gift Wrap from the presents to the trash can (at least that stuff is bio-degradeable right?). We had the fun of not only watching the X-kids open presents this morning but look in on the X-Family West Coast chapters open their presents via Face Time. (I love Face Time and its seamless video — I know that app is not NEW! but it’s really only this year that my extended family has gotten Apple’d up).
X-wife has cooked (I can’t really do much but I do try to clean up) and baked; today was a lot of eating. She makes a mean gingerbread cookie — really it’s amazingly good (especially warm and dunked in a scoop of ice cream). We’ve passed out cookies all over the neighborhood too — which is a good thing because despite ordering holiday cards to send out we only just got them from Fed Ex yesterday. (Chalk that up to just bad luck I guess, the first try disappeared into some kind of black hole at the carrier and the second got stuck for several days in the local facility before it was delivered. At least it arrived at all.)
We saw The Hobbit last week on Sunday, the X-kids definitely loved it. I liked it a lot too but I am still dubious about how long this is going to be — this first movie was almost 3 hours and it ends where my memory of the book begins. The littlest X-girl got a lego set based on The Hobbit. I’m still of two minds about Lego-themed sets but this one seems pretty promising (my own childhood experience with lego was very much open-ended world building that rarely had anything explicit to do with what the original box sets were designed for. I mean I did rip off all kinds of movies and books in imaging my own versions but I still used and reused the blocks all kinds of ways). She also got a little Avengers set with Captain America and a couple of whatever those aliens from the movie were called.
Today though was dominated by a present from the X-grandparents, a mini iPad which the kids were all over all day. I got a few minutes with it here and there — I would never have bought this yet but was happily surprised by the gift. We’ve put some games on it, some music — I’m sure it’s actually useful for a lot of other things too but we’re going for immediate gratification today, so games it is! I did finally see the point of the iCloud cloud service Apple has — I was able to put any of the apps or songs I’ve bought before from iTunes on to this new iPad through the home wifi network.
As for me, both of my kids got me really special gifts this year. The littlest one edited a video on iMovie with a lot of footage from her soccer team that I coach. Even a youth recreational league soccer coach can seem like Knute Rockne with the right background music and editing. The older one emailed a bunch of my favorite webcomic artists, but at the very last minute (like father, like daughter!) so she only got a reply from one of them (so far I suspect, webcomic artists being pretty nice folks in general) and it was from the talented, and awfully nice Dave Kellett who sent a sketch to her in the email personalized with my name (and my daughter’s name too). Which she printed out and gave to me this morning. It was a very nice present to get and I really loved that like my younger daughter, my oldest gave me something that is an interest we share.