Once everyone was upstairs, my dad and I commenced with our family tradition of pancakes and bacon on Christmas morning. This is one of those traditions that was never intended to be such - one year it just happened, and has continued happening since. I honestly can't even remember what we did before pancakes and bacon, which implies that it couldn't have been that exciting.
looks like mom could've used that second pot of coffee...
After breakfast it was time to open presents! This year was not without its share of ridiculous gifts, and the addition of Sidney and Mini into the mix proved quite entertaining.
"Pretty sure that stocking is mine, Ben"
My parents keep insisting that Sidney looks exactly like Lambchop - and I have to admit the resemblance is striking:
...so they got him a stuffed lambchop dog toy. I honestly have no clue how my mom managed to find this thing, but Sidney was PUMPED (at least, he was pumped for 10 minutes until the novelty wore off, but it was the most excitement he's ever expressed for a new toy):
Speaking of Sidney, he also gave us a gift (no it was not a dead animal, or poop).
I knew it was a mistake to let the dog use my credit card...
...but apparently he can read. Who knew?
The day just kept getting better from there. Apparently my dad thinks giant bottles of booze are appropriate Christmas gifts for his children:
...we also received Norwegian-friendly mugs from my sister and gaudy and ridiculous Christmas socks from my mom (also an unplanned family tradition). Even the cats got presents!
In case you cannot read these, they say "Friends don't let friends eat lutefisk" and "Not only am I perfect, I'm Norwegian too!" Lovely.
After our gift exchange, we took Sidney for a good long walk on the trails near my parents house, and then packed re-packed everything for the journey home. When we finally returned to the condo, we had a few minutes to change clothes, feed and kennel Sidney and grab a few remaining things before heading out to spend the rest of the day with Ben's family.
The festivities kicked off with a nail-biter round of bowling! Surprisingly I wasn't terrible - this was probably actually the best game I've bowled in a while. Ben's uncle Dan was far and away the winner, but Ben, his cousin Anna and I were neck and neck for the whole game. In the end I beat Ben by one point!
It's true that whoever wins at bowling holds all the power in the marriage, right...?
After bowling, we went to Ben's aunt and uncle's for dinner, coffee and dessert. We got to see the cutest baby ever (aka my niece, Lillian), eat cookies (homemade by Ben's grandma Loey) and ice cream (homemade by Ben's aunt Joan), drink wine and chat with family. It was a busy but marvelous holiday.
I LOVE Christmas and am always a little sad when it's over - I am an extremely nostalgic person and the holidays bring that out to an even greater extreme because it's the one time of year when nostalgia is really socially acceptable. I like the sparkling lights, the cheesy carols, the decked-out department store windows - and I am fully OK with that (anyone else feel like it's sometimes not cool to care about things...?)
Hope you all had a safe and wonderful week - happy holidays and if you took some vacay like I did, good luck re-entering the real world...