I'll start by saying that for some reason no pictures were taken on my camera after my parents arrived for some reason. I assume they have pictures on their camera which is identical to mine.
My folks actually came into town Wednesday night. As you can imagine, we've been a bit preoccupied and the holiday really did sneak up on us this year. I did, in fact, buy presents up to Christmas Eve this year.
Last night my parents took Laurie and I out to dinner. We also had the hymn sing and pie feed (and the ghosts of Andy Griffith and Garrison Keillor were there too I suppose) with our church.
This morning the males in the house slept in. Laurie has been preparing a Christmas meal all day. Gina came over and we had our family opening of presents. I'll walk you through the pictures. The first is me with an awesome pencil from Gina with a guy in a beanie on the end of it.
Here are the kids opening their stocking presents.
One of Laurie's specific items on her list was Susan Boyle's cd. I got that for her.
The kids got me a set of 10 Beers Of The World. Each from a different country. Contrary to appearances, I had not drank any of them when this picture was taken.
Schubert stuck right by me all morning on the chair. All of the activity made him nervous (even more so than usual.) When my parents showed up he went and slept on the bathroom floor which is what we do in our house when things get too crazy.
Gina also got me a coffee mug with a picture of Einstein on it.
I wanted to be sure to post pictures of the kids with the items my grandmother sent for them. Here's Gina with her new purse.
And Tony with his new flannel hoodie.
Gina also hit gift-giving gold when she got me the first season of This American Life: the tv show. Note the unfettered delight on my face, the unhesitating assumption behind my eyes that we will be watching it tonight.
I, in turn, succeeding in marrying form with function in my gift to Laurie of a silicone pot holder in the shape of Pac-Man.
Also jewelry and a lovely antique box.
One of my favorites was this new coat from Laurie which I think it probably destined to be one of those articles of clothing one associates with a certain person. It was love at first sight. Somewhere a tailor thought that they were imagining up an ideal person when they had me in mind while they fashioned this coat.
Then my parents showed up with more presents. I will try to put all of what I was given here:
a tripod flashlight
enough In-N-Out gift certificates to eat exclusively there for a month
John Hodgman's book
a copy of Life of Pi
Poppy Z. Brite's Soul Kitchen (you can expect another gushing book review of it soon)
a DVD of Irish poetry
a DVD set of the Ken Burns National Parks series
radio controlled sumo wrestlers
a board game about books
a DVD series about the Vatican Museum
A DVD show of Nature's Most Amazing Events
Tom Waits' Glitter And Doom cd
a Wagner cd
a classical guitar cd
So, it was a year of great gifts and a lovely morning. Soon we will be full of food.