On the first day of Christmas, my friends and family gave to me…
…all amazing things.
I’m sure you’re sick of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa recaps by now. But if you’re up for one more, I can do my best to try and recap the past week. It’s been pretty good. Turns out, shutting off the computer and actually spending time with people you like in real life can be a nice little treat.
So with that I bring you, “My 12 Joys of Christmas.” And then we’ll move onto the next holiday.
Joy #1: Decorating our sweet-sized apartment with just the right amount of holiday-ish things. When you’ve got two people in a one-bedroom — plus presents waiting to be exchanged and closets filled with hoarder-esque things — there isn’t a ton of space left over for festive cheer. But we made do.
In true Ali & Brian Fashion, we waited far too long to actually do the whole decorating thing. We didn’t get our tree until December 23. Whatever.
Joy #2: Christmas cookies!!!!!!!!!! Have I eaten too many? Oh absolutely. I’m a case of diabetes waiting to happen and I’ve been running on sugar fumes for a week. But I’ve baked stuff, I’ve eaten fresh-from-the-oven melty stuff and I’ve gone back for second, third and ninth helpings. I’ve loved every bite.
Joy #3: Exchanging gifts with Brian and getting utterly spoiled. We had agreed to “only do small stuff” and “keep it low-key” this year. But Brian’s kind of a dick, and he broke the rules. So I gave him some magazines and Reese’s products (delicious) and a photo book, and he gave me this…
Brian also gave me tickets to Jersey Boys, which I have never seen, a spa certificate for the spa at the Mandarin Oriental hotel (swanky, NBD) and a llama hat.
All very thoughtful, very awesome gifts.
Joy #4: Waking up on Saturday and walking out of the apartment to find an early surprise gift from Mom and Dad.
I love the New York Times, and it breaks my heart (and pisses me off) when this happens right around the third day of every month:
I spent hours and hours reading the Saturday and Sunday editions. My desire to stay informed is going to come at a very time-consuming price I think. But I also gave the crossword puzzle a pretty solid shot.
That went well.
Joy #5: Flying up to Boston and seeing my main little man. Turns out, he has no idea it’s Christmas.
Joy #6: Downloading the game Bejeweled Blitz and setting the Feller Family Record. We are all addicted to this game. Brian included. It’s sick. But I’m the reigning master.
I’ve clearly had a very productive week.
Joy #7: Playing at a new gym. Lame, I know. But I like exploring gyms, and my brother hooked me up with a guest pass to his local L.A. Fitness for the days I was in town.
The gym was huge and nice and I took my mom to her first spin class there. The spin classes were awfully disappointing, but I got a workout out of them, so it’s fine, right? Right.
Joy #8: Spending Christmas Eve at home with my parents and my grandmother (Honey) and uncle who came up from Florida and Pennsylvania, respectively. We drank our traditional “Woo Woo” drink and did not much else. We had a few visitors but it was a pretty lazy evening around the house.
Joy #9: Going for a Christmas morning run in the snow.
I haven’t been running at all lately, so it was nice to lace up and get a few (slow, I’m sure) snowy miles in before the holiday madness began.
The run was nothing super special, but I really liked breaking a little sweat and spending some time alone that morning. I knew the rest of the day would be nuts, so this hour was important for me.
Joy #10: Getting wonderful gifts. Sure, giving is more fun than getting, but I really did like being on the receiving end of things this year. Highlights included the newspaper subscription, a steak knife set from Ryan and Michaela (everyone is excited about my knife skills), a drawing by Tyler (he’s so talented — watch your backs, baby artists of the world) and a subtle hint to stay off the roads and wheels for a while.
Joy #11: Giving gifts. My family enforced a spending limit this year, but we were allowed to “spend whatever we want” on Tyler, so long as we didn’t give him anything “physically huge.” I obliged by giving him a few of the “Llama Llama” series books…
…and outfits that I thought were adorable.
Tyler didn’t indicate whether or not he liked them, but I think he did.
Joy #12: Spending a ton of time with Tyler. And the rest of my family. But mostly Tyler (sorry, guys).
He obviously wasn’t super aware of the whole holiday thing going on, but Michaela’s family and our side of the family all came together at Ryan and Michaela’s house for a day of eating, present opening and giggling at Tyler.
All in all: A very Merry Christmas. Restful and relaxing? Not so much. But worth it?
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, TOO? If you’re a part of the Christmas-celebration-nation, tell me about your presents. What was the best thing you gave, the best thing you received and the best thing you ate?