It's that time of the year again - Christmas time! I hope all of my Readers are having a very merry Christmas, just as I am. This December has been crazy. Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year, so it was a busy few weeks scrambling to get everything ready. And I got it accomplished, and then some! I even managed to go and see the King Tut exhibit at a local museum before it leaves North America for good - that was amazing. I had seen it before at the Chicago Field Museum, back in 2006, but the King Tut exhibit is one of these things that you can never go too many times. My friend and I had a lot of fun (and I learned a valuable lesson when it comes to walking up and down hills in heels; even sensible heels such as I had on), and I managed to get the last of my Christmas shopping done while we were there. Some other fun events I managed to fit in to this busy month were: I got to see The Hobbit. Despite the massive differences between the movie and the book, I did kind of enjoy it. Martin Freeman was hilarious; he was the reason I went and saw it in the first place. I am no Tolkien fan. But I look forward to seeing the second movie, because Smaug has always been my favorite. I also managed to go see PNB's The Nutcracker, which has become a Christmas tradition for the last few years. As usual, it was a great enjoyment, and it never ceases to enchant me. Christmas never really feels like it's here until I've seen The Nutcracker.
But the biggest accomplishment of this year was the gingerbread house my sister and I managed to assemble. It took us four days to make, bake, assemble, and decorate. We made Victorian rowhouses, and it may look like it wouldn't be so hard to make based on the picture, but believe me - it wasn't very fun cutting out all of those pieces, discovering at 11:30 at night that we needed another batch of dough, and praying that none of the pieces broke as we put them together. I breathed a sigh of relief when we were done - it turned out better than I had hoped. Now we can eat it! ;-) Next year we're going to make a carousel; it's much, much smaller in size.
Last night was spent in a frenzy of opening presents. My cat, Mr. Bunbury, was extremely happy, because he got to make a nest out of all of the wrapping paper when we were done (he adores paper). It's always been a tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve, because we never did Santa Claus (which I am immensely glad of), and we do stockings in the morning. While I certainly enjoy receiving presents myself, I have found that as I get older, I have even more fun watching the reactions of other people when they open what I've gotten them. Funny how one's preference changes as one gets older.
Still, I really love the presents I got: my mom got me my usual gift of new pajamas - all black-and-white stripes and peppermint-red piping along the cuffs and collar (and they have pockets!!), - and a black-and-bluish-grey knit scarf with silver threading. Also, I received a pair of ideal hot chocolate mugs with gingerbread men on the side (they're adorable!), a sea-green glass vase, a pair of simple, pretty silver earrings, a beautiful peacock journal, and - of course - books:
- Gypsy Rizka by Lloyd Alexander
- The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap
- Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
- Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
- Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner
- Blaze of Silver by K. M. Grant
- Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
- Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz
- A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee
- The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
- Sir Thursday by Garth Nix
I only managed a half-trip to my favorite bookstore before Christmas, so this is only half of how many books I'm actually getting. The rest had to wait until after Christmas, so there's definitely more coming (yay!). Aside from my books, my other "mostest" favorite gift I got was what my sister made me. In the vast amount of books I read, sometimes I come across one that has a dust-jacket that I really don't want to be seen with in public. Or I'll be obliged to read a book that I don't want to be seen with in public. So my sister stitched up this wonderful jacket that I can put over any embarrassing books: The first picture is the front, and the last one is the back. It fits most books, and those it doesn't will strictly be "at home only" books.
All in all, it was a very good Christmas. The table is all laid for a marvelous Christmas Dinner of salmon and homemade rolls and Greek potatoes and yummy cookies and chocolate mousse pie. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and had got lots of lovely presents!
Merry Christmas, everyone!