January 13, 2007

Funny, Christmas seems so long ago already as I have done so much since then. Here’s the recap.

Christmas morning Collin, Mark, Sara, Drew and I all had breakfast together: sweet breads and such with coffee and tea. We all slept in a bit that morning, and had a really relaxed day. Family began to drop by 11:30: Mark’s grandparents, his mother and step-father, and the neighbors Andy, Vicki and Thomas. Basically, everyone came over to exchange gifts and chat, but nobody stayed long as all of our visitors were going from house to house, visiting others. In between guests, Mark worked hard to prepare our Christmas feast:

By two our guests were gone, so we began our own gift exchange. There were stockings for everyone, including Emily, Mark and Sara’s cat:

I felt incredibly spoiled by all I received, as Mark and Sara had already paid for the majority of my airfare to be in the U.K., and Collin helped to pay for our long train trips. Drew and I got some great gifts for our home, in addition to yummy chocolates and such. However, my favorite gift was a blue john necklace – gorgeous! It’s also unique as the stone is native to nearby Castleton.

We all had fun oohing and ahhing over everyone’s loot, and breathing a sigh of relief when Sara’s jewely box (the name makes it sound like something petite – but this is more like a chest) was opened and it was all in one piece. Mark bought the gift by a craftsman in the U.S., who would only ship it in the States. So it was sent to Sara’s grandmother, and from there, Drew’s aunt and uncle delivered it to us after Thanksgiving. Since we heard it was a jewelry box, we thought we would be able to transport it over, along with the rest of our Christmas gifts. But it was much too large for us to haul around. We had a hard enough time dragging our bags through the London Underground and our trains. This would have been a nightmare. I in turn dropped the gift off to Collin before our trip, who under orders from Mark, put it in some luggage with only a layer of thick bubble wrap over it – it could barely fit in the bag with the one layer. I thought it would be crushed on the way over to the U.K., but it arrived with only a few scratches on top, and Sara was thrilled with her gift:

We ate dinner around five, and we all stuffed ourselves silly. We had homemade bread, turkey and stuffing, with little sausages wrapped in bacon, potatoes, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, parsnips and many other yummy things I can’t remember at the moment. I just remember that we were all so full that we waited about two hours for dessert. Mark did a wonderful job. Before dinner, I had my first Christmas cracker experience. Afterwards, we put on our crowns, told the awful jokes that were inside and examined our “prizes”. I got a tiny radio with headphones, and Drew got a compass. Good fun!

We dessert, we had the traditional Christmas pudding. Mark doused it with brandy and lit it on fire, before we ate it. A fudge yule log was also provided for those picky eaters who hate the Christmas pudding (ahem…Drew). ‘Twas a good Christmas, indeed…


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