Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Recap

Hope all of your holidays were full of cheer! I was so excited this year about buying gifts and celebrating Christmas with my family. My brother flew in from California last week so the family has been together non-stop! I waited for him to get home to go shopping for our parents since we always split the bill. They tend to be tough to shop for so we always hope one of us has an idea for them! We ended up buying my dad a new stereo for his car. (Jealous, I need one too!) Then we got my mom a bunch of mini gifts to equal the same price. One of those that I loved was a Shiatsu Neck Massage Pillow. Good Lord I used it all night because it felt so great! My brother and I agreed since money has been so tight lately to not worry about getting each other anything. He just quit his job working for Paramount Studios. (I know, who would quit that job?!) He got an amazing internship though, so felt it was the best decision. I'm really worried about him though because the internship starts out unpaid and well he's supporting a house payment for three other people. Hopefully they'll step up for him though!

Onwards! We had Christmas with my dad, mom, brother and Brent at my parents house early. Everyone loved their gifts including Brent. I was so excited about his gift this year I could hardly contain myself. Let me tell you... this boy has been collecting records for a while, yet has had NO record player! He's been hoping to snatch one at a thrift store, but it's taken way too long to find! I ended up buying him the portable suitcase style Crosely turntable along with the matching retro stand. Lets face it, after I saw the stand set up so nicely at Urban Outfitters it was a must have! I also snuck in an instrument. The past few years I've bought him quite a few. Hoping he'll eventually have a wide collection! I wanted to get him a banjo but found a great deal on a beautiful mandolin. I just wish I had the money to buy him a better quality brand or an antique one. Oh well! All that matters is that he loved them! My parents got him a bunch of other goodies as well. I've loved having him at our family Christmas the past five years. My dad is also a huge collector of vinyl and spent the rest of the night with Brent picking out and playing records. It was beyond adorable. We spent the rest of the night drinking Bailey's, eating cookies, sitting in the dark by the Christmas tree and watching Christmas specials. <3
Pics of Brents Gifts!
Brent got me a book and a Diana Mini which I've been wanting! He's also taking me out next week to Easton shopping center in Columbus! I seriously LOVE that place this time of year! Not to mention they've got EVERY single one of my favorite stores. ^_^
As for gifts from my parents... they got me a new $300 radiator.. Nope not kiddin. I felt really bad it just so happened to break down right before Christmas. They made sure I still had gifts to open though! I got an awesome pink pan and utensil set! A heating blanket! Mind you this heating blanket has been on ever since then! I actually use it instead of additional space heaters. My apartment is in the attic of an old house, with barely any insulation. The heater has no effect at all! I also got new scrubs for work because I hate buying them for myself! Also, a gift I forgot I needed, a mini-toaster and a mini-mixer because sadly my beloved Kitchen-aid mixer is too bulky for my tiny kitchen or my big red espresso maker for that matter! Of course I finished off with lots of gift cards for grocery stores and some of my favorite clothing stores! 
Picture of a similar set to mine:
The next day we went to my Dad's side of the family's Christmas get together. It was really difficult for me because it was at my Grandma and Grandpa's house that my uncle purchased and completely remodeled in the past year. It was not only difficult going there and not seeing them, but being in a house full of memories that no longer look the same as you remember. We spent all night eating until our stomach's hurt, laughing until our stomach's hurt and reminiscing. It was so great to see my cousin's from Florida and Colorado and their babies! (Seriously starting baby fever! MUST RESIST!) But I tried the entire night to not think about my grandparents.. or what it was like the last Christmas I was with them knowing it'd be the last. =/ We had a little gift exchange and left with enough time to drive home before falling asleep.
This is an old & favorite photo of my grandparents.
I'll forever love and miss them.
They will always, always, be an inspiration.
The next day we ventured over to my other Grandma's house to have my mom's side family Christmas. She is my only grandparent left and we're all trying to cherish these moments. She just downsized to a smaller home and is doing well for her age... despite falling and breaking her foot and some early signs of memory loss. Every year since we were little we've had a huge exchange between my only cousin on that side of the family and my brother and I. However, now my cousins fiance and Brent of course have been added in. My Aunt is one of those spenders that loves buying gifts like myself, but does so much you feel guilty! My Grandma doesn't shop for gifts anymore like she used to or wrap them, but my mom and Aunt help her. This year however after everyone was finished opening gifts and already feeling overwhelmed, my Grandma passed out an envelope to each cousin filled with more cash than I'm ever going to mention. I won't lie I immediately teared up and didn't even want to accept it, then she started to cry also. She said it was because she didn't spend as much on gifts this year. When I know she did it because she's not sure if this will be the last Christmas she's with us. It just really breaks my heart. =/ 

To not speak of sad things, some of my favorite gifts from this exchange were: New ASICS running shoes, Victoria Secret sweats (shame on me!) more cookie sheets and cooling racks (since I left my old ones at Brent's) tons and tons of candles, bath items and wallflowers from Bath & Body Works! $200 in gift cards and hey, of course lots and lots of candy. =] Now all I'm itching to do is shop, shop, shop next week!

PS -- How can I not mention Margot's first Christmas either? 
My family always does a little exchange between pets. This year Margot got gifts from 5 family pets! She finally got a pink collar! I bought her a blue one originally thinking she was a boy! She also got some organic treats, a kitty laser (which I've never seen a cat go so insane over!) and lots and lots of bells, mouses and feathery toys. All I'll say is she  has been quite the busy girl ever since then! I just wish I could hide all the noisy toys at night!
It's been difficult lately getting good pictures of her since she's a ball of energy and can't hold still... and I currently can only use iPhone for pictures. This weekend I dropped my digital camera while I was taking photos for my etsy shop and the lens stopped adjusting and reading errors. So I'll be treating myself to a little Christmas gift when my school loan check comes in January. I'm pretty sure I know the camera I'm getting. I just know my mom is going to flip because she thinks I'm buying a cheap-o. But I really do need a good DSLR again because I'm photographing my cousins wedding in August! =D
 Lot's of blabbering in this post! 
Again, I hope you all had a great Christmas! Now it's on to New Years!

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