Christmas 2016

Christmas was fairly quiet again this year. Nothing too fancy, just went over to my parents. There seemed to be less drama this year than in years past, so that is always a good thing.

Exchanged some gifts and had some dinner. Everyone seems to enjoy what I had gotten them, so that’s always a good thing. I did receive a Google Home and a He-Man and She-Ra book. It will be fun to play around with the Google Home, and the book is really well done so that will be funny to go through.

An added bonus to the day was that there were football games on this year. This gave us something common to watch on TV.


Christmas 2015

This year was a bit more quiet than past holidays. Spent the day at my parents with my younger brother Frank as well. Ant couldn’t make it up from Florida this year, and there weren’t any guests in attendance either.

I wound up giving out a lot of gift cards this year. Not so much because it’s easier/safer, but mainly to get these guys to get out of the house to use them up. 

To Florida I sent an Amazon gift card, an assortment of board games (notably Monopoly), a solar charging light/phone charger, Richard Scarry books, a beaver dog toy, and a Netflix gift card. Really wanted to get a little something for everyone, as well as things to entertain.

I got Dad a gift card to Bagliani’s and a block of cheese. For Mom a gift card so she can have s shopping day and get away from the guys. Frank got a new tennis racquet and Netflix so he can watch the Marvel shows (almost binged them all already).

I made out quite all right. The first thing I opened were sponges, so I was a bit concerned. However, it picked up after that. Got some much needed towels, a Lowes gift card (used on a mitre saw), a Sports Authority gift card, and my Mom surprised me with a new tennis racquet (I’m so bad, but it’s fun).

Dinner was quite, and I just hung out with the family for the day. We Skyped with Ant s few times, so that was nice too. 

All in all a quiet but nice Christmas.


2014 Holidays

Had an interesting holiday season. Just bought a house not too long ago, so I woke up someplace new for Christmas, then drove a block over to my parents. Ha, so that really didn’t change too much.

Christmas went well. Everyone was around and while there were some tense and unnecessary drama, it didn’t get quite as bad as some years past. But still a bit too much for taste.

We exchanged gifts, ate food, and just hung out. It wasn’t too bad, and the weather turned out to be super nice. It was freakishly warm.

I did miss the old Holiday Gift Exchange that we used to hold over at Atlantic Cape, but I was glad to see that they did keep with the traditional and held a version of it. Way to go guys, hope if was fun.

An unusual surprise this holiday was meeting up with former co-workers at Ventura’s, which was organized by the Rat. She really did a solid job, and it was really great to see so many old friends. It’s nice that everyone stays in touch. I really had a good time!

For New Years I found myself at Chris’s wedding at the Ram’s Head. This was quite an extravagant event, and it was a lot of fine to attend. The food was outstanding (I ate way too much), and it was nice to see old friends whom I don’t see enough of anymore.

Amazingly the Shepherd had an amazing time, and I still cannot believe just how much that guy was dancing. He would later go on to proclaim in the “Year of the Shepherd” probably well over a hundred or so times. It was quite entertaining to behold.

So all in all, a pretty festive and fun holiday. Good times.


Christmas 2013

While Christmas isn’t nearly what it was to me growing up, it’s still a pretty fun time of year. While the presents received doesn’t live up to the days of old, getting people really cool and thoughtful stuff is a lot of fun to me.

Apparently I really hit a home run with the Marvel Unlimited subscription I got my younger brother. He now has one year unlimited access to over 13,000+ issues of Marvel comics on his iPad. While I knew he would appreciate this a great deal, I was surprised at just how excited he was to receive it.

I did notice my Dad complaining to my Mom a few weeks back that these things he uses on the stove burners were well past broken. My Mom thought that the things were no longer made, as she hasn’t seen them in ages. Using the power of the internet I found out that they were called heat diffusers and in fact can still be bought. God bless the internet and a very glad father.

As for my older brother, he tends to be a really worrisome about his dog (Lady) when he has to leave her at home alone. So I got him a Belkin NetCam HD that he can setup wirelessly at home and check in on Lady when he is at work in full HD from his iPad (or any internet connected device). I was glad to be able to put him at ease and he was very thankful for the gift.

While my Mom’s wasn’t quite as exciting to me to think of, I did get her a fine gift card to Macy’s so she can go out and spend a day shopping and frankly getting away from the above mentioned guys in my family for a bit of sanity. She really likes to do that, and giving her a gift card to use up means that she will surely put aside time for a day to get away from those guys.

All in all a pretty successful gift giving for my family.

I was also the recipient of some cool stuff from them too:

  • The Wonderful 101 for the Wii U
  • a talking plush Honey Badger (very cool!)
  • some rare Guardians of the Galaxy comic (I’ll have to look that one up)
  • a re-gifted sweater that I immediately recognized, but acted like I hadn’t realized just to be nice
  • Sports Authority gift card so I can be sporty
  • and and assortment of other fine stuff too

While not at fun as it was many years ago, still a pretty cool time and nice to be around everyone in relative peace.


Christmas 2011

Just finished up the exchanging of gifts with the family. We had Anthony on Skype so he could partake as well. Still amazes me the communication tools we have at hand.

Everybody seemed to enjoy what I had gotten them. I had a Wal-Mart gift card sent to Ant (I think that’s the only store down in Florida where he lives), an espresso maker and a sauce pan for my dad, a Macy’s gift card for my mom, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Halo Anniversary for Frank.

My dad thought that the espresso machine was a really big purchase, but I calmed him down when I told him how cheap I got it on Black Friday at Target. He proclaimed me the greatest shopper ever.

I also got Elvis the Dog a holiday platter which he went crazy over. It was the duck one and he went for the dinner roll first, then the corn on the cob.

I got some pretty cool stuff from the family this year too:

  • Nike+ SportWatch GPS
  • NorthFace Bionic Jacket
  • Coleman Portable Electronics Charger
  • sling chair
  • snow shovel
  • socks (3 heavy pairs)

All in all a fine exchanging of gifts. With no crazy stressful fights or anything like that.


Christmas 2010

Christmas this year was pretty low key. So much of the family had moved, passed away or just alienated themselves the past few years. But less people did mean much less drama, so that’s not such a bad thing I suppose.

Thanks to the magic of Skype, we were able to have my brother Anthony take part when we exchanged presents. The interent really has opened up some amazing communication possibilities, it was really cool.

Everybody seemed very pleased with what I’d gotten them, so that was great. It seems to get tougher every year to think of something to get my parents, feel like after so many years I’m starting to run out of possibilites at times.

Here’s a list of some of the really cool stuff I received:

  • Lego Hoth Wampa cave
  • mononucleosis (harmless this time!)
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Spectacular Spider-man volumes 6-8 on DVD
  • Mario & Luigi radio controlled karts
  • a few flannels and t-shirts
  • Fraggle Rock Christmas DVD
  • Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer DVD