The gift tally

Really good holiday this year (by which I count my birthday and the Christmas days together), with good gifts but especially with family and good friends. My birthday was fairly low-key, with just the family and a boozy theme: a gift card to the Brew Shop, a giant bottle of Jack Daniels, a magnum bottle of Anchor’s 2010 Christmas Ale, a bottle of German mulled wine.

(Update—forgot to mention a new computer chair for the office as well.)

Christmas Eve was the first of the big parties: we hosted at our house (which we do every year), with homemade pulled pork sandwiches, lots of potluck food, lots of candies and cookies, and of course lots of good drinks. I warmed the mulled wine in a saucepan, and we had plenty of beer (both homebrewed and specialty bottles our friends Paul and Sandi brought over), wine, and some mixed drinks going on (our friend Karen brought over some homemade vanilla schnapps she had received).

Food was great, the company was greater. Besides Paul and Sandi and Karen, Shannon and Brian and their son joined us (and of course my family was here as well). Everything went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time (I hope!).

Then of course, Christmas day. Which began really, really early (does it start any other way when you have kids though?)—the kids were up at 6:45 checking their stockings (that’s an arbitrary time we’d set up long ago), but I had mostly been awake since around 6. (Plus, the dog had woken us up at 2am, barking briefly at something we couldn’t figure out. Maybe Santa?)

After opening presents, we had homemade crème brûlée French toast and bacon for breakfast. Yes, it was pretty much as good as it sounds.

For Christmas, I got:

  • Candies and chocolates, a flask funnel, mini bottles of coconut rum and cinnamon whiskey, Guinness-flavored BBQ sauce, and lottery Scratch-Its in my stocking. (“What’s in Santa’s Beard” is the weirdest Scratch-It game ever.)
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
  • A gift set of Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage bourbon, with a combination cigar holder/flask
  • Four specialty beers
  • A belt
  • A bottle drying rack (for cleaning beer bottles for homebrewing)
  • A homemade calendar day planner (my daughter made it)
  • Money

The gifts are awesome, but it was spending Christmas out at Mom and Dad’s with everyone (Paul and Sandi and Karen joined us again, as well as some other old friends we seen once a year) that really made the holiday for me. My parents put together a fantastic dinner and party and it was perfect. There was so much good food and drink that food coma had set in by the time we got home. But we couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas.

I hope everyone else had a great holiday this year too!

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