Hello, my dear friends, and Merry Christmas! Though it is the 26th now, this post will encompass the last three days, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Below you can see Buddy, Sarah and Señor Elf as I found them the morning of Christmas Eve –all together and getting along!
I hope with all my heart that Señor Elf belongs to our household now. Guess we won’t know that until next Christmas. If he goes back to Christopher’s job, I’ll worry about him all month long. 😞
The final surprise in the Jurassic World Advent Calendar was this MASSIVELY cool Jurassic Park gate:
Here are some pictures of the gate attached to the final setup:
Of course, the last reward of the LEGO City Advent Calendar was the man of the hour himself: Santa!
He came with a carrot to feed his pony:
Here is a final look at everything, elves and all:
The Advent Calendars were a great joy all through the month. It was so much fun! I hope I can have one again next year.
🎄 Christmas Eve Morning 🎄
In the morning, I worked on Christmas cards and had mate while Celeste kept me company:
I wrapped my White Elephant present to take to the family Christmas the next day, and placed a couple of surprises on our partner’s side of the bed for him to find at the end of the day:
The rest of the day was a busy flurry of chores, of packing for the trip, of making sure everything around the house was just right. Having stayed up cooking on Friday night with our partner until around 2:00am, at least I didn’t have to worry about that on this day.
🎄 Christmas Eve 🎄
Not long after my mom arrived, we got dinner on the table, and then we started with presents (around 8:00pm). We couldn’t wait til very late, because we were leaving early the next morning.
Before my mom got there, I had spent about an hour moving all the presents into the movie room, were we had the projector going with a merry scene and Christmas music, and sorted everything into piles for each family member, as well as hid a few very special presents for last.
One was a special record I managed to find for our partner. Another was a stuffed bunny from my mom to Christopher that he utterly loved, it was one of the highlights of his night:
Her name is Ribbon. We will be getting her a nice, soft black ribbon for her neck.
Yet another was the LEGO DeLorean that he wanted most of all (from his mom) and finally, the crowning glory of his evening, his famed LEGO “White Whale”, the LEGO 10194 Creator Emerald Night.
Naturally I couldn’t discuss this anywhere, but I got it around August, kept it hidden and have been paying it off since then (it’s a retired set of astronomically inflated price that will not go down, ever). All my excitement that you saw me have this year in regards to Christmas was tied to giving this present to him, which had its intended effect upon my beloved recipient. 😊 Very worth it, though definitely the sort of thing I can only manage once a great many years.
This was the entirety of Christopher’s LEGO haul. Everyone got him LEGO this year, he’s a lucky boy:
It was very cold, so we got unusually cozy. I was wearing my deer kigu.
More photos taken throughout the evening…
🎄 My Haul 🎄
Note --I took multiple photos since I couldn't fit my presents into just one, and spread them randomly through this section. They aren't necessarily placed to match any accompanying text (for the most part) and rather to generally illustrate this section.
Both in magical experiences throughout the entire season and in material gifts, this has been by far the most excessive Christmas of our lives. To such a degree, that I hesitated to share any of my presents. But, I AM so happy and I do want to express that happiness and gratitude on my personal space, at least. Ultimately, I figure that few people look at my blog, and it isn’t likely to upset anyone of the few people who do read it, so I will only talk about it here. I do want to acknowledge the people who showered me with wonderful things, somewhere.
In years past, when I got really nice things for Christmas I kinda told myself “think of how little you had as a kid” and then I felt less bad about having many nice things as an adult. But year after year, and especially this year, I feel like I’ve gotten spoiled to incomprehensible levels, to the point where all of these wonderful things fill me with guilt. Not just during Christmas, I mean in general. Whatever “balance” I was trying to adjust of feeling like I missed out as a child, has been firmly unbalanced in the opposite direction, and I think I need to Calm The Heck Down™.
At some point I need to start enjoying what I have in front of me. And right now I have a lot… I have years worth of incredible stuff to enjoy, books to read, games to play. Like, I was overwhelmed taking the photos. If I never received another Christmas present ever again, it would STILL be a lot.
From our partner I got the Medieval Blacksmith LEGO set and the beautiful Spanish doll I wanted so much –I’ve named her Kalinka:
I also got the Sesame Street figure set from him, and a Bluey smartwatch.
From Christopher, Santa, Buddy and Sarah I got my LEGO Holy Grail, the Lions Knight’s Castle, which brought me to tears even though I was pretty sure it was coming. And also from Christopher, I got two Rowdy Roars (Beta and Dilophosaurus) Mandalorian curtains for my studio, two Snap Squad dinos (velociraptor and triceratops) a Hammond Collection Parasaurolophus, a Camp Cretaceous Allosaurus, a Grogu puzzle, a Velociraptor click tracker, a Scribble Scrubbie Crayola dinosaur set, a Jurassic World Create-A-Scene book, a Highlights Hidden Pictures magazine (dinosaur themed) and two Crayola Art Edge coloring page packs –Jurassic World Dominion and Mandalorian.
From my mom I got a beautiful red mate gourd (a happy coincidence, as I am working towards replacing my coffee intake with mate) the Amnesia: Memories fan disc (Amnesia: Later x Crowd) as well as Paradigm Paradox for the Switch, a box of alfajores, chocolate eggs and chocolate strawberries, a luxurious dinosaur coloring book with thick pages and the most beautiful, intricate pen-and-ink artwork, and an E.T. Tervis cup.
Regarding the coloring book, I actually don’t want to color it. I wanted it as an art book, just to look at. It is just so beautiful.
From my sis-in-law I got one of the most coveted items on my list and one of those that made me cry from happiness, the Monchhichi girl I wanted so very badly. I’ve decided to call her Ponzu.
From my mom-in-law I got an amazing 3-in-one LEGO Castle. Together with the Lion Knight’s Castle and the Medieval Blacksmith, it will all make an incredible setup. I also got two smaller LEGO City sets from her, and Amnesia: Memories for the Switch. One of the most charming things I got was a little snail ceramic figure that my mom in law herself painted for me. It’s so adorable and silly!
I also ended up with two White Elephant presents. This bird feeder that my sis in law didn’t want (and I’ll definitely enjoy):
It’s prettier than I expected, and even lights up. I’m looking forward to hanging it.
And this little waterproof speaker, which I’ll bring along when we go kayaking:
I also got these very cute dinosaur lollies from my mom in law’s roommate:
I also got gift cards from my mom in law, Grandma, and my mom in law’s roommate. One Starbucks card, and few Amazon ones. So I now have a bunch of dolls and books coming, too. These were all high on my list, to the point that I only have like two dolls left I ever really want —someday. Someday in the FAR FUTURE.
The dollies I ordered are all high quality, made-in-Spain dolls. They will take a long time to arrive, but I hope to have lots of fun taking photos of my new friends. They are of different sizes, and a couple I should be able to take places with me as I do my bears. Below you can see their stock photos, along with the names I have picked for them (their original names were Bella, Lidia, Martina and Chloe):
Once I receive them, I’ll make posts about them. I am especially thrilled to have been able to get Martina/Natasha, since she was discontinued and already terribly hard to find. So now I’ll have dolls by Gotz, American Girl, Así, Llorens, Antonio Juan, Paola Reina and JC Toys. It’s a pretty well-rounded collection.
If THAT wasn’t enough, I also have these books on the way. I haven’t been able to read Corazón since I was in elementary school.
There was one more BIG present I got, but I’ll talk about that one in a bit.
🎄 Christmas Day 🎄
Christmas morning we got the car loaded and headed to Grandma’s. I was a bit grouchy. During a lot of the holiday I’d had mild headaches and the cold was making my skin shrivel like a raisin. But I got a peppermint mocha and my crayons and coloring pages, my wearable blankie, and Raggedy Andy for company. I spent the car ride relaxing and feeling small and cozy.
Christmas with family was okay. We were all very eager to head to my mom in law’s to play games, relax and have some actual fun, because the Christmas meal with extended family is always stressful. But here came the big low of the holiday: my poor mom-in-law got COVID. So it was a rush of tests, of quarantining, heading back home before we could even unpack, sis in law changing her flight, basically a hard stop to all celebrations.
My mom in law’s face as we were leaving her house barely an hour after getting there was heartbreaking, her eyes were filled with tears. She almost never gets to see my sis in law these days, so it was a terrible turn of events for her who does so much and sacrifices everything for others; all she ever wants is to spend time with her children.
Honestly I would have rather risked COVID than leaving her alone. I felt so awful. I know Christopher and our partner would have stayed, too (Christopher is on vacation at home anyway, I work from home and our partner doesn’t interact with people at his job, plus we are all vaccinated and boosted, and we have all had COVID already). It would have been risky and stupid anyway, I’m well aware, but leaving her behind felt worse than that risk.
But even if we don’t care if we get sick, my sis in law has an upcoming surgery, works with immunocompromised people and has a big event coming up, all situations where COVID is taken very seriously so she simply cannot get sick. And we had to take her back with us so she could catch a plane back. So that is how Christmas Day ended.
🎄 Monday 🎄
We made the best of things and enjoyed one last day with sis in law. She masked, and stayed some distance from us. We had hot dogs for dinner and just enjoyed each other’s company and watched silly YouTube videos.
Oh, I said I would mention: the last big gift was something my old boss sent me, the double doll bunk bed I had on my wishlist. I was really shocked that anyone bought it for me, it’s so big and silly, but I love it. Christopher was nice enough to put it together for me when we were relaxing early in the afternoon:
It is really beautiful, even more than I’d expected. I think my dolls are going to fight as to who gets to sleep on it…
In the evening our partner made Mexican hot chocolate for everyone. But, it had cayenne pepper in it or something. It was very delicious but also painful to drink. Lol. Christopher could barely touch his, and I had most of mine, but couldn’t finish it.
In spite of the ups and downs all of this has been… well, a LOT. The amazing trips, the once-in-a-lifetime MOUNTAIN of incredible presents, it’s been a lot of happiness but it also feels a bit as if I just ate three giant cakes in a row. I feel bloated and guilty, both physically and emotionally.
I feel like I want to go on a diet of EVERYTHING: toys, outings, food. I want to quietly and calmly work for a few months, heck, a few years, and just enjoy what I have without buying or asking/trading for any more things.
I have so many toys to love, games to play, books to read, and things to do. I really need a break from all this excess, and to do just that. But above all, I am craving the rest and respite that I can only get from hard work.
So, I’m going to put the mountain of toys away, put the house back to normal, and hunker down to do art. I hope everyone’s Christmas was happy. I’m as excited to return to normal as I was about the holidays!