At some point I would very much like to work at a place that has some kind of holiday shutdown between Christmas and the new year. As good of a weekend as it was, it just didn't feel like I had much of a break at all. There was a lot going on, with plenty of travel, and not very much time to relax.
It started on Thursday, as both Brandi and I were off for Christmas Eve. We went out for dinner shortly after I got home, and then I had to wrap Christmas presents. I didn't have a ton of them to wrap, but I have the wrapping prowess of a handicapped four-year-old, so it was unduly complicated. Luckily, that was really the only task I had for the evening.
Friday was a lot of fun, but it was something of a long day. Brandi's family does their Christmas on Christmas Eve, so we drove to her hometown of Clyde for the day. It's only a 45-minute drive under normal circumstances, but we didn't know how the roads would be due to the severe weather we had. Luckily the drive wasn't too bad, and we got there around 12:30.
Since Brandi didn't get to come over and help with preparations on Thursday, she was put to work immediately upon our arrival. She had to wrap a bunch of presents for little kids, with me there to lend a vague hand and mostly just make her laugh. Of course, the kids started arriving early, so we had to scramble to get all the presents locked in the room with us so they wouldn't see them before they were wrapped. At this point Brandi got some help from her sister-in-law Wanda, and I was giving the task of transferring digital photos from a memory card onto her stepmom's computer.
We got everything taken care of, so Brandi and I went to the living room to watch an NFL game with her dad. That was pretty cool. Her stepmom always puts out a ton of snacks, so we were grazing pretty much all day. After the game ended, it was time for the gift exchange. Brandi got a flute, which she had been wanting, and I got X-Men 1.5 (Special Edition) and X-Men 2 on DVD. Then we had a traditional Christmas dinner, which was really good.
We hung out there for a little while after dinner, and then we headed out. We had to go see Brandi's mom and stepdad, who live in the same town. Just getting there was something of an adventure. Brandi had stopped for a car wash before we got to her dad's house, and with the cold weather, her doors had frozen shut. We finally got them open and headed over to her mom's house. We hung out there for a little while (Brandi got a bunch of clothes, and I got twenty bucks) and then got on the road back to Bowling Green.
We got back to our apartment a little after 10:00, but we didn't stay there very long. We were here just long enough to change clothes and get a few things together, and then we were back in the car and back on the road. We headed down to my parents' house in Troy. Brandi slept a good portion of the way, while I listened (and occasionally sang along) to Christmas carols on the radio. We arrived shortly after midnight. The drive through my neighborhood was astounding. I grew up on this street and spent a lot of time there, and I had never seen anywhere close to this much snow there. We had to park in my parents' driveway because of the piles along the sides of the road, and it was a cold walk around the house to the front door. Mom warmed up some chili for me and some hot chocolate for Brandi, which was really nice. Brandi went to bed shortly thereafter, while I stayed up for a little while to talk to Mom.
I slept incredibly well that night, and Brandi and I both woke up around 11:00 on Christmas Day. It was kind of a strange atmosphere for Christmas--normally we have a house full of people, but this year they were all advised not to come due to the weather. The roads were mostly fine at that point, but there was nowhere for anyone to park. So it was just the four of us, and it was nice. I got some good stuff (a pair of Shrek pajama pants, the book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin, another book filled with little-known facts about famous people, a Transformers pen, and a fuzzy blanket). We had our traditional Christmas lunch, and Brandi and Mom and I sat around the table for a long time afterwards, just talking and munching.
Brandi eventually moved away from the table and went to take a nap. I stayed up to hang out with Mom and watch football, but eventually I fell asleep as well. I slept for about two hours; Brandi slept for about four. Mom fed us again, and then it was time for us to get our stuff together and head out. We went to hang out with our friends Doug and Amy, which was a good time. We played a game of Trivial Pursuit, which they had gotten that day. The game lasted forever, and I'm pleased to say that I won, even without the help that Brandi and Amy were giving each other.
We finally left their place around 2:30 a.m. While we were there, it had started snowing once again. It wasn't much, but it was enough to coat the roads. I never had any trouble, but it looked dangerous, so I was more than happy to take my time getting back. With the naps we had taken, Brandi and I were both wide awake, and we shared some good conversation on the way. We got back to our apartment around 5:00 a.m.
Neither one of us was especially tired even then, and as Brandi was extremely excited to give me my presents, we did our gift exchange then. One moment was pretty funny, as we both bought the movie Gremlins on DVD for each other, and we were both unwrapping them at the same time. My main gift to her was an iPod, which she had been wanting and I knew she would use a great deal. She got me an Edwin McCain DVD/CD, plus a bunch of movies (Gremlins, Gremlins 2, the Indiana Jones boxset, and Pulp Fiction) and, oh yeah, a freakin' home theater system with Surround Sound and a 5-disc DVD changer. Nice.
After we had unwrapped our gifts and I had exclaimed how crazy she was, Brandi and I went to bed. Despite how late it was (well after 6:00 a.m.), we both got up around 11:00. I immediately got started hooking up my new home theater system, while Brandi started setting up her iPod. After getting it all set up, I spent most of the day on the couch, watching football. I did nap for a while, but mostly I just sat there and reveled in the clear, crisp sound of violent sport filling my living room (and probably irritating the shit out of our downstairs neighbors, who now have to deal with the constant rumble of my enormous 1,000-watt subwoofer).
It was a great weekend and an awesome holiday (and not just because of the gifts), but I definitely wasn't ready to get back to the grind today. It would have been outstanding to have another day to sleep in and...well, let's face it...sit on the couch and relax while enjoying movies and music on my new theater system. I'm definitely looking forward to taking some time for that next weekend.