Returning to work on Monday morning brought home the ugly reality that the Christmas holiday is over, taking with it my five consecutive days off. With everything going on, I certainly didn't get five days of rest. Fortunately, this is another short week, although the upcoming four-day break for New Year's may turn out to be just as hectic.
Still, no complaints from me, as Santa Claus did well this year. The first gift-opening extravaganza took place at Brandi's parents' house on Christmas Eve, where we received a really nice wine serving set, which will be a nice complement to the wine fridge they gave us last year. Most of the rest followed on Christmas day, when I got a gift certificate for a massage plus a sweater and a pair of jeans from my parents. From Brandi's mom I got a couple of polo shirts and more candy than I'll be able to eat in the next two weeks. From Brandi herself I got some deodorant (a long-standing joke between us), the final season of Futurama on DVD, a DVD player for our bedroom, a memory foam pillow, and a showerhead that'll do just about anything except cook dinner (and I'm not even sure about that). Due to a package delivery mishap, the last of my items from her didn't arrive until Monday afternoon, and they were a Chewbrian (Chewbacca/Brian) bobblehead from Family Guy's "Blue Harvest," and a mini-calendar from the same show.
The big prize of the season came from my company Christmas party, where I won a Garmin GPS system, which is totally sweet. It's come in handy already, as it helped Brandi and I navigate our way through some relatively unknown neighborhoods here in town as we conducting our annual Christmas lights sightseeing tour, and it also took us a different way to her parents' house when we went up there for Christmas Eve, saving us a little bit of time. I do pretty well with maps and directions, but it'll definitely be handy to have access to that kind of information on the fly, especially anytime we find ourselves in need of a detour or some kind of pit stop along the way.
Of course, there's a downside to the holiday as well. I got Brandi something I knew she wanted - a pair of tickets to see Britney Spears perform in Columbus in April. On the plus side, she was pretty stoked; on the down side, I'll be going to the concert with her. Oh, I don't really feel one way or the other about Britney - I'm sure the show will be entertaining, even if it's more for the spectacle than for the music. I'm just not thrilled about being in an arena full of screaming 12-year-old girls. I told Brandi that her part of this bargain is that she has to pay for my drinks that evening, and quite a few may be necessary to get me through it.