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Christmas is ALMOST Over December 28, 2008

Posted by Trisha Lyn Fawver in General Rambling.
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I say almost because we still have a couple gifts left to go before the season is officially done. Tomorrow night we’ll be going to Dom’s aunt’s house to give her the gift we brought and take her kids out to get their gifts – we figured it’d kill two birds with taking them out to spend time with them and letting them pick out their own gifts.

Christmas is going well this year. I got generally what I asked for & even the things I got that I hadn’t necessarily asked for were cool, like the purple jade pendant that Rachel gave me. I have to admit being generally disappointed by my parents again. My mom sent us a cheese spread and crisps thing from Swiss Colony to all share, and I think Al actually picked it out. Mom said she wanted to send us something else though and I gave her some ideas, so we’ll see if she ever gets on that. In the last few years I haven’t come to expect a whole lot from her, although I have to say that in the last few weeks I’ve been talking to her semi-regularly and actually enjoying talking to her. I think she’s sober, but I don’t want to ask, but she’s definitely much more coherent. It’s nice to be able to have a conversation with her and not have to repeat myself several times or hear her tell me the same thing several times.

My dad is unfortunately also becoming a let down in the last few years. At least he’s been giving something kinda ‘meh’, and then money. Money, while not the most personal, at least says “I didn’t know what to get, so get something you’ll actually want”. But this year kinda blew, especially for Damian and Dominic. They sent two big boxes of stuff, so our hopes were high. Especially mine, considering I had definitely remembered to email my Christmas wish list to them. On Christmas morning we opted to open their presents first before the ones we bought for each other. First I unwrapped a 2009 “Use Your Own Photos” type calendar, which is nifty…but for my birthday last year Joanna gave me a cool Ghosts calendar and despite having cool photos, it sat in my car ALL YEAR – I just don’t use paper calendars, everything is online. When I took her & dad to the airport when they moved to SC, she saw the calendar in the car & jokingly brought it up and I explained that it was cool & a good idea, I just didn’t need any calendars. So sending a calendar again is a little… meh. Then I opened the second gift, which I actually really like – a book on the Ghosts of South Carolina. There was a note that there were two editions of this book – they bought both and sent one to me and one to April and let us both know so we could swap and read the other ones when we’re done. Kinda cool…and more freaky to learn of ANOTHER thing that April and I have in common. But then the last thing sucked a little – a big bath stuff kit with apple & wild fig scent – that’s not my cup of tea and I probably won’t use it, although I’ll give it a try at least. Dominic’s only gift was one of those bath stuff gift sets of Adidas brand stuff – which he is most likely allergic to since he’s really sensitive skin wise. I thought they knew that, but giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they didn’t. So he’s gonna let Damian try some of that, because what Damian got is REALLY kind of disappointing, and made me feel bad that I didn’t get his gift already. They sent two gifts for Damian – one was a tub of generic so-so tasting cookies from Walmart, and the other was another bath type gift set, this time of Old Spice brand. His immediate comment was that Joanna should have known better since the last time he tried to use OS, he broke out in a rash and she knew about it.

So, what have we learned from this? If you only have Walmart to shop at for us, get us a gift card and save your time from strolling down the bath/personal hygiene gift set aisle. Surprisingly my dad didn’t call on Christmas, and with the driving and coming up here to Oregon I haven’t had a chance to call him.

So yeah, I’m currently in Oregon visiting Dominic’s family. We’re staying in his parents camper trailer, as per usual, parked outside his brother Mike’s house, as we did last year, which is much more convenient and centrally located than being outside his parent’s house in BFE. Also, Mike has cable and high speed internet, an obvious bonus. I’m not really on vacation this week as I didn’t take the time off of work – I am working while being here. But that’s the benefit of telecommuting – I can work from anywhere. I didn’t work Friday because I was in the truck for 12 hrs getting here, but I worked almost a full day yesterday to make up for it, working while sitting around and visiting with Mike.

Dominic got up bright and early and went to church this morning, as is his obligation when we come visit. Luckily the in-laws have given up on me going to church, so they don’t mind that I skip it, and I don’t have to endure that fucking chore.

I’ve never been comfortable in a church, in fact, I’m usually distinctly uncomfortable. The only time I’ve not minded being in church was during my own wedding (which, I didn’t want in a church anyway, but acquiesced to appease his family). Although their other Sunday tradition, tacos up at the house, I’m all the fuck for. Good stuff, and was good tonight as usual.

We exchanged gifts last night after dinner and everyone LOVED their gifts. I must take Bernadette out to lunch or something as thanks for the help she gave me in picking things for people. The four eldest girls, all over 18, I cross-stitched personalized bookmarks for them and they adored them, which made me feel good. They, his mom, and both grandmothers were impressed that I did them. Which makes me feel good, of course. The younger kids all loved their gifts, too: Genevieve went nuts over the Tinkerbell cross stitch kits, Mary Clare liked the picture frame cross stitch kit, the older boys liked the books we got them too. The best pay off, of course, is Gerard (5) and Jerome (3). Gerard really liked the Let’s Go Fishing game, although I slipped and didn’t realize it needed C batteries and they didn’t have any, so I grabbed some today. Jerome’s birthday is the 26th, so we got him some matchbox cars for xmas, which he liked, and a Tonka dump truck for his birthday, which was QUICKLY inseparable from! I hate to brag (lol) but it was his favorite gift across the board – he let Gerard play with the other matchbox cars he got from the sisters, Genevieve play with the Little People Noah’s Ark, and got downright surly if anyone tried to take that damn dump truck away, which he affectionately dubbed “Dumpy” (I guess that’s from a cartoon…). He even took it to bed with him.

Mission Accomplished! I ended up getting a page-a-day type calendar for his paternal grandmother and she liked it, and a small porcelain oval keepsake box with an angel on the lid for his maternal grandmother Nanny Braunger, which she gushed over and declared would be perfect to keep her rosary in. Score!

His parents really liked their gifts too. We got his dad a beer can chicken rack and a recipe book to go with it.  He got a kick out of it and can’t wait for the weather to get better to fire up the BBQ and use it – or they may just try it out in the oven. We were at a loss as to what to get his mom and decided to go the partial gag route – we were looking at Target before heading over for dinner last night to see everyone and after walking all over that damn place, we threw our hands up in the air and I walked over to just get some wine for her. Then, we saw the mini boxed wines they sell and Mike commented on how they looked like little juice boxes…and they had one of those little neoprene cozy carriers, so we got her a cube of pinot grigio and a carrier and she actually really got a laugh out of it. I guess his sister Noelle and her boyfriend Jonathan got his parents a gift certificate for some kind of spa day, so she said she’ll take it there lol. We advised her she might have to hide it under her coat lol.

From his younger brother Benedict (13) we received a large Symphony chocolate bar, always handy, and his paternal grandmother Nanny Fawver crocheted some beautiful, huge doilies for us. They must be 20″ in diameter. Celeste gave Dominic a gag gift of practical joke props, and me a little measuring cup shot glass, which I’ve always looked at getting and never have lol. Monica gave me an Oregon Coast shot glass with a lovely pink and purple sunset depicted on it…which I didn’t have the heart to tell her I already have from one of our last few trips up here. They also gave Dominic season 2 of Ironside, which I’ve never seen nor ever knew he liked lol, and the vol 3 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, which is welcome. The coolest gift they gave me, actually, is a recipe book that their church had made and sold as a fundraiser earlier this ear. It’s professionally printed and spiral bound and contains 130 pages of “Generations of Cherished Recipes from St. Thomas Becket Parishoners” and Michelle said that there’s a LOT of Fawver & Braunger family recipes included in there, which is why she gave it to me. So that really actually means a lot to have them…gooey brownie recipes from his grandma, recipes from his sisters, mom, other family members. And all the recipes note who submitted them, and Bernadette pointed out one she submitted lol. Even 12 year old Mary Clare submitted some, so that’s really cool.

Anyway, I don’t expect any gifts from Bridget & her kids, though you never know. We’ll see tomorrow…I think I’ve babbled on long enough for now 😀

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