The holidays aren't officially over yet, I know. New Years is just around the corner but honestly, in our house, we don't pay it much attention. Because I work at a university, to me, the new year always feels like it starts in September. Also, Mark always works on New Years so we haven't officially celebrated it in a few years now. The biggest chunk of the festivities for us though, is done with for another year. Part of me is always a little glad to be on the other side of it, if I'm honest.
Christmas day was really nice. We slept in a little bit, although it wasn't too late, Mark had to get the ham into the oven. I finished up the wrapping I needed to do and made up little bundles of baked goodies to take out to Mum's. I did up some for her and dad, a bunch for her neighbour (who is a lovely lady with two "very lovely girls") and some for my brother and his also lovely girlfriend (boy I like lovely a lot huh?).
We arrived at the old homestead mid-afternoon, just in time for dinner. My mum had done a turkey with turnip, brussel sprouts, carrots, potatoes, stuffing, two kinds of salad, veggies, pickles, cheese, home made rolls. You name it, it was on that table. Everything was delicious! For dessert, there were tonnes of different cookies and squares and cakes. Rebecca (my brother's girlfriend) had baked these amazing sugar-free pumpkin tarts. They just melted in my mouth. My mum had baked cookies galore, squares of all kinds, fruit cake, fudge. Holy smokes. I had contributed sugar cookies, Holiday M&M & Pecan cookies, Yum-Yum squares (like a butter tart), Fudgey Coconut squares, Chocolate Chippy squares and something new that I tried this year, Hershey hugs melted on pretzels, topped with a M&M. The last few days before Christmas I was feeling really lousy with a cold so I didn't do as much baking as I normally would but what I did do turned out pretty well.
After we finished filling our faces, we had a nice visit. Mark was working on my mum's computer (it seems that the network card is pooched so we'll be replacing that later this week). We had made Pat some DVD's for Christmas so we watched some of those while my dad and Joe watched Lawrence Welk Christmas shows on PBS. Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without our annual Lotto ticket scratch. Each year, for the past several years, we have all exchanged packages of those holiday scratch tickets that the OLCG sells. It was a scratch-tastic good time. Mark and I won $14 and Joe won $9. I think that Pat and Rebecca took in almost $30 but I'm not sure what their final figure was.
Yesterday morning, we took a new network card out to mum's to see if that would help the problem. Her machine didn't like the card we brought but, while Mark had it offline, he cleaned up a bunch of spyware and some viral crap that she'd picked up somewhere. He also installed Norton 2005 for her.
In the afternoon, we took a drive down to my Aunt & Uncle's in Smiths Falls for their annual Boxing Day open house. Usually, Mark's working on Boxing day but because it fell on his regular day off, we were able to go. It was really nice to see my mum's family (this aunt is my mum's sister and her husband -- mum's brother, my godfather, was also there). We didn't stay too late because Mark had to work today but we were there long enough to have a nice visit with folks and have a bite to eat.
The ride home was a little scary. It was snowing a bit and the wind was pretty wicked so visibility on the highway was pretty poor. By the time we got home, we were both pretty happy to be there. There is nothing like a day out on the road to make you appreciate the clutter and chaos of your very own house!!
One thing that made me smile today: On the way home from my aunt's, we stopped in Gananoque at the Casino. It was so cold when we walked across the parking lot that my eyes were watering (and the tears freezing on my cheeks). When we got to the door, all bundled up and frozen, I actually got carded. I had to laugh, when I told the guy, "um, well I'm a Centennial baby, do you still need to see some ID?" He didn't know what I was talking about and, fortunately, seemed embarrassed when I explained that 1967 was the Centennial year in Canada. Anyway, the visit was good for me. I won $14 big ones baby!