Another year and another Christmas has finally come and gone. Now don't get me wrong I enjoy spending time with the family and such, but really the whole being stressed out for no real good reason just drives me crazy. It had been a few years since I felt the Christmas stress, but this year I nearly went crazy. It was the first year I didn't completely give out photos as gifts, there were a couple reasons for this including lack of truly great photos, time constraints and I figured you can only have space for so many photos. So this year I joined the rest of the world in the regular shopping world and had a difficult time. Thankfully I was able to do most of my shopping online, which made things a whole lot easier, but it didn't make it easier to find gifts for people. Either way it is over now and everybody got gifts they hopefully enjoyed and will have a use for.
The actual holiday itself wasn't very stressful, we did have to drive all over the place, but the time was spaced out nicely and allowed for some relaxation between journeys. On Friday night we went to my mom's house and then went to dinner at the Barking Dog before returning to the house and opening presents.
On Saturday morning we woke up and drove down to Jennifer's parents house in Connecticut. We didn't encounter any traffic and were there in no time. Since we were staying down there for a couple of days it was nice to kick back, relax and actually enjoy the holiday. I learned all about the Riebe Christmas tradition, such as lighting luminaries along the driveway, paella on Christmas eve, waking up at 5 o'clock to open presents and then going through stockings first?!?! and many other great traditions. On Monday the extended family from NJ came up for a meet and greet. Everybody was great and I think I fit in rather well with the whole bunch. We took off soon afterwards because we had to go up to my dad's for dinner.
Unfortunately we didn't have the same luck with traffic as we did on the way down. There was traffic in Waterbury and then near Hartford and again as we neared the Mass Pike. The entire drive we had been testing out a new GPS device I had received for Christmas that plugs into my laptop and gives directions. Once we hit the last bit of traffic we decided to truly test out the GPS. First we turned off the highway and it told us to make turns to get back on, but eventually it realized what we were doing and recalculated with a new route. It's a pretty cool little toy and I can't wait until I am in the passenger seat and really play around with it.
We eventually made it to my dad's, but too late for dinner. Instead we just hung out, exchanged gifts and then went home. It was nice to be back in our place for the first time after the holidays. I made up a rule that all of our new stuff had to go into the back room until we found a place for each thing. On Monday morning I woke up and put most of the stuff away before leaving for work and Jennifer put hers away not longer after I left. Finally last night we removed all of the Christmas stuff including the tree and now our house is back to normal with a few new things here and there. Phew we made it through another Christmas.
Brickett Christmas Photos
Riebe Christmas Photos
Now moving on 2006!!!! Wedding planning is now the topic of conversation as well as the primary activity in our house. I think Jennifer sat at the computer for six hours yesterday looking for places online. Finally at ten last night I made her shut the computer off and join me in the living room for a break. Things are slowly coming together and hopefully after checking out some places today we will have a where and a when. We are definitely shooting for somewhere around Boston in September or October. While this won't allow us to go on a honeymoon aftewards it is probably the best chance we have for getting married this year. I will keep you posted on all goings on and put up the wedding date as soon as I know. Who needs Save The Date cards when you have an LJ?
Happy New Year!!!