Woohoo! The last of the Christmas lyrics forever (because I don't think I can do that again next year).
Tomorrow is Returns Day (yes, yes you Brits call it Boxing Day, but I - and all other blue blooded Americans - take this to mean you have not fully embraced a capitalist system. Perhaps we will invade you to make you see the light.). People will be flooding malls and other havens of conspicuous consumption to take back the things their relatives have given them that they cannot stomach.
Even I'm sending something back. Here's our family gifting tradition. For the immediate family, we draw names and open those gifts on Xmas eve. Then we gather on Xmas a.m. and have "Santa" gifts - I gave the family those paintings. Then my aunt (mom's sister), uncle and cousins come by for the afternoon. Mostly they open the gifts that my parents get them and the youngest, still in high school, gets lots of gifts.
Anyway, gifts are always a bit touchy with me. I usually ask for something like money or gift cards, or sometimes specific things. I rarely get exactly what I ask for.
This year I got a large piece of art for my office from my mother. It's not exactly to my taste, and I'm pretty sure that my officemate would nix it, so that's what's going back. Mom is going to give me the cash to choose something in CA (or spend on me...I think it's going into savings for now).
"Santa" gifts were a vegetarian cookbook, a pair of fuzzy flipflops (I'll take a picture of them - they are so tacky, they are cool), 2 silver necklaces (1 plain chain and the other a dragonfly with jewel bright wings...hmmm), a "therapist in a box" gag gift (which is actually pretty amusing), and a dream catcher.
To answer P'tit Loup's question: Sister gave me the fuzzy flipflops, the "therapist in a box," and the dream catcher (which is close for her...but it's got lot's of leather and feathers and was made in China). I thought her gifts were okay this year, but her repeated comments about how hideous the picture behind the chair in my office is pretty much offended the hell out of me (I'd sent her a picture)...did she think about the fact that I had picked it and put it up?
Why does the gift giving process always leave me feeling so yucky, I wonder? I'm thinking because it almost feels more obligatory than anything. There is so little that actually feels thoughtful and good about it. Swiss Toni's gift of a donkey to Oxfam for blogger friends felt more in some way.
I do love the time spent with my cousins though. Had great conversations with all of them. Found out that there will be voting, by the public, for the Miss USA contest. So I'll be letting you all know when to participate in that. My youngest cousin had never heard the White Stripes, so I'm hoping that he has a transforming musical experience. Played Apples to Apples and Uno. And now everyone is overly full and going home or to bed.
I'm avoiding the malls tomorrow - subversive that I am...I'll be trying to talk my friend into letting me take a shower at her house before we go for lunch (my parents discovered a sewer problem the day that I arrived, which appears to be a break in the sewer line under the house...so no showers or full baths since I got here).
I've taken some pictures, I'll work out loading them up tomorrow.