It's been nice to talk with family and friends this year. I've gotten phone calls from Jeff Wolf, Nate Harris, Burke Larsen, and my dad Bart. It's nice to catch up with people, see what they're doing, realize (unfortunately) that I haven't made many attempts at trying to spend time with them, and resolve to do so in the new year. Time slips by so quickly with work and young children, and I find myself skipping on visiting friends, and even skipping going out for that weekly date with Melissa.
It's all about priorities.
Take tomorrow for example. I am going skiing with Dave Blair, Chip Blair, Lynn Stephens, Dave Henry & Jeff Wolf at Sundance Ski Resort
At least it's with family right?
And I must say that I am even appending it--planning on leaving a bit early as tomorrow also means visiting Great Grandma Jensen, the kids opening a few presents, and a Christmas Eve/sleepover activity at Lynn and Karol/Grandma & Grandpa Stepehens' house. History has shown Melissa and I that squeezing too much into 24 hours makes us feel like being put through a wringer. So we're spreading it out over two days.
Christmas day will involve Christmas Morning at Grandma & Grandpa Stephens house (again Lynn & Karol) to open presents. It's a pretty big shindig, as Meliss & I (and our 3 kids), Dave & Kara (and their 4 kids), Lynn, Karol, Jake and Tyler all will be there. The Christmas tree looks pretty amazing with about a hundred presents around it. Christmas afternoon we're planning on eating and sitting around in a state of giftwrap-induced torpor. Late afternoon we'll head over to Dave & Toma's house for the Blair party, a traditional gift exchange played to the tune of Steal The Gift You Want. You may know it as Chinese Gift Exchange or White Elephant. I Googled it, and found a Wikipedia article that even mentions a few others. It reads like a Mel Brooks laundry list, a bunch of a.k.a's that cover just about all the demographics:
"...Yankee Swap, Red Sox Swap, Thieving Secret Santa, Dirty Santa, Scrooge's Christmas, Scottish Swap, or Thieving Elves..."
Our variation limits the gits to being stolen to two turns. This has virtually eliminated any potential bloodletting and makes for an interesting show. The only rule is that it needs to cost approx $15. And with my brothers this makes for some interesting gifts. Thankfully, the feminine side balances things out, and as a result the gifts range the gamut.
It is a fun time had by all.
Christmas night, we plan on sleeping. Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap will both settle down for a long winters nap.