It is not merely snowing. There is a full fledged, dyed in the wool, ye gods style blizzard outside. It does, I admit, look quite beautiful. I really love how gorgeous it is outside. At the same time, I have the flu, so I am not really enjoying anything as much as I normally do. I suppose you could laugh (I prefer to laugh at myself than bitch about stuff) and say Luis is enjoying the peace and quiet of the house - I have no voice as usual. I prefer that to a sore throat and have no problem picking my fights.
Christmas was good - well, Christmas Eve was good. I had a slightly scratchy throat all day but felt good, so I drove out to Long Island (specifically Queens) to see my mother's side of the family. I think that may be the first time I have ever made that pilgrimage completely on my own - Yes, isn't that weird? I always went with my parents, then Luis and I usually followed my parents, then it was myself and Luis. But Luis, who wasn't content with getting the flu the first time, came down with it again on 22 December. (At this point I figure he infected all of my coworkers (party was on 20 December) and I have infected the Parsippany officer who is now my friend, my enter family and a whole host of other people. Yaaaaaahooooo.)
I started to feel sick at my aunt's house but I was having such a good time talking to Henry, my cousin who lives in Suisse, that I ended up not leaving until 00h15. Everyone else went home and then to bed, but we were up talking for some time. It's funny how the childhood memories colour one's thinking. I think we were both very pleasantly surprised at how well the other turned out.
The evening was a fun meal followed by a completely orgy of gift opening. My two aunts and uncle had gotten Henry's kids, Viviana and Dominic, a boatload of gifts and really loved watching him open things in a huge flurry of paper ripping. It all started well, but about 90 minutes later, things were going downhill - most kids want to play with toys immediately upon opening them, but every time they turned around, there was another gift to open. I had been thinking at the beginning of this that Dominic (on the younger side of 3) was just ripping off the paper, thinking it was a cool gift and then wanted to play with it; after 6 or so items, he was rather frustrated, which I could understand.
One person had said to me that this is the first "real" Christmas we'd had in a long time. I said, "As opposed to all the other fake ones we've had?" and she said, "Yes!" It took me most of the night to realise she meant having small kids around. I never think of that. I may be the far end of 42, but I love getting Christmas gifts. I love it very much. I suppose it is not as fun as if I were 8 years old, but I hated being a kid and don't miss it in the least!
I admit I did get my list up on the late side, but my family did a wonderful job of shopping for me. Renee got me a small stuffed dragon from Disney World (Harry Potter, but I like the dragon on its own merit - I love most mythological creatures and I stopped watching and reading Harry Potter when they killed Dumbledore. That was a huge error on their part, I felt. I got the movie War Games, which I always loved. I also got a lot of astronomy goodies - the Hubble book, three DVDs... and I did get one of the UnderArmour shirts I asked for. It came with a free shipping number too. I'm sure I will use that at some time, too.
Luis gave me the full 160GB iPod (I love that man!), two sets of necklaces with earrings, and a set of rings. He's amazing.
We did not go to my parents' house. We are both sick (Luis has his normal voice but is still running a temperature, and we are both coughing up all kinds of gross things. It's more fun than mere mortals should be allowed to have.
Well, I hope that as good as Christmas was (and it was), the New Year will be better. In some ways it will be the hardest year coming and in some ways it will be very happy. Life is what I make of it and as hard as it is to give up something that I hate to give up, I make my life as happy as it is. I refuse to have it any other way.