December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas Everyone!

What a wonderful day we've had today. It's been busy and the weather was awful, but nothing could dampen such a great holiday. Merry Christmas to all of you!

We started this morning opening presents with me, Kevin, Mom, Dad, and Scout. We got some very nice gifts--some clothes and gift cards and a funny dog garden sculpture (it's a little hard to explain so you'll have to wait for the pictures). Scout got a stuffed beagle chew toy in her stocking. It's just like the toy we already have, Stretchy Dachshund, and she loved it instantly. She took it in her mouth and trotted off to the bedroom immediately. We then had our traditional Christmas breakfast. Mom brought fresh Polish sausage all the way from Chicago from her visit there earlier this month. You just can't get real Polish sausage in California.

After breakfast we headed out to Orange County to Kevin's Grandparents to see his family. His folks and brother came by and we opened presents with them as well. Scout got some more great gifts--a new ball, a Petco gift card, and a box of Milk Bones from Harry (Kevin's parent's dog). We also got nice gifts. As Grandpa Lee said, "We shop at Wells Fargo." Cash--the gift that keeps on giving. Can't argue with that!

After the grandparents we were off to my brother and sister in law's. There we had even MORE gift opening (it didn't stop there either!). We got to give our gifts to the kids. We got books for both Corie (8) and Seana (16 months). Seana was so cute. Everytime she got her hands on a gift she would say "Ohhhhhhh!!!"

And after that it was over to my Aunt Sharon's house for dinner. We had a nice crowd there--me and Kevin, Mom and Dad, Grandpa, Aunt Sharon and Tom, Erik (my cousin), and Brad, Corie, and Seana. Unfortunately Katrina was sick so she stayed at home. We had more gift opening at Aunt Sharon's. Scout got a doggy stocking full of rawhide chewies and a new toy. What a lucky dog! We got a beautiful set of olive oil dipping dishes. Lots of nice stuff.

There we celebrated one of my favorite family Christmas traditions: Pic 'n Claus. There's a long story behind this. First you need to know that there was a chain of stores here in Southern California called Pic 'n Save. Pic 'n Save is one of those closeout, discount stores--like the 99 cent store before there were 99 cent stores. When Brad and I were young, we used to spend Christmas at our house in Palm Desert. Since we had the whole family there, we did a gift exchange where we drew names and selected 5 gifts for your person. Therefore everyone got 5 gifts at Christmas. Well, Dad decided that wasn't quite enough gifts under the tree, so he would make a trek out to Pic 'n Save. Now at that time, the quality of items at Pic 'n Save was very, er, lacking. Dad would roam the aisles of Pic 'n Save and pick up anything that remotely reminded him of one of us. Then he'd buy a roll of Pic 'n Save gift wrap (invariably the wrap would be misprinted, like with Santa's face and the coloring for Santa's face a quarter inch away) and wrap all of the Pic 'n Save gifts in them. This tradition became known as Pic 'n Claus. We'd open the gag gifts on Christmas morning and had a great time.

Pic 'n Claus has come faithfully every year until *gasp* Pic 'n Save got bought out by a much larger chain--Big Lots. Sure we could still have the Pic 'n Save tradition, but what about Pic 'n Claus??? Kevin saved the day by suggesting the name "Saint NichoLots." So now St. NichoLots visits with his gifts for all. This year St. NichoLots brought us two computer games--a railroad game for Kevin and the third installment of Myst for me. I love this tradition!

After a very nice dinner at Aunt Sharon's, we're back at home relaxing with some wine. It poured rain all day today--really ugly. Aunt Sharon said she heard on the news that it was the first time in 20 years that it's rained in Southern California on Christmas! This is great news for us, however, because rain down here means snow in the mountains! We're heading up to the local mountains to Kevin's grandparent's cabin for New Year's, and they were supposed to get 4 inches of snow these last few days. It will be great to have snow up there.

And that was our Merry Christmas!

Posted by Shelby at December 25, 2003 10:26 PM

No no... It's Big!Lots. You forgot the badly placed exclamation mark.

Posted by: Sherri at December 26, 2003 04:01 PM
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