Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Christmas 2017!

For my money, Christmas was awesome this year! It was the first time that Steph and I spent Christmas day at our own house (last year, we just went to visit our families separately).

Steph and I both took Dec 26 - Dec 29 off from work, so combined with weekends and holidays we both had a full 10-day break. But we also traveled and had family and friends over the entire time:

• Saturday: we visited Steph's dad and stepmom
• Sunday: (Christmas Eve) we finished up Christmas gifts
• Monday: (Christmas) my parents and sister came down for the day
• Tuesday: Steph's mom came down,
• Wednesday: our friend Dani and her boyfriend came down
• Thursday: we actually got to relax and do nothing!
• Friday: my family came back down for the Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert
• Saturday: we all went to Penn Square Mall and ate at Huhot Mongolian Grill
• Sunday: New Year's Eve (Game of Thrones marathon, etc)
• Monday: New Year's Day

For Christmas dinner, instead of having the traditional ham/turkey, I grilled steaks and asparagus for everyone. Steph also made her buffalo chicken dip, and mom made stuffing and a crapload of desserts, including her raspberry bars WHICH ARE THE BEST DESSERT ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET I WILL FIGHT YOU OVER THIS.


In addition to her new glittery purple stocking, I got Steph a necklace, a Tetris game and the ingredients to a mixed drink (a reference to one of our first dates), and a rotating photo box that holds some of our engagement photos in it. I had originally planned to make her something out of purpleheart wood, but when I was researching it I discovered that purpleheart wood fades from bright purple to brown after its been cut. So I scrapped that idea and tried to mimic the look by using purple dye on normal wood instead (as was suggested by Reddit). The result came out decent, but I'll need much more practice with the technique.

I built a wood dining room table for my sister and her new apartment. It's pictured above, but I went into much more details about the build on this blog. I'm really happy with the result, and I've gotten a ton of compliments on it!

For my parents, Steph and I got them a new ice cream maker (theirs broke on my birthday party this year) and a framed engagement photo. My sister and I had a gift planned, but as the late-December cold started wreaking havoc with my wood staining, we decided to delay giving it to them until we could really get it finished and completely knocked out properly. I'll try to remember to post the result later.

As far as gifts I received, Steph got me a scroll saw that I've been wanting FOREVER (<3 <3 <3), as well as a tabletop foosball game, as Murder Mystery Dinner Party game, and the new CAH gift "Cards Against Humanity Saves America".

Steph's mom, knowing that I am a board game fanatic, got me both the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion to Lords of Waterdeep (which is awesome!!) and Monopoly Millionaire. Her dad got me a bag of treats for the dogs and a new framing square (I can't believe I've gotten by for so long without one). Her step-mom got us a massive salt rock lamp, and her brother Trevor got me a waterproof bluetooth speaker for the shower.

As for the Dani's, my sister got me a gift card to Lowes (which is always always always a good gift for me), and a Star-Trek-themed Christmas shirt. My friend / future-best-(wo)man Dani got me the game Bears vs Babies.

My parents blew the ceiling off, as they do each year: gift cards to Amazon and Lowes, Mario Kart 8 for our new Nintendo Switch, Metroid: Samus Returns, a digital caliper and new razor blades for my garage, two board games (Mysterium and Secret Hitler), three movies on blu-ray (Stalag 17, A Christmas Story, and the Episodes I-VI Star Wars collection). We all played Mysterium, which is a CRAPLOAD of fun, and I cannot wait to give Secret Hitler a try.

If we can find a way to make next Christmas less stressful (in terms of travel and gift-building) and more inclusive (in terms of families), it'll be as close to perfect as anyone could ever hope!

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