Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

I'm sitting here watching my parents and brother playing Scrabble; Ed, Cheng (my Thai-Chinese sister-in-law), and I alternate between making snarky comments and being supportive, mostly by interfering with Justin (my brother) trying to play his turns.

Ed and I have been in the Lehigh Valley since Monday evening, when he and I arrived on a bus from Philadelphia. We flew into Philadelphia on Thursday, rented a car, and drove to Landenberg to spend Christmas and stay with Ed's aunt and uncle; Ed's aunt and cousin from California were staying at their house too, while Ed's parents drove up from Virginia and stayed at a local hotel. It was my first time meeting Ed's extended family, and only the second time I met Ed's parents, and everything went pretty well. Ed's aunt is a bit of an organizational dynamo, so we had a great time but felt like we were being slightly micromanaged, but she cooked well and made us feel very welcome and comfortable. Ed and I went to a Christmas Eve Mass on Friday afternoon, which cleared us up for opening presents (and sleeping in a bit) on Saturday. We made out well: We got a calendar acquired in France from Ed's aunt Sarah (who, along with her daughter, Ed's cousin Collette, had spent Thanksgiving in Paris), as well as framed art from recent trip to Colorado; Collette gave everyone a lovely print based on her own artwork (she's an art teacher, and also a talented artist in her own right); Ed's parents gave us some of their own belongings that had been too nice to donate or throw away, but which they did not have room for themselves anyway, including a creche (instant family heirloom) and a Lenox porcelain vase that had been given to Ed's great-grandparents (I think) as a wedding present.

On Monday, when we arrived in the Lehigh Valley, Anne (Mom's sister), Bill (Anne's husband), and Ciara (their daughter, my cousin, and one of my bridesmaids) had just arrived in town from upstate New York, so we had a couple days of hanging out with them - plus, with Justin and Cheng visiting, it was the first time Ed had the chance to meet said family. It was nice to be back visiting with everyone, coming and going all at the same time. (Organized chaos.) Last night we all went out to Gregory's Steakhouse for dinner (this is becoming an annual Christmas tradition).
And - more presents! Ed and I both got gift cards from Amazon, as well as a Target gift card for the both of us. I also got a Kindle, which I was initially cautious about, which is turning out to be really cool; I've already downloaded a plethora of free e-books (although I bought a few e-books as well). I also got a few paperbacks in the form of collections of short stories, which is one of my favorite genres, so I was happy. Justin and Cheng got us a pasta maker (which had been on our wedding registry), which I'm very excited about, as well as a hot chocolate pot, which pleases my inner chocoholic.

We had an appointment with a wedding cake person yesterday, and two more today, but I'm still processing all the possibilities.

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