Recipe for a Relaxing, Bright Christmas Morning…
This was a tough year.
I had to be ‘dragged’ kicking and screaming into this holiday season – and Erin seemed to be having just as much trouble with it as she works in a retail job where she deals with customers who aren’t always ‘smiles and sunshine’ when dealing with holiday stresses themselves.
However, ‘the’ day – Christmas Day – turned out to be one of the nicest we’ve had.
Both Erin and Stuart made a point of staying around, remained visible outside their ‘caves’, got along, had wonderful conversations with us, and the great dinner Mark and I prepared was much appreciated.
Opening presents, however, was quite enlightening. This year was particularly lean by choice. We decided to give the kids money to go shop for what they want. Otherwise, we decided to give only one or two fairly small gifts each as well.
It was quickly apparent when opening the gifts that this year was different. Because there were so few gifts, a great deal of thought went into them. It was also really nice to take things slowly while opening presents as we only allowed one gift to be opened at a time. It was great to relax, breathe, and take in what everyone got, from whom, and why…
Buying for Stuart was easy. Video games! I bought Mark his favorite ‘Terry Pratchett’ books, and also bought him a video game – ‘Plants vs. Zonbies’ – LOL! Mark was pleased with the photographer’s backpack he bought for Erin to help her organize and carry her gear.
Erin, though, was a surprise. For someone so comfortable both behind and in front of the camera in her everyday life, she made me work pretty damn hard for the one decent picture I got. For Mark and Stu, I only had to take one shot each.
Below is the pictorial account of my efforts to get a good photo of Erin on Christmas morning, but you’ll notice that, surprisingly, I did manage to get one decent shot (see above as well).