It was another great Christmas with my fam. We had a slight break of tradition this year. In unprecedented fashion, my sister and niece didn't spend the night, so our morning started after the crack of dawn for the first time ever. Even I slept in until 8:45, which I think might be a first for a Christmas morning. Though Christmas rituals are big with my family, it was actually pretty nice-- we all got to sleep in (particularly good, since I was the first to hit the sack last night at 2A), the dogs got their special breakfast and had time to run through the presents, and I got to leisurely cook a spread that was ready to eat the second C-Bond and Mini-C walked in the door (I recommend everyone try the sweet potato and goat cheese frittata recipe located here-- it's easy, comes out looking beautiful, and is delicious. Also try making it with sage instead of thyme).
My family has a tradition of wearing matching pajamas on Christmas. I absolutely love this. This year, we all had polar bear pajama pants. It's the first time I've ever had mens' TV pants, and I've now decided that I'll never wear normal pants again. They're so comfortable. The dogs also got into the act. The three girls had on holly and snowman jammies.
Harry's been getting lots of extra snacks this week and his pair no longer fit, but he still got in on the act-- he just wore his fancy sweater.
We ate breakfast and then opened presents (as opposed from us opening everything and then starting in on cooking-- I think Mamala appreciated being able to have her two cups of coffee before having to ooh and ahh), and the dogs thought it was great fun. My family had a fantastic cat named Daisey for sixteen years who passed away this past March. Daisey had a special role on holidays-- bow collector. For most of her life, Daisey was a formidable cat-- she'd actually been given the nickname Tanker. She also thought she was human, and had to be in the middle of everything. Mamala is huge on Christmas bows, so we always have a lot of them. To keep whatever dog we had at the time from eating them, we would stick them on Daisey. She loved the attention, and would waddle past everyone, demanding that they tell her that she looked mahvelous. We all miss Daisey terribly, and I knew that this tradition was something that was going to be missed. Fortunately, Izzy stepped up to the plate.
C-Bond also gave Pedro cardboard brick boxes full of gold coins (and a mushroom, a la Mario) and money, and those ended up on Iz too once she fell asleep. When she eventually woke up, she had no idea what was going on--even moreso than usual. She was shocked to find everything on her. It was hilarious.
Alice thought having everyone sit around with food and unwrapping paper to play with was good fun. However, she wasn't particularly fond of the other dogs stealing her present-- a replacement boombox. She wore herself out protecting it from thieves.
She didn't need to work so hard, though. Izzy has this funny routine: she falls asleep on the trash bag of wrapping paper. This was her third Christmas, and she did it for the first time last year. We just thought that she got overwhelmed with the activity and passed out, kind of like how cats will sleep in their litter box if they're stressed out. But then she did it again this year, and very deliberately. Truthfully, it could be because she was stressed out-- Izzy can barely remember back thirty seconds ago, let alone a year ago.
The dogs managed to keep their clothes on until early afternoon. After that, they started falling into various states of disrepair.
Alice managed to keep her clothes on all day. Even now, she's still running around with all four legs in their proper sleeves. I find it interesting how much she doesn't mind wearing clothing, especially when she's so difficult when we try to put it on her.
The rest of the day passed... well, I don't want to say quickly, but without much to note. Mainly because I got the greatest gift: a gift certificate to create a personalized Franklin-Covey planner filler for 2009. It's awesome-- you can pick your layout and add in personal pictures for each week and month. So basically I'll have an Alice-themed planner, with a few weeks awarded to cherry blossoms, the Urb Fam, Chicago, the Capitol, and a fantastic picture of Katie telling Sean off over the summer (I don't remember why, but he undoubtedly deserved it) timed perfectly for the week of his birthday. The only issue with the planner is that you have to deal with Franklin-Covey to design and buy it. Their website and customer service is a ridiculous display of unprofessionalism and disorganization. Seriously, their site would be better designed by an angry warthog. I hate dealing with them, but I love my planner once I have it too much to track down a different brand. And if this one works out, this will be the best planner I've ever had. Anyway, the majority of the afternoon was spent dealing with that debacle, but looking through my pictures was pretty fun. I tried to make themes for the months, or at least group pictures that feel like they could fit the month. I had no trouble with finding Alice for the later months of the year (November and December were particularly easy), but months like April were a little more challenging. I realized I'm really looking forward to doing some fun things with Alice this spring.
The dogs didn't seem to mind the quiet afternoon. They spent a good portion of the time wrestling over toys, running in a pack, and begging for treats.
They got along so well today that when Pedro decided to tease them by sticking them all in Z's pen, they didn't seem to mind in the least. They just all curled up and fell asleep. Alice was really cute-- she snuggled her nose into Harry. I think she likes him!
A big coup tonight is that Reggie the cat made a late-night appearance. Reggie spends a lot of time in my parents' room-- he's not a big fan of the dogs (but apparently is a big one of curly ribbon).
All in all, it was a fun, relaxing day. I've had a really nice time visiting with my family, and it's been fun to see Alice finally have a pack of dogs of her own.