Christmas went well this year, not that it's ever gone bad (in my memory, at least). As the usual tradition goes, Christmas eve is spent with my dad's family and Christmas day with my mom's. Both families are loud and ginormous so it's a good thing we celebrate on two separate occasions. With my mom's side of the family we tried something new--a secret santa gift exchange. Instead of everyone getting gifts for each other, my mom, being the big sister amongst her siblings, thought it'd be a good idea if all the adults played secret santa and got something bigger and better for whomever they had chosen out of a hat. I broke the rule and got a little something from either DC or Amsterdam for everyone in the family (only because I can't come home empty-handed from far away places).
I find typical Christmas wrapping paper cheesy and boring. Thanks to my former employment at Paper Source I've grown taste and appreciation for fine paper and more importantly, creativity. I'm not one to put money into decorative paper that's harvested from old-growth forests all to have ripped up and thrown away in seconds. Instead I pulled pages from yesterday's Times and wrapped gifts to images I thougtht matched accordingly. The ribbon I've recycled over time added the perfect finishing touch. Who says you can't be nifty and thrifty at the same time? Highlighted Christmas presents of the year--a subscription to The Economist, a weekly political, business, science and arts-oriented newspaper of Great Britain, 1000 Peacewomen Across the Globe, an amazing book I fell in love with at Busboys and Poets in DC's U District, and a deck of trivia cards on houes, their impact on the environment, and green living.
Finally, here's a picture of the grandkids (Chungs and Roses, soon a Namazie!) from this evening.I love the holidays. As different as everyone in my family is from each other, there's a sense of comfort and joy that I get from just being around them. Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years make the best excuses to get the whole family together for a celebration of good food and company. Happy holidays to all!