We turned on Christmas music and drank root beer (it was too hot for hot chocolate) and opened our stockings. Mike got his favorite candy, and I got kitchen gadgets.
Then we opened our gifts to each other, which are supposed to be modest. I am good at keeping my promises of frugality, but Mike is less good (or more generous, one or the other). I got him an MP3 player, and he completely surprised me with a very exciting gift, a chiminea, which we promptly assembled outside.
The first time I experienced a chiminea was last year at my sister's birthday party, otherwise known as Marchmas. She hung twinkly lights in her backyard, and we sat sipping black hot chocolate by her glowing chimenea, warming our hands and melting marshmallows. It was magical. Now I can't wait to throw a little party on a chilly spring night on my patio.
Today we went to Denver for my mother's birthday party. My mother and I sprinkled snow on her snow village while the more mischevious men of the family hid gunmen in the snow village, as they do every year. (Ah, Christmas traditions. At least this year, no one in the village got eaten by bears or wolves as in years past.)
We arrived back home with a fresh new batch of presents that we'll open tomorrow before we leave for Sterling. It is going to be a marathon week of unwrapping--No tin cup and a penny for us, Pa Ingalls. But we couldn't resist opening the present my parents gave us and my mother created. (At the very moment of reading this, my mother is gasping loudly and saying in a very high-pitched voice, "You didn't!" And my sisters are both clucking their tongues at our impertinence.)
But mommy, the day was so magical with your birthday party and the tree was so beautiful and the package was so festive that it seemed right to open it early. I can say nothing now of the gift, lest my sisters become indignant, but thank you very much, mom and dad. :)