Monday, January 8, 2018

Holiday Review

Well, Christmas 2017 and New Year's 2018 have both come and gone. I'm on my last day of vacation before returning to work; the weather has warmed up considerably but with the warmer weather came the snow so sometime today I'll be out doing the driveway and making trails for the dogs.  Thankfully with a snowblower and not with a shovel.

I took two weeks off this year; it made for a really relaxing holiday. I didn't do as much as planned but that's okay too.  I did go with some friends to see the light show on Parliament Hill. We lucked out with warm weather. We had dinner at the food court before heading up to the Hill to see the show. It was our last Canada 150 event.

Rideau Centre Christmas tree

Canada 150 Lights Across Canada

I thought I was all prepared for Christmas quite early this year and, the last week before Christmas, was busy in the evenings wrapping gifts; then one day I came home from work to find a strange powder all over the place and empty plastic bags. It took me a moment then I realized that the dogs had eaten a bag of dried pasta and two bags of pasta seasoning that I had brought home from Rome as a gift for my brother-in-law. They had also opened some stocking stuffers.  Now in the last weekend before Christmas I needed another gift.  I also had planned to buy a flower centerpiece for my sister and brother-in-law but had mistakenly thought Christmas was on Tuesday. It really was on Monday so I didn't have enough time left to have an arrangement made up and it turned out the florist, that I used to go to, had closed. Anyway I found another gift for my brother-in-law and bought a Christmas centerpiece at Micheal's where they were all on sale being so close to the holiday.

This year again I joined a Sheltie card exchange as so few of my friends and family send out cards any more.  This way I received many cards from all over the US and Canada as well as some from the UK and Australia.

Sheltie card exchange

Sheltie card display

This year saw changes in how we spent the holiday; in the past most of it was spent at my sister's place but now that her kids are out on their own things changed. My nephew and his wife hosted a Christmas Eve dinner. It was the first time I had been to their place.  We had an enjoyable evening with dinner before they went to Mass while I took my dogs for a walk then started a puzzle until they returned, then we had dessert and opened a few gifts.  Christmas morning was a bit more relaxed too as my niece and nephew planned to have each their own Christmas morning so we were able to sleep in a bit. I got up and let the dogs open their stockings. For two dogs who had opened other people's gifts on their own they certainly weren't in any rush to get their own gifts opened and I had to help quite a bit.

Afterwards I loaded the car and headed over to Juanita and Joe's where we had a late Christmas brunch with just the three of us.  We spent some of the rest of morning doing a puzzle while waiting for the rest of the family to show up. My nephew and his wife were the first to arrive around 1 pm; we knew they didn't have a lot of time before going to her parent's so we started opening gifts then my niece and her family arrived. It worked out rather well, we finished with Dan and Katie's gifts and then continued on with opening gifts for Jessica, Zini and Adrian. And of course some for us too. I had put a little note in with the pasta spoon, all that was left of Joe's pasta gift, to explain what had happened; everyone got a little laugh from that.

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner as always and even the dogs enjoyed their turkey dinner. After dinner, we played a Christmas dice game that Jessica had planned which was quite fun. Keltic couldn't seem to settle for some reason and I had to take him out twice, once he did do his business but the second time he just went up and down the street; because of that we headed home but it was already about 9:30 pm and I had a brunch to prepare for anyway.

Boxing Day, I had a few friends for brunch. I used to do a brunch for family but most all have their own plans now so I hadn't had a brunch in a few years.  It turned out rather well. When I got home on Christmas night, I cooked the potatoes for hash browns so they would be ready in the morning. Brunch was very relaxing and we sat and chatted for a number of hours.

The day after Boxing Day I did a bit of shopping. Most stores had already sold out of much of their Christmas stuff, they put the sales on so early. I did find some stocking stuffers and a couple gifts for next year.  I was looking for a Smart watch for myself; after checking online, I visited the two Best Buy stores near me. Not a single sales person approached me in either store so I decided to order online but at least by going to the stores I was able to pick out which model I liked best. I got the Asus Zenwatch 3; it has 55 different faces you can choose from.

Smartwatch with Starry Sky face

We had an extreme cold snap so the dogs didn't get much time out of doors between Christmas and New Year's, we kind of just hibernated.  I built my Lego.

For a number of years now on New Year's Eve, I've hosted some friends for a pot luck and gift exchange. Last year, we had to cancel because of a snow storm but this year, other than the fact it was so cold that the Canada 150 New Year's Eve on Parliament Hill was cancelled, the weather was clear. We had a nice evening of food, conversation and fun. Finishing up 2017 (Canada 150) with a little Frisky Beaver; it seemed appropriate.

New Years's Day was spent with family; first at my nephew's again for a brunch with both our side of the family and his wife's family too. It was actually traditionally her parents who hosted a family brunch but I guess now my nephew and his wife will make it their tradition. New Year's Day supper was again at my sister's place; some people were a little worse for wear from the previous evening's activities but everyone enjoyed dinner. There was super moon on 1 Jan 2018. The camera in my phone doesn't do it justice; it was huge.

The tree and most of the decorations are down now. The tree will be out at the curb tonight for pick-up tomorrow. I left some decorations and my village up as it seems so bare if I take it all down at once.

Looking forward to 2018 which will be my last full year of work; I retire in 2019, the planned date is 5 June 2019 but with vacation time I could be done in early May 2019.   We start back at agility next weekend, I haven't done any trials since August as my Achilles tendon took so long to heal. Hopefully I'll stay fit this year as Nationals are just an hour away in Maxville, Ontario. It may be Beckett's last and hopefully Keltic's first.

1 comment:

  1. You have wonderful holidays! I love your watch! I still have 2 small trees up and some Christmas lights. The lights chase away the blues for me.


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