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January 3, 2011 / ebretzel

Meli Keuliseumaseu! (메리 크리스마스)

Even though Christmas has come and gone, the euphoria of gift-giving and receiving still lingers. I had wrapped everyone’s presents in red and gold wrapping paper from a humongous roll I purchased from a department store I used to work at a decade ago (talk about the gift that keeps on giving!), and even put a few sparkly bows on them. There they sat, in perfect color-coordination glory, under my tree in the living room until it was time to pack them up and haul them to Wisconsin.

At the big Bretzel family Christmas, the pajama-clad children get to open their gifts first while the adult crowd waits for the take-away exchange. My eyes started to glaze over as they unwrapped toy after toy in a seemingly unending stream of presents. After an indiscernible amount of time the kids either conked out or started to throw fits which signaled the time for such adult appropriate goodies as lottery tickets, cheap screwdriver sets and packer-themed items. After a few rolls of the dice and some loud arguments about how many times we would exchange the presents I ended up taking away a packer planter with self-watering glass orbs and Ryan a salad-spinner. Not bad!

Grandpa trying out the Wii under Austin's instruction

My father-in-law and I were the only two able to wake up for the 8 o’clock Christmas mass. Turns out we didn’t have to get there one hour early, but it was nice to spend the morning at church, saying all the familiar prayers and singing Christmas carols. We had an eventful day with Ryan’s mom’s family which involved the eating of much food and cookies, playing the new family Wii – we even got Grandpa to try it! He was very displeased that I took a photo of him, but it was worth it. I was very much obsessed with my gift from Ryan’s parents, a Kindle, and spent some time finding free books to download and read.

We weren’t able to have our Anderson family Christmas until a week later after my parents and sisters returned from a trip to South Korea. We feasted on Roast Beast and mashed potatoes, and my dad popped the cork on a bottle of Champagne to celebrate the new year. Among many wonderful gifts including hand-knit booties complete with pom-poms from my grandmother, we received a plethora of goodies from Korea. As we all know, I love everything tiny and cute and therefore was ecstatic when I got a pile of tiny stickers from my sister Carrie and friend Joyce, but who knew that my brother Ben was also obsessed with tiny stickers?

The following photo is a montage of all of the Korean things that were gifted to myself and Ryan:

1. Korean Beer
2. Cute “His n’ Her” Cell Phone Charms
3. Cute tiny Stickers (Have you ever seen a Panda?, Robots, Bunnies, Fruit and little characters shouting things in Korean)
4. Tiny Post-it Notes with a cartoon character shouting things at you
5. Korean Vodka
6. Assorted Hard Candies
7. A Karate Guy Breaking a Brick with his Elbow Statue
8. Various cosmetics and face masks (some including “whitening” for your skin)
9. Christmas pencils
10. Origami in the shapes of Arctic creatures.

I managed to follow these instructions for the origami polar bear. It turned out just as cute as depicted on the package, though I may have squashed it a bit. Note the cute ears on top and paws on bottom!

All-in-all I would say that we had a very nice Christmas and are blessed to have such wonderful family and friends to have spent it with.

Oh yeah, and happy New Year. :-) I say “twenty eleven” is the pronunciation route to go!

-Emily

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