Happy Holiday

There are days that will stay with you all your life, and for most of us in the Western Industrial reality tunnel, many of those days will be Christmases. I've had some wonderful childhood Christmases, and even a few lovely ones as an adult -- but this Christmas will, indeed, be one to remember for me. Glance through the pics below, and you should get some vague comprehension of why:

All right, all you out there. Super Adorable Toddler says it's Christmas, even if she's still a little shaky on the spelling (hey, it's a hard word, cut her some slack, she's only 5), so pay attention. There will be a test on this material when we're done.

SuperDrama Teen helps Super Adorable Toddler get access to some Christmas stocking goodies. Big sisters don't come any better than that.

Super Dependable Teen looking splendid in her brand new cable knit green sweater. Back off, boys, none of you are good enough for her.

What can I say? It's a good day for me and SuperGirlfriend, even if we did get very little sleep last night.

I preside over the ritual Opening of the Boosters. SuperDrama Teen got a case of Indy; Super Dependable Teen (not pictured here) got a case of Hypertime, and I got to have a great deal of fun watching the looks on their faces when they opened them up.

Okay, here's our test, as promised: Who's the luckiest man in the entire universe? I'll give you a hint -- he's the guy who gets to spend all his free time with these gorgeous babes.

Okay, enough of the graphics, let's get to the LOOT:

SuperGirlfriend got: the Kelly Clarkson CD from the two older kids, and a lot of stuff from me -- some square, hand thrown and glazed pottery plates, some mugs with a snowman motif, all hidden inside a black hollow footstool built to be used as a handy storage place; in addition, she got a shelf to help organize stuff under the sink, and a small wooden chest of drawers, because she likes wooden boxes.

In her stocking, which I was very pleased to put together for her when she told me she'd never had a Christmas stocking as an adult, she got a lot of sugar free candy, little pieces of fruit made of marzipan, a gorgeous vintage copper jewelry box, a lovely brass fish sculpt with a big chunk of crystal in the middle of it, a green T-shirt with a picture of the Hulk lifting dumb bells on it and the phrase ME WORK OUT on it, a nutcracker pin, and a Santa Pez.

She also got a nutcracker Santa who holds two blocks counting down the days to Christmas, but I gave that to her on the Friday after Thanksgiving so she could use it this year.

The kids -- I can't keep track of all their plunder, but they made out like bandits. Super Adorable Toddler got a ton of stuff, including a chest full of dress up outfits and accessories from me, and a lot of Barbie stuff, as well as an easel that doubles as a chalkboard and a lot of art supplies, something horrible called a Bella Ballerina, and a couple of baby dolls that giggle when you tickle them. SuperDependable Teen and SuperDrama Teen both got cases of HeroClix from me, as mentioned above. In addition, I got them both comics (a JLA collection for SuperDependable Teen, as she loves the character Prometheus, and several Strangers In Paradise collections for Super Drama Teen). SuperDependable Teen is a big Punisher fan, so she got the Frank Castle LE in her stocking and a Punisher action figure from me, along with a Punisher t-shirt from her mom. Super Drama Teen got a Strangers In Paradise t-shirt, a R'as Al Ghul LE in her stocking and... I can't remember what all else. All the kids got a lot of clothes, as well, and the two older kids got CDs and a DVD each. (Actually, Super Adorable Toddler also got a DVD; I believe it was SHREK 2.)

While this Christmas was, for me, much more about watching everyone else open their presents than opening mine, I must admit, I ended up with a primo haul, too. My stocking held a Sauron Unique as well as a Kingdom Come Flash, along with a Batman Begins DVD and a copy of the new X-BOX game SPARTAN, which I'll be getting to sometime this afternoon, most likely. I also got some Batman Bubblebath and some cufflinks, both of which are deeply appreciated. I now have more chocolate than any sane adult needs, including a delicious Tobler Orange. SuperDependable Teen got me an Armor Wars booster which yielded up a Veteran Spymaster, which was lovely. SuperDrama Teen got me a little traffic cone mock up that says I USED TO HAVE A LIFE, THEN I GOT A COMPUTER WITH A MODEM.

Then, from SuperGirlfriend, I got: a gorgeous red cable knit sweater with a brass zipper closing the neck, a copy of George R.R. Martin's A FEAST OF CROWS, a copy of the 2004 WRITER'S MARKETPLACE, a stuffed lynx I immediately named Lancelot, a set of lovely silk longjohns (these winters are a little cold to a man whose native Yankee blood has been thinned by an eight year exile to Florida), and a gorgeous leather cowboy hat I'll be wearing pretty much constantly from this moment forward.

It should be noted that everything in my stocking was, of course, from SuperGirlfriend as well. It should also be noted that another of my gifts, THE VERY BEST OF ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS, is playing on the DVD player right now. I'm going to need to clear some space in my X-Box music collection...

I also got a surprising amount of stuff from my sorta in-laws, SuperGirlfriend's parents and sister, at the extended family Christmas Eve party last night. And it's good stuff, too -- some excellent drawer string pajama bottoms, a beautiful blue sweater-shirt, a Spider-Man Christmas ornament for the SuperChristmas Tree, and a nice scarf/hat/glove set.

In addition to all this, SuperGirlfriend took my family in hand this year, as well as her own, buying enormously thoughtful gifts for my mom and stepdad, and all my nieces and nephews, as well as my brother Sean and his wife Erica, who had a really crappy year this year. She also made sure a couple of my good friends, Mike Norton and Nate Clark, got presents as well.

Once again, I refer you to the lesson of the day: I am the luckiest man in the world.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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