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A Nerd Christmas

Do you exciting people wonder what we nerds do at Christmas time while you are party hopping, entertaining, slaving over hot stoves, and running all over town being festive?

This was our perfect Christmas:
On the 24th, my daughter talked us into letting The Boy open one gift early - hers to him. It was a game called "Adverteasing"  that proved quite entertaining. I'd found a deal on gourmet goodies (discontinued items), so while we played we dined on cranberry and brie encased in phyllo, shrimp and cream cheese dip, and a basil and pesto organic pizza, we challenged one another on tag lines and slogans. Since I don't watch much tv now, I struggled with the current ones, but did embarrassingly well on the "Classic" segment. Here's an example: Name three products and their animated spokesperson. Or how about this one: My bologna has a first name, it's ________.

Later, I snapped some "candids" of the kids. They weren't cooperative after the first five shots (haha) and began throwing in joke poses. (Hey, let's do frightened looks...how about debonair...straining....American Gothic painting...etc.) Then DH started trying the debonair looks, which caused the two of them to get hysterical. (It was rather a reach for him.) The next few shots of them reacting to him were less than stellar, as one or both of them were missing from the picture, since they were falling off of the couch with explosive laughter.

Christmas Day:
We slept in...ahhh...it is great to have children who are older! : )
My daughter is The Present Elf. She puts her OCD to good use here...sorting the gifts under the tree and placing them in front of each recipient. (It doesn't take long as each person has between three to five.) (BTW, she really does have OCD, I'm not just being flippant, but we like to joke about our issues, as well as address them.) SOOOOOO...anyway, we open our gifts. Being an English teacher, everyone gets a book (or two). The Boy gets COLORS OF THE MOUNTAIN, autographed by Da Chen in calligraphy, with a personal note about what is important in life. The Girl gets an autographed copy of RULES, which Cynthia Lord signed and included her favorite rule from the book for my daughter. Cynthia Lord signed it when she came to my school and gave wonderful presentations to the students. (I got to have dinner with her, too! What a lovely person she is. Now my daughter is dying to meet her, as well.)

Nerdy Christmas continued, with me making wild Maine blueberry muffins (democratically chosen) and DH fixing coffee. We all then curled up in the living room and read.

My daughter LOVED her present and devoured RULES in one sitting. (She is getting her Masters to be a school librarian.) When she was done, I took a break and talked it over with her, sharing our favorite lines, sections, characters, situations, etc. (No negatives AT ALL!!!) Then my son commandeered the novel and read it in one sitting. I had told them how I used it in my classroom, what an impact it has on my students, and how - even though I've read it over a dozen times -  I still find new messages, symbolism, and imagery. When he was finished, the three of us had an impromptu book club meeting and they had me read parts aloud, using the voices I do in my classroom. All agreed: Stupid Speech Woman is odious, but unsettling familiar. My daughter was reminded how she was the special helper for a girl in her Brownie troop who was in a wheelchair and had a word book. My son loved the part where David wishes for grape soda. We all liked how Cynthia Lord made the character of Catherine "not too perfect" and realistic. Now, DH has RULES on his required reading list.

In the afternoon we made one quick obligatory visit and returned home to our cozy nerd nest. While I made our traditional lasagne Christmas dinner, the two kids read and napped and husband tidied up the living room. We toasted one another, the past and coming year, and those departed with a bottle of Liberty School cabernet at dinner. (One of my favorite wines). The lasagne turned out well, which made me happy. It was a simple meal, with just garlic bread and salad.

Later, a Scrabble tournament broke out....my daughter Stephanie won, as usual. (We think she's memorized the Scrabble Dictionary she received a previous Christmas.)

All in all, it was a relaxing, bonding, nerdy Christmas.

Disclaimer: The Boy is not a real nerd; he is a pseudo nerd, who tempers his cool factor to fit in with his family.


The Girl and The Boy reading RULES and the only 'normal' shot out of fifty.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oh. This post is present for ME! :-) Thank you so much!!!
Dec. 28th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas, Cynthia!
It is a small gift in comparison to the wonderful novel you wrote. We all want you to write a sequel to RULES (including my students).

You are more than welcome. Thank you!

Dec. 28th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
What a great Christmas that sounds like! And I'm pretty sure that one or more of my girls would have a crush on Boy, were they to see him.
Dec. 28th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
He's a cutie...and a good guy to boot, if I say so myself. I tried to raise him to be a good husband some day. He's very easy to get along with, funny, thoughtful, and kind. He's got that California look to him now that he's a junior at Cal State, which the girls seem to like, but I just continue hoping he'll cut his hair and pull up his pants! haha
Dec. 29th, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
So glad you and your family had such a wonderful time together. Our holiday was low key too. We didn't leave the house or get out of our sweats. And the girls are finally at that age where they open all of their gifts at once instead of a few here and there and then play with the boxes instead of the toys. And they wanted to use them. They played with their toys, we read their new books, and they used their new markers to make the kind of inspiring art that only five year olds can create. It was a merry and bright christmas here. Oh, and loud. Since we played an awful lot of Hungry Hungry Hippo!
Dec. 30th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
Sounds as if you had a great holiday relaxing with your girls - and deservedly so!

Hungry, Hungry Hippo!?! That sounds like a gift children love and parents think, "What possessed me to buy that?" haha

My brother gave my son two gifts on subsequent Christmases that proved he wasn't a parent...one was a LOUD bubble lawnmower and the other was a whiny bubble saxophone. Yes, you read that correctly. You can't very well send a kid out in our North Country winters to mow the lawn with his new bubble lawnmower. So I figured, "Well, now is a good of time as any to mop the kitchen!"

My brother has a little boy now...I'm considering buying him a drum set, what do you think?
; )
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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