Merry Christmas, and I hope it was. We had a fine family event including traditional highlights as calling my brother and his wife early afternoon and learning they meant to leave her family's house earlier; feasting on the sliced vegetables, cheeses, and inaccurately identified dips and hummuses (hummusim?); wondering where the cats were hiding (the larger was under the bed; the younger somehow got stuck on a shelf in a closet we hadn't opened all day); and my mother and my brother -- who got a digital camera -- talking about how much better my camera was. My family's very impressed with my photographic skills, and while having a pretty good camera for an amateur is part of it the real secret is framing pictures so they come from unusual angles and taking enough pictures I can use the best of ten rather than the only one in focus. We also marvelled at the new reindeer-themed napkins, although we had two Cupids and no Vixen.
Received presents were near what I expected. I'm naturally hard to shop for and this year I was too busy with my problems (I'll spare you them) to make a wish list. But besides the gift of sugary food from gafennec and brother, I received multiple copies of the Star Wars original trilogy because Mom, Dad, and Brother weren't able to figure out which was the limited-edition version with the minimally tampered original movies. Even after looking at the boxes I'm not sure which it is. I got another US Civil War book -- I'm glad to have it, although I've got to point out that I have interests in other historical eras too, as this is four years in a row with Civil War-themed gifts -- and the 1961/62 Complete Peanuts, which I was glad for. And best of all is the 1:96 scale Revell Saturn V. I'm going to need to build some more kits to practice for this. Didn't get the Peanuts strip-a-day calendar, as always.
Presents given this year were, really, not up to my usual standard; see above obscure problems, but I wasn't really able to find carefully chosen pieces with that touch of whimsy or insight that makes for a really great present. But I managed some fair ones anyway -- for one brother a parrot-shaped combination desk-light/clock which is, luckily, also USB-compatible (it's from Action City, one of the Japanese kitsch stores); for my sister-in-law a Chinese-lion-dance type dragon stuffed doll; for my other brother a Spike Jones CD. I also got my parents a Sentosa Island set of wind chimes, which should be good at attracting cats, and which they promise they'll hang in my bedroom so that I have to deal with the racket it makes. I expected that. Best, though, was the gift we were able to save for last, to my parents: one of the actual physical author's copies of my textbook.
Trivia: The College of New Jersey settled in Princeton in 1756, twelve years after its chartering. Source: Joseph Henry, Albert E Moyer.
Currently Reading: An Old-Fashioned Christmas, Robert Benchley.