Sunday December 25th, 2016: Santa found me in Bright!
Seeing as though its over 90 degrees here, its pretty hard for it to feel like Christmas. I have associated snow and this day for so many years now. So even though I know it’s Christmas, it still feels like just another summer day. Peter, Jamie, Madeline and I took a hike this morning to the Bright Lookout. We are in a hilly area and it truly made for a great workout, probably more than a few of us wanted but its all good. I believe we walked around 4 miles with more than half including some sort of incline. Kudos to us for earning our Christmas Calories! When we finally returned, Anat, Aaron, and Marcelle were already hard at work in the kitchen making our Chrismakuh feast. Those of us drenched in sweat made sure to freshen up before dinner.
The table setting was perfect. Anat did such a wonderful job combining Christmas and Chanukah traditions. She gave each of the kids (even me!) a present and put it next to the fireplace. Us girls received adorable pajama bottoms, which felt like home to me because my stepmom Kim always buys us pajamas for Christmas day. While I played some Christmas Classics (thank you Spotify) in the background, we opened our musical Christmas Crackers (which aren’t actually edible crackers-what a bummer that was). Inside were numbered kazoos that would could play music with. This was a new tradition that I was excited to be apart of. Lunch was AMAZING; ribeye, salad, roasted veggies, grilled asparagus and broccoli. But lets talk about dessert: mixed berry Pavlova and Christmas Fruit cake. SOOO GOOD. That was my first Pavlova experience and as an avid meringue lover, let me tell you I’m pretty pissed this is my first time trying it. Pavlova, where have you been all my life? And Dad you need to find you some Pavlova ASAP.
After we all were stuffed to our brims we cleaned up and just chilled; some napped, some read, some blogged (hmm I wonder who?). It was the heat of the day at this point, so we were all content with huddling around the air conditioning unit. Once the sun reached the back of the house, all of us kids decided it was time for Kubb. Now seeing as though I’m the odd man out here it was a battle to see which team my athletic skills would be an addition to. Based solely off the fact that Aaron and Marcelle had less experience, I decided it would be best to help them out and show them the lay of the land. After a grueling hour and a half, surprisingly our threesome won even though I was sure Madeline and Jamie had it in the bag, a couple different times. I think that is one aspect of the game I really enjoy, it can be a quick game or it can go on for quite some time. We all were pretty excited that it was finally over. We all seemed to work up an appetite so we gathered the leftovers and whipped up some pasta. We basically played the entire deck of Cards last night so we decided that Heads Up would be an excellent choice for this evening and we all were anxious to see Anat and Peter play as well. Now this whole day I had been yawning and could have easily napped (which I didn’t) or gone to bed at any given point; but if you know me then you know that Heads Up awakens a beast in me that is a bitch to tame. First of all I love this game (fantastic job Ellen), I love guessing and I love giving the clues, the hardest part for me is sitting quietly when it’s not my turn! Anat and Peter did great their first round but when it came time for Peter to give Anat clues he read the phone like a book (“bros before hoes” and “walk of shame”) to which we all were rolling around on the floor laughing. Anat wanted a different partner to give her clues so I volunteered my skills. She absolutely killed the Adult Supervision 2 category, it was epic! Every single one of us had a great time playing this game. It made me really miss my crazy family since we enjoy this game as well.
It was time for bed, but most parties needed to use the vacuum to suck up the gnats that had been gathering in their rooms. While Marcelle and Aaron are with us, I have been sleeping on a hideaway bed in the common area. Most people might be bothered but I was pumped to the only person sleeping with air conditioning. #WINNING I sleep better when I’m cold and can cuddle up in blankets so it was fine for me. Now it was Christmas day for us here in AUS but Christmas Eve back home in the U.S, so I made sure to FaceTime my Dad and his side of the family. I was requested to FaceTime again when my sisters would be with my family opening presents at 9:30am. This was 2:30am for me. What joy.