My Christmas gift to Taylor was a stuffed dragon, which I had a lot of fun wrapping. I wrapped it in brown packing paper and taped it up and tied it with string, added a mailing label, then cut two small slits in the top and pulled the wings through, so the effect was of a package that was basically self-delivering. I sweetened the deal by going to the post office and putting an air mail stamp on it. It showed up under the tree Christmas morning and everyone enjoyed it. Mike drove me to the post office on Christmas Eve morning to do this, so we went to Daylight Doughnuts afterwards and I bought him breakfast, then we spent the rest of the morning just driving around town and sightseeing. We went to the Ocean overlook, the Pajarito ski hill, the Colon, Barranca Mesa, North Mesa, and pretty much every neighborhood in town.
Tyler and I returned to Barranca Mesa that night to see the Luminarias. The end of Barranca Mesa is very long and skinny...wide enough for a single road with houses on either side, then canyons dropping down from the backyards. The homeowners got together to line all their driveways and the entire length of the street with candles in paper-bag lights. It was nearly a full moon, and seeing the candles stretching down the mesa for miles and miles was incredibly beautiful. We took hot chocolate and had a lovely time.
Christmas was nice. I brought some of my vital Christmas talismans with me so I wouldn't feel too displaced, like my carved wooden unicorn (Holly) who always lives in the Christmas tree, and my little stuffed lamb. I got up early Christmas morning to spend some time basking in front of the tree, and opening presents with the family was fun. I officially got my new Dinotopia book, which I spent most of the day reading. Jeni gave Tyler and I our wedding present, which is an absolutely gorgeous hand-sewn and jointed doll in the form of a kitchen witch. I gave Tyler a copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys, which he liked very much, but I think the gift he liked even better was the can of Friskies cat food I gave him, which is less of a gift than symbolic permission of something else we can add to our home.
We spent a lot of evenings playing Assassin's Creed with Mike, and finally beat it. We knocked around Graduation Flats in the snow yesterday, just so I could walk around the big ponderosas and say hello. Tyler and I drove to Jemez Springs a few days ago and soaked in a hot spring, which was an absolutely lovely way to spend a cold, sunny afternoon.
I meant to spend a lot of my time here deliberately detoxing from school, but I've mostly been too busy unintentionally having fun, which is even better. It's been nice to use my "happy" tags on LJ again. I'm glad to be going home to my family tomorrow (and a second Christmas on Sunday), but I'll also be sad to leave everyone here.