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December 28, 2002 - 12:15 p.m.

christmas was fine, if not odd. it seems like everyone who called asked me if i missed my family. frankly, i don't miss them more at christmas than any other time, so the answer is no. what i do miss, though, is the noise. spending christmas with just simon's parents (and a bit with his brother and brother's girlfriend) was nice but way too quiet for my taste. i like having lots of people around, even if those people do know how to push my buttons.

i miss the fog, too. when it's july in melbourne and everything is foggy, i'll want to go christmas shopping. trust me. especially when they adorn the city trees with tiny lights.

christmas eve dinner at our house was fine, and the in-laws seemed to enjoy it. christmas day was, well, strange. simon told me that his parents had declared a moratorium on presents this year. pat and martin (simon's aunt and uncle) are cash-strapped and so are we, so they decided to just skip the presents. i was happy with this because i often wish my own family would do the same thing. it really gets dumb when people give each other money. why not just skip it instead and enjoy each other's company? but they'd never go for it. my family is present-crazy.

a week or so ago, the in-laws made some comment about us not getting them anything but that they would probably get us something (e.g. a lime or lemon tree). this drove me crazy, but they were adamant about it, so i just let it go.

when we arrived on christmas day, we found a pile of presents for us. they had only told us not to get anyone any presents but lied that everyone else was in on it, too. i felt really deceived and didn't think it was funny at all. i understand why they did it (because of our money situation), but i think lying is a terribly way to start a relationship. simon, on the other hand, was quite pleased to get presents for nothing. go figure.

simon's brother got us a cd rack because our cd's are all over the place. (it was a nice thought, but it's far too small - we'll need at least three more to get them all off the floor.) his parents got us $100 worth of coles myer vouchers, which are good at coles (major supermarket), kmart, target, and a zillion other places. very practical and very much appreciated. pat and martin got us matching oil and vinegar bottles, but they're three-dimensional ceramic (the "olives" pop out of the bottle) and a bit on the fancy side.

after dinner, we played cranium. it was worth it just to see simon's dad on the floor, impersonating a mermaid - he made a fish face and pulled on his shirt to suggest breasts. we played the u.s. version, so there were a few cards we had to throw out in the spirit of fairness. no one but me knew what "ring around the collar" was, for instance. there's now an australian version, but i don't think that would have been any easier, considering simon, his dad and brother all grew up in england, i grew up in the u.s. and amber (brother's girlfriend) lived in canada until the age of 8. yes, we quite possibly are a strange bunch.

i've spent the rest of the holiday eating and sleeping. i took two separate three-hour naps on the day after christmas (also known as boxing day). we went to see lord of the rings yesterday, which i promptly followed up with another nap. i'm determined to get some exercise today, but i'm afraid it's going to be a race against the nap. ho hum.

<<<��� - ���>>>

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