The kids. My nephews and niece were little stars. Sis had asked me not to buy them more than one present each this year because she's a little worried that they could be starting to get a little spoiled (eldest nephew has learned to count and has an awesome memory, he knows how many pressies he got for his first birthday...) so I agreed - kinda. I got eldest nephew a huge bucket of Lego (which is bloody hard to find, just basic Lego without being Star Wars or Bionicles or anything like that? Took me about three months and then I ended up finding it in a local shop on sale...) and a little Mega Blocks Knights figure. I got niece a My Little Pony hair dressing salon thing and a play-dough set. Youngest nephew, I bought him a wooden 'Click-Clack-Track' thing which he adores and a rainmaker.
They (collectively) gave me books, a smoothie maker, a framed professionally shot photograph of the three kids and an art set (sketch pad, pastels, pencils, acrylic paints and brushes - sis apparently has more observational skills than I often give her credit for, I was drooling over a similar set in the summer...).
My ploy with sis went well, she and I used to have this contest where we would ask for the impossible and the other would try to come up with something that fit the bill (examples - I created a pretty decent looking bank note using calligraphy when she asked for a million pounds, and another year I took a clam shell and fixed a blue/green marble to it when she asked for the world in a shell). It kinda tailed off when she moved out and then it became about little tricks and ploys instead. This year I got her a top up card for a mobile phone, but oops! It was the wrong network... just as well I also got her a phone on that network then... *g*
Brother in Law made dinner (well, I did the veg) because sis can't cook to save her life and he has finally stopped thinking he can make French Onion Soup. (I was taught to make it properly by the chef at the restaurant I waitressed at, I made the mistake of talking BiL through it once and he's made it ever since. It's awful when he tries it, I have no idea how he can screw up such a relatively simple recipe but he manages it...) and sis and I spent most of the time I was there playing with the kids and chatting.
BiL really can't cook. The turkey tasted like it had been boiled in salt rather than roasted and there was huge slabs of ham on each plate. I don't like ham like that, I never have, and yet they make it every time...
I drove up to their place yesterday 'cause I had a big box full of the pressies and I fell going across the road. It's not too serious, but there's no skin left on my left knee and what is there is bruised. And I keep brushing it against things like the table and it hurts like hell...
And I can't stop sneezing. When I was at their place yesterday we put it down to an allergic reaction to the floor cleaner (lemon scented cleaners bring me out in a rash if I use them and since it was the only thing different about the house since the day before when I'd made a mad dash on the hunt for sellotape we figured it was making me sneeze). Now, a day later, and I still can't stop sneezing. I'm now ensconsed on my couch in front of the TV (Planet Earth has been on a loop) and generally feeling like I hate the winter and having a cold, and knowing that my car is all the way up at their house (she drove me home last night so that I could have wine).
And that's it, the good far outweighs the bad, but the bad kinda sucks...
Hope everyone else had a fantastic time if you celebrated (and if you didn't, I hope you're not too fed up with all the posts about it!)