Monday, December 20, 2010

Home for the Holidays

Although Jaimee and I have enjoyed our Holiday travels in the past, this year we're taking advantage of being in the area to do many of the family things we were too far away to do in recent years. As we mentioned in the last post, a couple of weekends ago we went down to Cape Cod to visit Jaimee's brother. While there we helped him install Christmas lights on his house. They were the "icicle" style:
Although the Chatham stroll was kind of a bust (we thought it was happening both Friday and Saturday nights, but when we went on Saturday night many stores were closed), we still had fun visiting family and friends.

This past weekend, we attended the Annual Leroux Christmas Party at Jaimee's dad's cousin's (aka Jaimee's first-cousin once-removed) house. He lives in a beautiful, recently remodeled house in central Massachusetts. The house was like a Bed and Breakfast, and good thing because there were probably 50 people there. The main event of the party was an "As seen on TV"-themed Yankee swap. If you think a Yankee swap with 42 gifts sounds like a nightmare, well, you'd be right...Actually it wasn't that bad, although the gifts were about what you'd expect given the theme: there were three snuggies (one plain, one with the Patriots and one with the Boston Red Sox, the Patriots), three Perfect Brownie pans and several other gifts that were good for a laugh, but not much else. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising for those that know us) the gift we bought for the party, we also got to keep (I traded for it). It's the Twin Draft Guard, a contraption for blocking cold air on drafty doors or windows. The door that leads down to the basement in our apartment is super drafty, but after putting the Twin Draft Guard on the side of the door - the draft is gone! It may not be the most stylish thing in the world, but it certainly works!
Speaking of drafts and cold weather, today was the first big snow storm of the year! It started snowing around Noon, and by the afternoon there was a good couple of inches on the ground. I was a little nervous to ride my bike home in it, but it wasn't all that slippery. It's still snowing and we have to go to the airport in about an hour to pick up Jaimee's mom. Her mom is visiting for the next two weeks from Idaho. She's spending the night with us tonight and then going to the Cape tomorrow. We're spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Jaimee's dad in Shrewsbury, than heading down to the Cape to visit with Jaimee's mom and her side of the family. Here's the Leroux family tree (they seemingly buy gifts for everyone and his brother):
It's shaping up to be a busy Holidays, but my office is closed between Dec 23 and January 3, so it should also be relaxing. For me, anyway as Jaimee still has to look after the babies that she nannies for. While Jaimee is doing that I might be spending a few of my vacation days hiking up the White Mountains. My tentative plan right now is to snow shoe into Zealand Falls Hut for a couple nights and hike a few of the 4,000 foot peaks in the area. Given the recent snow storm, it should be beautiful up there.

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