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December 26, 2005: Post rush

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This morning was yet another morning where I got up and dressed and out the door while it was still dark out. This being the day after Christmas, my mom and my sisters and I had to take part in the annual post-Christmas shopping wars, and even though one of the stores we usually go to opened at 6 this morning, we decided to give ourselves the luxury of one more hour of sleep. So I made it to Target before 7am, and joined the throngs of people gathered outside because this year, even though we have plenty of cards and do not need any more, there were *some* things I was hoping to find, and I wanted to make sure to get in there right at the start.

For shopping wars, it has been a surprisingly calm day. Even in Target, when the throngs descended on the Christmas stuff and carts clogged the aisles, people were being uncharacteristically polite to each other. I heard a lot of 'excuse me please' as people tried to maneuver the crowded aisles, and it wasn't the sarcastic sort of tone, but a genuine niceness. Maybe if we'd hit the earlier store at 6 in the morning the nastiness would have been visible, but I am going to pretend that maybe people were just in a better mood this year.

I was weak and bought gift wrap, even though later Richard reminded me that last year I swore I would not buy any more for a few years, but I did not buy any cards, so I stuck to that at least. I also picked up a pair of very pink and sparkly shoes for my niece because her birthday is at the end of January and I wanted to get her something to go with the very pink and purple afghan I made her. And of course there were a pile of things for next year's stocking stuffers, and a t-shirt for Richard that had to come home with me because it made me laugh, and then we were on to the next store, and the next one after that, with only a brief coffee break in the middle. We hit two craft stores mainly for stocking stuffers for small people for next year, and while in both of them I successfully refrained from buying any yarn at all. Granted, my little sister picked out two skeins of yarn and asked me to make her a hat and a scarf, but the key point here is that I was not the one buying it.

All the spouses and kids met us for lunch, and then Richard and I headed home so I could unload all my acquisitions and he could tease me about buying more gift wrap while the rest of the family swung by the Osh Kosh outlet to exchange some overalls for the nephews (we'd gone there before lunch and oh, the cute stuff they have for little kids!).

The plan for the afternoon was for the kids to all go down for naps at my parents' house and for us adult 'kids' to all go out to spend some time together. We made an attempt to see a movie, but considering that we did not even leave the house until 20 minutes before it was to start, and there was traffic on the road, and the parking lot at the theater was insanely packed, it was sort of no surprise at all that the movie was sold out. We were not the only one thinking that the day after Christmas was a good time to go see a movie. So instead, we went to the bakery where I go with one of my knitting groups once a month and we had coffee and pastries and sat around little tables for about an hour and did a lot of talking and laughing instead. And I am actually rather glad that we didn't get to see the movie because while movies are fun, they are not remotely conducive to talking with one's siblings and their spouses.

We headed back to my parents' house after that, and my dad and my older brother-in-law and I unearthed their set of giant tinker toys and sent the three kids out into my parents very new and very nice enclosed porch, where there is plenty of room for them to run around and yell and go crazy, and a door in between them and the house where we can close out most of the noise but still keep an eye on them just in case someone tries to take someone else's head off.

There was tortellini and ravioli for dinner, followed by leftover Christmas cookies and pie, but by then some of us were starting to fade (that would be the little kids, and me, since I am still not feeling 100% recovered from this damn winter ick). So we hugged everyone goodbye, which was good timing since all the little kids were being loaded into their respective cars and car seats, and came back home to be yelled at by the cats for having the audacity to be *gone* during the day for two whole days in a row, and now I think I will cast on for my little sister's scarf and see how long it takes for me to fall asleep.

Happy Holidailies

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