Referencing a classic Mr. Bean episode in this article title is my way of leading into a, hopefully, brief writing on my first Christmas as a married person.
Like the famous television episode my Christmas had its turkey stuck firmly on head, surprise gift, and Christmas cracker. My wife and I celebrated our first married Christmas together wanting to make it extra special for each other. We take turns with each other’s in-laws for major holidays where Christmas Eve was spent with her side of the family this year.
For me the most important part of any holiday is a time to spend with the important people in our lives whether they’re friends, family, or pets. Most, if not all, holidays have become engulfed in the flames of commercialization in which we all, to some degree, light a match. Here on this blog, and in our podcast, we partly succumbed with our annual Holiday Gift Guide. The giving and receiving of gifts, material or otherwise, has a place but should not have the spotlight.
Sitting in a comfortable chair eating delicious homemade meatballs my wife and I opened presents from her family. A Keurig, “Grandpa Cheese”, Zombie Dice, coasters made from computer circuit boards, a DVD of Glee, books, and ornaments appeared in due course. Each item was received with much appreciation but what really stood out was the thought and love behind each present. One family member recalled my incessant and effervescent babbling about Zombie Dice knowing the gleam in my eye projected a strong attachment to the game. Another knew of the special place and fond memories that a certain cheese had for my wife when her grandfather, deceased, would give it to all in the family who would, independently, identify it as “Grandpa Cheese.” Each gift given showed keen observation by the giver into what would make my wife and I happy or make our lives a little easier.
The same held true when my wife exchanged gifts with me on Christmas morning, after I woke her at 8 saying “we have to see what Santa brought the bunnies and if he ate your cookies.” A nice pair of jeans for me to wear with the Noble Ape and Model Rail Radio t-shirts, that my co-host Tom Barbalet sent, encouraging me to stick with my weight loss plan. A gorgeous black french cuff shirt along with a white one to accompany the blue cuff links she gave me a few years ago.
She enjoyed the new scented lotions and oils that assists in pampering herself after a hard day working in the city followed by caring for our two bunnies and myself. A gold watch so she never has to dig out a cell phone to check the time and a gold heart pendant necklace accompanied some dangly earrings for when she wants to get dressed up or just get dressed for fun.
There were some “gaming” related items that found my way such as a Nook Color eReader, which blows away reading ebooks on our iPad, and the Xbox 360 that has both of us enthralled with Left 4 Dead and Halo Reach. That last device will be making appearances in future podcast episodes detailing my experiences with a new console along with entreaties from me for people to kick my butt on Xbox Live (gamertag cwfgamecast, what’s yours?).
What really stands out isn’t the gifts we received, my parents suffering from a bad cold (nor my wife and my coming down with an awful cold), but the time spent together as a team to pull off an amazing holiday meal for my mother-in-law, my wife, and myself with our two bunnies in the other room playing with toys from Santa and family members. It is remembering the look on my wife’s face as we picked our our first Christmas tree, my trip to a local store at 10pm two days before the 25th because we didn’t have garland, and working together to decorate our first home.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or nothing at all I hope you spend the time with someone you love. I’m lucky enough to share this time with my wife and that is the best gift of all.
Please look for new episodes of our podcast to commence after New Year’s Eve/Day and new content on this blog to arrive near then, also.
This post marks the 523rd for the blog in our 4+ years of blogging and podcasting (decade plus of discussing wargaming on the web transforming from a static website to an online message board to a blog and a podcast).
Thank you for sticking with us. We promise to bring you many interesting and wonderful things as we prepare to say goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011.