As faithful readers will no doubt recall, the Day Job was eating my life in the first half of December. So I didn't even start my Xmas* shopping until about December 20, and we didn't buy a tree until the 23rd. Never did get the lights up (lights are important to me, especially in these latitudes where I drive to work in the dark and drive home in the dark for months at a time).
Kate's sister vofpracticality came in on the 24th with our two younger nieces, ages 2 and 6. They made the house... lively. I don't deal well with small children. And when we opened the presents on the 25th, what I found under the tree for me was a book, 3 CD's, some napkins, and a table runner. All carefully chosen and apropos, but not exciting. We also got a nice package of goodies from Kate's parents the previous week, but those had mostly been eaten already.
So the excitement didn't really start for me until Thursday, when a package arrived from John Helmer (one of the nation's finest haberdashers, which just happens to be located right here in Portland). It contained the present I'd requested from kateyule: a collapsible top hat. It had to be special ordered in my size (1/8" smaller than Bullwinkle's). It made me go squee! I wore it to New Year's Eve and got many compliments.
Then on Friday, another package arrived, containing two Squeezebox music players. Briefly, the Squeezebox is a small device that has a Wi-Fi antenna on one end and stereo plugs on the other. It makes all of the music stored on your computer available to your stereo. Along with a new file server installed in the attic, and a Kloss Model Two radio for the dining room we now have high-quality digital music available throughout the house, something we've wanted for years. This was my big present to Kate for the year.
Biscuits are done. Time to go!
* I'm using "X" here as a variable, to stand for The Winter Holiday of Your Choice.