No, this isn't the part where I contemplate reflectively all my many blessings. That was yesterday, as I drifted off to sleep from too much tryptophan. Instead, just thought I would share a few observations from family gatherings.
1)It's entertaining, disturbing, and thought-provoking to see the different parenting styles that people have. I think all of my siblings who are parents have very different parenting styles, and all of them (at times) inspire and concern me. It makes me curious about the type of parent I'll be. I'm sure I'll have many issues of my own that makes others look at me and say "What is he thinking?" but hopefully I can also take the good from each of my siblings as well. I don't mean to criticize their parenting in any way. It's just interesting to watch and contemplate.
2) "Elf" is a very funny movie. The idea is somewhat funny, but really it's Will Ferrell all the way that makes that movie so dang enjoyable for me. He just commits 100% to that character.
"You must really like sugar!"
"Is there sugar in syrup?"
3) Shopping usually sounds fun to me until I actually go do it. Then I realize that it is mostly just looking at stuff that I'll probably never be able to afford and don't need even if I could. At that points it loses it's luster really quickly. I can still enjoy it for about an hour or so, but after that I just think there could be a better way to spend my time.
4) However, I do like shopping for other people. I enjoy buying presents for my wife particularly. Not to say she likes everything I buy for her, but it's fun to look and imagine how excited she'll be. Especially when I have really good ideas.
5) You think chihuahuas are ugly little rats, right? Well, my sister has one (I think its an expensive purebread dog, but still) and let me tell you that they are so funny and cute. This little dog curls up in my lap, on the heater, or wherever it's warm, and just goes to sleep. She loves to be pet and is very playful. Maybe I just miss dogs, but this little one is just awesome.
6) Studying is not very fun when you're supposed to be on vacation. I've gotten through about 7 books so far in the last couple days, which is pretty good I think, except that I still have about 10 more to read and a couple of big papers to write. It does make me a little nervous, but look, either I'll do well or I won't, but either way life will go on.
7) My nephews get along very well. Maybe too well. They're nuts together.
8)Thanksgiving is turning into a springboard for Christmas (that's not my phrase, I'll give my brother-in-law credit), and that's a little sad, I think. On the news last night they ran a story about stores open on Thanksgiving and the people that went to get a jump on the post-Thanksgiving shopping. Look, people, I'll give you the day after Thanksgiving to go nuts, but at least enjoy one full day of not thinking about money and presents and instead just thinking of all you've already got!
9) Mmmmm, cherry pie and ice cream.
10) I will admit that playing Halo 2 is fun. Playing it on Xbox Live is very fun. And playing it on a 120" projection tv is freakin' amazing. But I think that when push comes to shove I still prefer board games and actual socializing with people I care about. We played SceneIt last night, and I had a great time. It's fun just to laugh together and enjoy each other's company. So maybe I will give a few thankful thoughts after all (skip ahead if you don't want to read anything sappy): I'm thankful for having a family that I actually do really enjoy being around. I'm thankful for having the means and opportunity to take a vacation, even if it is short and filled with studying. I'm thankful for an education that hopefully will allow me to do something meaningful and enjoyable. Most of all, I'm thankful for my wife, who is my best friend and the most important person in my life.
OK, sappy part over. Next time I'll get back to being snide and boring.