Home » holidays » Christmas

Category: Christmas

Christmas Eve

As much as I like working at Safeway, it is nice to be home with family tonight.

Mom got up early and made us a great breakfast of Farmer’s Sausage Quiche (real men may not eat quiche but I did today) and then it was off to take Marley to the Pierre Radisson Dog Park before I had to get to work.  I may be the low man on the totem pole in terms of seniority but it is always nice to get some extra hours over the holidays.

I am told that other Safeway’s get quiet on Christmas Eve but not the one on 33rd Street.  We have a lot of working class customers and they have to work on Christmas Eve which means we are busy right up to closing time.

Swan Pizza in SaskatoonCanada Dry Cranberry Ginger AleOn the night of the Civic Election, Dad was in The StarPhoenix’s newsroom and they ordered in Swan Pizza.  We had never ordered it or heard of it but it’s pretty amazing.  If you are looking for great pizza, it’s up there with Panago and Santa Lucia pizza as the best in Saskatoon.  So we ordered a perogy pizza and a pepperoni pizza for dinner tonight, had some festive drinks (Canada Dry’s Cranberry Ginger Ale) and some fun dessert (the awkwardly named Sex in a Pan) before opening presents.

Dad then sat down in front of the Christmas Tree and handed out all of our gifts. 

Oliver

A friend of dad and mom’s gave Oliver a snowboard and bindings.  They went to Larry’s Sports Exchange and got him a pair of snowboard boots so he can use them.  I gave Oliver a pair of Nintendo DS games and a Huskies Athletics hoodie.  Marley gave him some ski goggles. 

Dad gave him some warm snowboarding gloves while Mom also gave him the fourth Jedi Academy book. 

They also gave him a Acer Iconia One 7” Tablet for Christmas.  The same that I have.  Dad is installing Google Hangouts and Google Duo on it so we can chat in real time.  I put it on my phone as well tonight.  Along with it was a case so he can start learning to type.

Acer Iconia One 7" Tablet

Oliver also was given a new pair of binoculars and a Bluetooth speaker.  It was a pretty big day for him and he was really excited.

In his Christmas stocking, there was a model of a helicopter, a wooden Yoyo, and a monthly daytimer so he can keep track of his life which is kind of hectic for a kid in Grade 3.


Mom

Dad gave Mom a new 10” tablet with keyboard. 

10" Android Tablet for Wendy

I knew Dad was getting her one so I ordered in a tablet bag that is made from goat leather and was imported from India.  I also got her a Moleskine journal, a nice set of Sharpie pens and a new thumb drive.

Woods Cypress KettleOliver got her some camping gear.  He gave her a tea pot and a 2l pot for cooking.  Marley gave her a camping frying pan with the expectation that any bacon that is fried up on there, goes to her.  I can’t see that happening.

Sriracha2Go containerIn mom’s stocking was a Sriracha2Go keychain. It’s a little Sriracha container that fits on your keychain.  It’s a pretty funny gift.   Santa got her some new wooden spoons because someone (looks over at the dog) chewed up her old ones as well as some candy.


Dad

Mom gave Dad the same kind of tablet we got for Oliver and I have.  Marley gave him a keyboard case to carry it in. 

Oliver gave dad a new backpack for travelling and hiking.  It had a new Bear Grylls Gerber knife in it as well as a notebook and some pens.

BEAR GRYLLS SURVIVAL SERIES SCOUT

I gave dad a pair of hiking poles for this summer and a new Rode VideoMicro for his Olympus OM-D E-M5 II.

Mom also gave him a Joby Gorillapod Focus tripod.

Marley and Hutch

We all went together and got the dogs two winter jackets.  Marley’s is an old school varsity jacket while Hutch is looking dapper in his dog parka.

Marley’s favorite toy is her rope so we got her another one of those and some boots to go with the jacket.  She hates the boots, loves the rope and is learning to accept the jacket.


Me

Head SnowboardDad and Mom gave me a new Head snowboard and Oliver gave me some snowboard boots.

Marley gave me some new Ryder sunglasses and some Head snowboard gloves.

Dad and Mom also gave me a book called Grand Adventures by Alastair Humphreys while Dad gave me a travel duffel bag so when I want to have an epic adventure, I will be prepared.

Grand Adventures by Alastair Humphreys

Grand Adventures explores the hurdles that prevent us all having as many adventures as we would like to do. Using Alastair’s experience of 15 years of adventures, plus interviews with around 100 different adventurers, Grand Adventures offers encouragement, advice and a polite kick up the backside to overcome a lack of Time or Money and life’s Commitments and Relationships. It will help you choose which sort of adventure appeals to you. And then the second half of the book dissects many of the different types of journey you might choose, whether that is by Bicycle, Foot, Animal, Water, Motor, Climbing, Travelling, living in a treehouse, or something even grander such as blasting into Space.

Consider this: if you saved up £20 a week for a year, you’d have £1000 which is more than enough money to cycle all the way to Japan… Dream Big, Plan Quick, Go Explore.

Oliver also gave me a GSI Outdoors Javapress mug so I can enjoy some coffee in the backcountry.

Finally in my stocking were two Promaster protective filters for my Pentax 50mm f1.8 and 35mm f2.4 lenses. 

Christmas Day

I got up this morning and took Marley for a long walk through Caswell, Mayfair, and Hudson Bay Park.  It was really, really quiet.  Normally I am out the door at 7:00 a.m. and there aren’t a lot of people out but there are cars being warmed up, people scraping windshields and people going to work.  None of that today.  The entire westside of Saskatoon was sleeping in.

Dad had to get up early and go to City Hospital for treatment on his leg.  When they got home, they started making breakfast.  There was scrambled eggs on salmon and toasted croissants and some eggs benedict.  Eggtastic (yes I went there).  They were served with some fresh squeezed juice and fresh ground coffee.

After breakfast Dad pointed out that Oliver and I had forgotten to open a gift from the night before.  I was like, “What? How could that have happened?”  We opened the gift and inside it was a BB-8 robot and four tickets to Star Wars: The Force Awakens for this afternoon.  How cool is that?

So after breakfast, Oliver and I chilled out in front of my television while Dad updated his computer.  Then we headed downtown with some hot coffee and took some photos of downtown.  As we got closer to the movie time, we headed back home, dropped off our gear and then went down to watch Star Wars.  It was everything that you would expect from the biggest movie of the year and a lot of fun.

Mom had preparing a roast for dinner in the slow cooker. I thought it was because that is what she wanted to make for dinner but now I realize it was something she could cook while we were at the movie.  Well played Wendy.

When we got home, the roast was ready and we had French Dip sandwiches on fresh rolls.  It was excellent.  Later on Christmas evening, Mom brought out a chocolate fondue for dessert.  Then Mom and Dad called it a night while Oliver and I went downstairs and watched some television.  As soon as I hit “publish”, we are calling it a night.  Oliver is crashing in my bunk bed tonight.  With him and I high on chocolate, it could be a short night and a long day tomorrow.

Christmas Eve

Good morning everyone and Merry Christmas if you are into that sort of thing.

Some of you have read that Dad was a) declared free of the infection in his leg last week and b) it came back strong enough to almost kill him this week.  So he was super sick the last couple of days until the antibiotics started to fight their way back.  Well he is still super sick but not as sick as he was earlier this week.

Today was his first day back at work and we went and got him around 3:30.  While the malls may have been chaotic still, the rest of the city was slowing down.  We came home, had some coffee and hot chocolate.  I also went outside and lit a bunch of lanterns with candles and tea lights.  It gave the house a really cool glow.  We then had some Family Pizza delivered by 6:00 p.m.  After we had pizza, Oliver got to hand out the Christmas presents.

In my stocking was the expected chocolates, candies, and toothbrush.  I also got a Magnum M5 razor and blades.  The Gillette Sensor3 had fought the good fight but it was time to move on.  I also found the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy, a Saskatchewan Roughrider travel mug (Green is our colour, losing is our game), and Call of Duty: Ghosts in there.  Also there was a Sandisk 32 GB SD Card for my Pentax K-30.  I have a 16 GB card but this one is faster and will hold a lot of photos from next year when we hike in the mountains. To keep warm this winter, there were also some leather gloves.  Since I suck getting organized, there was a 2016 organizer from Staples in there.   Finally as is tradition, there was a magazine in there.  This year it was an edition of Sportsnet Magazine.  The whole stocking was pretty amazing.

For Christmas, Dad and Mom gave me a 24 inch television to go downstairs and Oliver gave me a Google Chromecast 2.  I had no idea but I can watch Netflix independently of what is being watched upstairs.  Of course I like watching nerdy documentaries with dad but I still love the gift.

Mom & Dad gave me a really great but discrete looking ring while Dad gave me a really nice stainless steel Timex Calgary Flames watch.  Hopefully the watch works better than the Flames have this season.  Mom gave me a Cross Adventura fountain pen and a couple of journals to write in as well.

Here is what The Art of Manliness says about keeping a journal

In studying the lives of great men, I’ve noticed a common trait: they were all consistent journal writers. Now, I’m not saying that their greatness is directly attributable to their journaling. I’m sure Captain Cook would still have been a bad ass even if he hadn’t kept a diary. But I figure, if great men like these thought it was important to keep a journal, maybe I should, too. Heck, if it weren’t for their journals, we probably wouldn’t know much about their great lives and deeds.
Here’s a short list of great men from history who kept journals:

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Charles Darwin
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Captain Cook
  • Winston Churchill
  • Sir Edmund Hilary
  • Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
  • Doogie Howser M.D I could go on, but I think you get the idea. 
  • Why Keep a Journal

    Your children and grandchildren will want to read it. I know it’s hard to believe right now. Your life probably seems quite ordinary and of little interest to anyone else. And every generation believes that life will pretty much continue on like it is now. When your great-grandpa was kicking it in the 1920’s, he thought to himself, “Who would want to read about this new fangled radio or how I get my food out of an icebox? Phhht! That’s boring stuff!” But it’s not boring anymore; to this generation, such a peak at the olden days is fascinating. And so it is with you. When your grandkids are talking to people via hologram, they are going to be absolutely fascinated by your impressions of those ancient things like the alta vista and cell phones. And unfortunately, they’re not going to be curious about it until they get into their 20’s, realize you’re going to die, and start asking you questions. 

    Trust me, while you think that you’ll be able to remember everything just as clearly in the future, you won’t. Remember when you were a kid and you thought your experiences would be easily recalled at age 30? Now what do you remember from those days besides that time a dog bit you in the face?

    As each year passes, the pixels of our memories burn out and the haze sets in. By age 80, you’ll only remember the faintest outlines of the big things that happened to you. But the stuff that’s really interesting is often the little, seemingly mundane details of life. What was a man’s daily routine like in 2009? Of course, the whipper snappers will ask you about the big stuff too: “Where were you when you found out about the attacks on the World Trade Center?” and “What did you think about the election of Barack Obama?” Your journals will give them the answers they’ll be looking for and will bring you closer.
    And who knows? Maybe the whole world might be interested in your musings someday. You may not think so now, but how many famous men knew that they would be famous before they actually burst onto the scene? And how many men were ignored in their lifetime, only to be celebrated after their death?

    To help me think of things to write about, Dad hit me up with some books on architecture and urban planning, something that the people of Saskatoon hate. I may have to leave town after I read these books.  I have a bunch of thoughts to journal and then blog about. 

    Santa made an appearance and gave me a North Face t-shirt and Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers.

    Hutch gave me a Coleman trekking pole, and Marley gave me a Black Diamond Orbit 60 lumen lantern.  I had one before but someone stole it while on a school trip so it’s nice to get a new one.

    One present that is in progress is that Dad gave Marley a GoPro Fetch.  He put his GoPro on her.  At first she wasn’t crazy about it but got used to it.  Tomorrow you should be able to see what Christmas looked like from the dog’s perspective.

    Christmas Gift Guides

    I just noticed that Mom and Dad has finished all of the Christmas Gift Guides over on their sites.  I’ll post links to them here as I analyze what he is recommending to see what I am getting for Christmas.

    Christmas Morning

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    It was a nice Christmas Eve around here.  Dad and Mom had it off.  Mom invited some of our friends for lunch at Alexander’s where we discussed politics.  After that we wandered in and out of some stores.  Oliver found a Lego Batman movie.  After that we went over to Uncle Lee and Aunt Brittany’s place.

    Aunt Brittany made the Christmas lasagna and we watched Oliver’s movie. Uncle Lee gave me my yearly threat when I had seconds of lasagna. He wasn’t isn a sharing mood.

    Uncle Lee and Aunt Brittany gave me an indoor basketball net, a copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Day Zero Edition, a Denver Broncos toque, and a poster.  It was pretty awesome.

    Denver Broncos Toque

    After heading home and getting some sleep, we opened some gifts today.

    Mom and Dad gave me a new Asus MeMo Pad 7 which kind of blew me away. 

    Asus MeMo Pad 7 tablet

    Oliver gave me a Bluetooth keyboard, stand, and stylus.  Since they know me so well, Dad gave me a cool retro case that looks like a real manilla envelope.

    Mom gave me a VIA Rail laptop bag that will hold my laptop and my tablet. Inside was drafting notebook. Dad calls it a murse.  Of course Dad would but I like it.  

    Pepsi

    Mom (who is currently my favourite parent) also gave me a massive can of Pepsi and a cool looking Pepsi t-shirt.  Don’t laugh, some of us like Pepsi.  Now I can wear some Pepsi as well as drink it.  Life is good and oh, so refreshing.

    Dad isn’t all bad, he shocked me and gave me a Pentax 35mm f2.4 lens

    I have wanted this lens ever since I got my camera.  I was saving up for it but I definitely didn’t expect to get it for Christmas.  Here is why it is awesome.

    PENTAX 35mm f2.4 lens

    The smc PENTAX DA L 35mm F2.4 AL has a fast F2.4 maximum aperture for handheld photography in low lighting and depth of field flexibility. It is built with a highly lightweight design for improved comfort and portability. PENTAX Super Protect coating helps repel dust, water, and grease, making the lens easier to clean. An aspherical lens element helps to compensate for spherical aberration to maximize image quality. Equivalent to 53.5mm in the 35mm format. Developed specifically for PENTAX digital SLR cameras.

    Santa Claus gave me a Canon tripod while Maggi gave me the manly version of the photography gloves we gave Mom.  So yeah, now I need to get out and take some photos.

    Oliver gave me Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale and Santa gave me a Pentax 200mm f4 prime lens which should be awesome.   They also tossed in some photography gloves which are almost a need in our weather.  In case I need to go out at night, I was given a compact red Maven Police Security flashlight.  130 lumens should be enough to blind anyone who is out at night.  You’ve been warned.

    Dad was in a giving spirit.  He gave Mom a Sigma Art 19mm f2.4 lens and Oliver a Nikon Coolpix S31 camera so that means all of us got some new photo gear to explore tomorrow.  

    Tomorrow after a big breakfast we are headed downtown to take some shots of what should be a totally empty downtown coreRiver Landing, and Meewasin Trail.  Then I will help Mom and Dad make Christmas dinner.  I’ll post some photos to Flickr tomorrow so you can check out the lenses and also what life was like around here.

    Have a great Christmas everyone!