I guess the Dutch government decided to add an official second Christmas day to give everybody an opportunity to celebrate the holiday with all of their family members. Like when you have two sets of grandparents (and the usual extended network of aunts, uncles and cousins), or when you want to introduce your boyfriend to your family’s Christmas traditions and vice versa, or like in the case of Gui’s children when your parents are divorced and they both have new families. So yesterday Myra, Casper and Jurre got to celebrate with their mother and today they joined our party. As did Gy’s new girlfriend Floor.
Because everybody was here today we designated today as official gift-unwrapping day. And we had a lot of gifts, every single person bought at least one gift for every other person present, which ended up being such a big heap of presents that it didn’t fit under the tree, so we stashed the lot on top of a large cabinet next to the tree. I received a lot of nice gifts, like books, perfume, earrings and most interestingly a baby pacifier! Not that my parents are expecting me to give birth soon, it’s just that the pacifier was designed by Tico Torres (Bon Jovi’s drummer), so I’m just supposed to save it for the future. It is my favorite gift though. Of course, I handed out some presents too, which were all bought in Japan. Like a Hello Kitty pen for my stepsister and Pokemon figurines for my stepbrothers, for Gy a signature stamp (inkan or hanko) with his name in Japanese, for my cow-loving mom lots of cow stationery and for crazy Gui the silliest present ever (but my absolute favorite of course) an onigiri hat! Remember the other hats I tried on a while back? He didn’t recognize the riceball snack at first, until I reminded him that it was something he frequently ate during his time in Japan.
There were so many presents that it took us more than two hours to open all of them. The gifts were opened one at the time, in a specific order. First someone selects a gift they bought from the heap, then they pick it up and present the recipient with the package, they have their picture taken together by a Japanese tourist (that would be me), and the gift is opened, admired and the gift-giver is thanked thoroughly with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and of course this moment is also caught on digital film, so we can remember it forever. When Gy was a little boy, who watched way too many American TV shows, he discovered hugging (probably on ‘Full House’ or something cheesy like that), and introduced it to our family and even though it was a bit awkward at first, soon we didn’t know any better and as you can see we still hug like crazy in our house:
Of course, today wasn’t just about the hug-o-rama and the gift-extravaganza, it wouldn’t be Christmas with a feast of food, so of course we had that too. We started with a brunch with loads of European bread, cheeses, eggs, bacon and much much more. In between all the gift-opening we had colorful Christmas chocolate and leftover Sinterklaas candy: colorful chocolate-covered pepernoten. And for dinner we used the two new electric table grills our parents gave each other, to grill meat, bread, potatoes and veggies.
The evening was spent watching some of the many new DVDs that were amongst the presents. And then before I knew it Christmas was over again… But my vacation isn’t over yet, I’m not even halfway, and of course we still have another big holiday event to look forward to: New Year’s Eve.