Wednesday, December 26, 2001

I laughed, I cried, I ate pie...

Happy Boxing Day, my darlings! Today is the day observed in the British Commonwealth for giving gifts to retainers and employees and the local poorfolk (preferably in boxes, hence the name)...I have no retainers or employees, and there are no poorfolk anywhere nearby (the geographic stratifications of real estate being what they are), so I had to do the American thing and lounge around in my PJs, eat pie for breakfast, snack on leftover turkey, and gloat over my unwrapped presents beside my now-anachronistic tree.

Actually, I didn't get many packages from la famille at last night's wrapping-paper orgy. My sister gave me a beautiful vintage overcoat, my aunt bestowed upon me an electric coffee grinder (something I've always wanted but for some reason never bought myself) and a pound of Starbuck's, my other aunt gifted me with a pair of hand-painted Bakelite bracelets (that unfortunately don't fit over my big hammy hands, so they'll have to go in the Display Collection), and my cousin & her hubby gave me a mulberry turtleneck sweater that was so perfect for me that the only reason I didn't already have one exactly like it is because the line at Old Navy was so long when I saw said sweater there that I didn't get it. Also, my mother sent me a fabulous white beaded cocktail dress, though I couldn't open that one in front of the Grandmother.

But still, the output of presents far outweighed the intake. Of course, the kids don't generally give gifts, though they get them, and Daddy didn't have an opportunity to get out shopping this year. Then my grandmother and my uncle gave me things that can't be wrapped, presenting verbs rather than nouns: my uncle is taking me to get new tires for Miss Marjorie, which she sorely needs (Uncle tells me I'm taking my life in my hands every time I drive on those tires, but "taking one's life in one's hands" seems a bit dramatic for a Volvo, so I tend not to believe him); and then Grandmother is going to take me to buy a new suit later in the week.

These rather generous gifts encompass both Christmas and my Birthday (which is tomorrow), which is one of the small benefits of having these two so close together...when people do give me combination gifts, they're really nice.

All gifting aside, the Christmas day gathering went very well. Dinner was great, most of it was even served hot (very rare around here), and a good time was had by all. This year's turkey was probably the best yet (I wish the carcass was still around for picking at, but my aunt took it home with her...only fair, since she brought it). Grandmother's stuffing was also exemplary this year, and I gathered kudos for my candied yams. The pies all turned out rather well, the apple being especially tasty. And then, wonder upon wonders, my cousin and her husband washed all the dishes! The kitchen is cleaner now than it was before we started!

Well, now I'm resting up for my Annual Birthday Shopathon tomorrow. I plan to start at the Gunne Sax Outlet (Jessica McClintock Company Store) in South San Francisco, my favorite place for getting fabulous formals at shockingly cheap prices; then on to the Burlington Coat Factory in SoMa (and this time I won't park in a tow-away zone like I did last year, which curtailed my shopping by dipping into my time and bank account in a most egregious manner), and then perhaps to (C)Ross Dress for Less to see what they have, and then the Union Square circuit from Nordstrom to Virgin Megastore to Macy*s to Saks to Britex to Rizzoli, and then back across the bridge to pick up a few staples at Sears (they make the best Queen-sized opaque tights), indulge in a few favorite local consignment shops, and finally home again, replete with pleasure, burdened with bags, and notably poorer.

I'll let you know how it turns out, darlings!

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