Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Parties

Christmas is fast approaching, and it seems everywhere we turn is a celebration of some kind. On Wednesday, we had our Small Group Christmas Party, which involved having cocktail wieners and cookies while exchanging a variety of gifts (most of which included fun board games). We also got to coo over Justin and Kelly's new baby girl, Sydney.

On Friday night, Vivian and I decided to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1 together, just on a whim. Since Voyage of the Dawn Treader was opening that same night, we had a not-all-that-full house to enjoy the show. And by enjoy, I mean I watched and followed along since I had already read the book, while Vivian sat bored out of her mind wondering when the main characters would just hurry up and die already.

The rest of the night, of course, was spent at the Eagle's Lodge dancing to the Grand Marquis, who were paying us a visit. Afterward, we crashed at Alvorado's once again for some tasty late-night Mexican food, and we hung around for a while goofing off and playing with Ben Cass' magnetic balls. (Yes, I know how that sounds). Naturally, I had my camera snapping everything in sight, as usual, much to some people's irritation.

P1020190.JPGOn Saturday, we got the fringes of the blizzard that brought down the Metrodome. It was mostly gale-force winds and snow that cut you like sheets of stinging sand, but nothing that made the roads too treacherous to drive on. Our furnace also blew a fuse, making me fairly glad that we'd just renewed our home warranty with Service One. We had him give the furnace an annual check-up as well. Another heating company had "found" a crack in the heat exchanger and said we had to buy a new furnace right away or we could die in our sleep. For some reason, Service One couldn't seem to find the same crack. Maybe that's because they aren't in the business of selling furnaces.

As such, we were a little late to a wedding for Bart and Margaret, two mutual swing dancing friends of ours. I did have time to dance with the bride, but I had to sing the song myself, as the band had already packed up. There was time to snap a handful of pictures, of course, and act a little silly with all of our friends.

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Vivian and I had some tasty Nachos Navidad for lunch and washed it down with some McDonald's Egg Nog Shakes — both apparently a Christmas tradition for Vivian. We were also able to do almost all of our Christmas shopping before the end of the day. The blizzard had somehow kept all the holiday shoppers indoors, allowing us to browse a couple different stores at our leisure to pick up a few items (which will be revealed at the proper time, of course).

That evening, Sarah Adair had an apartment-warming party at her new digs. Several of us stopped by to sip wine and play a few games. Things did seem to get pretty goofy fairly quickly. Innuendo ran wild during What's Yours Like, Eric actually ate a ketchup-coated cracker, and then Jon, Jim, and Kris also decided to run out into the snow for some reason. They thought it's be fun to run along the railroad tracks behind the apartment building and bring half of it back inside when they returned. We still had plenty of fun once they got cleaned up.

(And by the way, "Are we still on cake?")

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We had yet another Christmas party on Monday, this time with our new friends from Twin Valley Church. The pastor's brother in law lives in the house next door, so we gathered there with several other church members and attendees of the Monday Night "game and bible study" group. We got to stuff ourselves with stromboli, tabouleh, tortilla soup, and an assortment of sweets for dinner, and then we had a fairly competitive white elephant gift exchange. I had to fight to keep a pair of extendible marshmallow tongs, while others got to fight over the hot sauce and chocolates we brought with us. The most popular item seemed to be a large dart gun, which I was actually happy to give up, since I had an identical model sitting in my closet at home (waiting for next year's Comic Genesis Cookout).

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