Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas 2021

It's hard to believe that Christmas has already come and gone.  This season always goes by so fast for us, but it was definitely a merry one despite a few hiccups!

Eliot and I had planned to go home to my parents' house on Thursday, but that was foiled when we lost our electricity the same time we were getting out of bed.  It was only out for about 3 hours, but that was all it took to derail our day.  We had planned to do laundry and wrap things up with a few orders, but with the power out, we couldn't do that.  Instead, Eliot sat on the living room floor wrapping Christmas presents.

While the power came back a few hours later, Eliot, Mom and I all agreed that it made sense to stay home for an extra day.  Eliot and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening finishing orders, cleaning the house, doing laundry and getting things packed for Christmas.  Eliot and I were also able to watch a few more new Hallmark movies and get those off of the DVR.  At the end of the day, we were able to get to bed early so we would be well rested for Christmas weekend!

Friday morning, Eliot and I got up and finished our Christmas preparations.  We packed our orders, packed our gifts and packed up the truck.  Around 12:30, we were on our way north!  We made a quick stop for gas and to pick one of Mom's presents from our storage unit.  We stopped again in Topsham at the Arby's for lunch.  Then, we stopped at Lowes in Augusta to see if they had any good deals.  We ended up getting a steal of a deal!  Everything was 75% off the already reduced rate of 75% off.  Eliot and I got a bunch of pre-lit garlands for 94 cents each.  It was crazy.

Eliot and I continued making our way north with our inflatable Rudolph right by our sides.  Eliot drove the second half of the trip.  We made one more stop at the Brewer Lowes.  They had a bunch of the Disney Christmas pathway lights left, but that Lowes manager wouldn't give us the extra discount... even though that's what the sign in the store said.  We decided that we didn't need the pathway lights, and instead we bought two Disney flags and a bear tabletop inflatable.

We pulled into Mom and Dad's driveway right about 6:00 pm.  Eliot and I were greeted by Dad's collection of inflatables.  He didn't put all of them out this year, but he still had a good collection of them on display.  Eliot and I walked up to the end of the driveway with Dad checking them all out before going inside to say hi to Mom and Nana.  While we were telling them about our Lowes deals, Jeremy pulled into the driveway.  We were all home and together for Christmas weekend!

We spent the evening visiting and catching up with each other.  Before bed, we laid out our stockings so Santa could fill them up with goodies.

Christmas morning, we woke up around 8:15.  Jeremy actually woke Eliot and I up since I forgot to set my alarm the night before.  I had been having a crazy dream, so I was thankful that he woke me when he did.  We waited until Mom, Dad and Nana were all ready in the living room.  By the time they got settled, it was probably 8:45.  

Eliot and I opened our stockings and took in all of the items that Santa left us on the couch.  It was clear that we were going to make out like bandits again.  (Santa always spoils us rotten.)  I got the Mickey Popcorn Maker I asked for.  I also had a large pile of beads and UV resin jewelry making supplies.  There was the Haunted Mansion game I'd wanted.  In the middle of the couch was the Sesame Street Lego Set Eliot and I both asked for.  A quick glance at Eliot's side and I saw Pokemon Legos, a Villainous game expansion pack, Villain Monopoly, and the Drill Press he wanted. 

After stockings, we decided that we had time to open presents so Jeremy, Eliot and I took turns opening the 5 presents that Santa had wrapped for us.  For me, it was two Disney cookbooks I'd wanted, two of the Disney Possible Dreams figures I'd asked for, and the jewelry stamping kit I had on my list.  Eliot got two of the video games he wanted, some Lego sets as well as some tools he asked for.

We still had some time, so we started to open our gifts to each other.  Eliot got me a custom Tervis tumbler with pictures of us and the donkeys from some of our recent adventures.  It was really special and brought back a lot of wonderful memories.  

I gave Eliot some handmade Christmas stockings of Figment and Orange Bird.  I had seen them posted on Instagram by a small shop I've purchased from a few times.  I've been wanting to buy him the pillows she's made of them, but when I saw the stockings I knew I had to get them.  We'll be able to use them to decorate our living room each year.  They're really cute and he absolutely loved them!

Nana gave me money and Eliot got a Home Depot gift card.  I gave Nana the passport bag Mom and I bought her from Hot Topic.  (Mom and I each got one too.)  It has all of the Disney Princess symbols on it- including Cinderella's Slipper and Coach.  Nana commented to my Mom about how much she loved my little Mickey purse so we knew she'd like this.  I also showed her the Cinderella fabric that we bought to make her pillow cases for the little arm pillows Santa brought her.

Mom and Dad also got Nana a Cakeworthy Fairy Godmother flannel shirt that I'd spotted on Shop Disney.  It says "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" on the back in sparkly white letters.  Then, the front has Fairy Godmother embroidered on the collar and her image coming out of the pocket.  It really is beautiful... I have to order one for myself too!

Eliot and I gave Mom and Dad a bunch of little things.  Mom had already gotten the Scentsy Disney Christmas tart warmer we'd all gotten her back at Thanksgiving so she could use it.  Then, Eliot and I also bought her a Mickey Christmas Tree Truck pillow from Kohls.  She also got an apron with Mickey and the red truck.  Then, we found a cute Snoopy baking set.  Finally, we got her Mickey and Minnie Door greeters that we got on sale at Lowes.  Mom loved it all and especially enjoyed the red truck stuff.

Dad's gifts were also from Lowes.  Eliot and I had originally planned to get him one of the mini Airdorable inflatables, but since Lowes had them on sale we ended up getting him four: Olaf, Frosty, Mickey and Minnie.  We also gave him Coca Cola playing cards which he enjoyed, but they were nowhere near as big of a hit as the inflatables.  He was like a little kid; as soon as he opened up Olaf, he had to set him up.  It took him a while to open all of his gifts because he kept adding batteries to inflate them!  They were really cute and he enjoyed his little army of mini inflatables!

Eliot and I weren't sure what to get Jeremy, but I've been seeing an Amazon ad on Facebook for some collectible Seven Dwarfs plushes.  I finally took it as a sign that I should get those for him, and he loved them.  (Jeremy always loved the Seven Dwarfs when we were growing up.)  After opening his present, Jer said he'd actually seen them online the other day and was checking them out.  They even come in a nice box so you can display them without taking them out of it!

Jeremy broke the bank; the gifts just kept coming.  He gave me another one of the Possible Moments figures that I'd wanted- the one that I'd texted him about finding on eBay.  It's a retired one that I'd never seen before I came across it and he told me that he ordered it as soon as I sent the text.  He also got me a Dumbledore and Hogwarts Castle Funko Pop as well as a Dug Days Funko Pop of Dug with all of the puppies.

Jeremy gave Eliot a Pokemon Funko Pop.  Inside the back of the Funko box, was the rare Pokemon card he told me he was going to give Eliot.  I've known about it for a few weeks; Jeremy had pulled an expensive card that Eliot has been wanting to find.  He told Eliot about it over my birthday weekend, and apparently that was his way of sneakily finding out which cards Eliot would want the most.  Eliot was so happy to get the card that he teared up while thanking Jeremy.

What I wasn't expecting was my final gift from Jeremy.  He told me that he found one on eBay from Europe, and I had no idea what it was.  When I opened it, it was my turn to cry.  Jeremy found one of the Ariel Atlantica Castle figures that had sold out on our US Shop Disney website before I was able to order it.  I had mentioned to Jeremy that if he saw one (when the Disney Stores were all closing) to grab it for me.  He wasn't able to find one, and I figured they'd be too much to find on eBay so I had given up on it.  But Jeremy kept a look out and found one at a good price.  I have the best brother.

Jeremy even bought our three donkeys a present... three pairs of fuzzy Sesame Street slipper socks- Elmo, Cookie Monster and Ernie & Bert!  They're really cute and they'll be really soft to wear.  Meep Meep spent all afternoon on Christmas cuddled up in a box with the slipper socks as a blanket.  He was living his best life!

We got so caught up in opening gifts that we lost track of the time.  Before we knew it, it was 10:00 and the Disney Christmas Parade was starting.  And it was at this exact moment that Mom and Dad realized that they had misplaced the remote the night before.  Apparently, when they were taking stuff out of the boxes, organizing our gifts and prepping for Christmas morning, the remote got lost in the shuffle.

Things got a bit jumbled then.  We looked for the remote and it was no where to be found.  We ended up opening a few more gifts.  Then, we tried to look for the remote again.  Eliot eventually realized that he could use his cell phone to change the channel, but we'd already missed the first 45 minutes of the parade.

Nana, Jeremy, Eliot and I settled in to watch the rest of it, while Mom and Dad made breakfast in the kitchen.  Since things were so crazy, we decided to wait on the waffles until the following day.  Dad cooked up some ham, eggs, and toast and we enjoyed it while watching the rest of the Disney Parade.

In the afternoon, Jeremy wanted to watch the Celtics basketball game so we used Eliot's phone to switch it over to that.  Eliot fell asleep for a long winter nap on the couch.  Nana dozed and Dad was passed out on the chair for most of it.  Mom and I talked in the kitchen for awhile so as not to disturb everyone else.

Later in the evening, I went outside to take photos of Dad's decorations before it got too dark.  Then, Eliot and I went out with him again when it was fully dark so I could take a few videos of his lights dancing to the music.

For dinner, we had spaghetti whenever we were hungry.  Throughout the day, I had snacked on fruit, nachos, shrimp, cookies and other small treats.  I ate my dinner while we settled in to watch a movie.  Eliot and Jeremy wanted to watch Encanto but I insisted we watch Noelle since it was a Christmas movie.  Eliot and I were the only ones who had seen it, so it made sense.  Mom fell asleep on and off and Eliot was out cold in my lap again, but Nana, Jeremy, Dad and I all really enjoyed it.

After that, we all made our way to best since we were completely exhausted!

Unfortunately, my slumber was not wonderful with visions of sugar plums.  I awoke around 6 am with pain in my stomach.  By 6:15 am, I was in the bathroom... and that was the beginning of the end.  I spent the next six hours back and forth between our bed and the bathroom.  In between visits to the bathroom, I tried to get sleep.  It was awful.  I was sobbing at one point because I didn't think I had anything else left in my body.  It wasn't until around 11:00 that I finally fell back into a deeper sleep.   

At one point when I was asleep, Jeremy had come in to ask if I was ok long enough for him to shower.  I gave him a thumbs up and fell back asleep.  Around noon, I came to again.  I could hear Jeremy talking to Mom and Dad downstairs.  I woke Eliot up and we made our way downstairs to join everyone.

Dad was already at work cooking the Mickey waffles.  Mom felt bad that I had spent the entire morning sick, but I assured her that I'd be ok.  We didn't think it was food poisoning since I'd eaten the same things as everyone else.  The only thing that I could think of was that it was the spaghetti sauce.  When I was sick a few weeks ago, I had eaten ravioli with meat sauce at Olive Garden.  (I'm wondering now if I'm having some problems with my body digesting tomato sauce.)

Everyone else had a wonderful breakfast of Mickey Waffles.  Not wanting to abandon the tradition that we started last year, I decided to have one.  It was one of the first ones out of the waffle maker so it was kind of squishy.  I put a teeny tiny bit of butter on it and slowly ate it.  I still didn't feel great, but I was glad to have eaten something.

Jeremy packed up and headed home a few minutes later.  I gave him a big hug and thanked him again for all of the wonderful presents that he got us.

I felt awful because I was incredibly weak and I couldn't lift anything.  Eliot worked really hard packing all of our Christmas presents up and taking them out to the truck.  I eventually gathered enough strength to take a shower.  I was really slow, but it felt so good to have the warm water washing over my poor weak body.  After my shower, I got dressed in my clean Christmas outfit and I was ready to go.

Before heading out, Eliot and I said goodbye to Nana.  Then my Dad helped Eliot pack everything else into the truck.  Mom and Dad walked us out to the truck.  We talked to them for a few minutes before saying goodbye and thanking them again for everything.

Eliot and I got on the road around 3 pm.  Thankfully, he thought he was good to drive the entire way home since I was completely wiped out from lack of sleep and from being sick that morning.  He planned to stop a a bunch of places on the way home so I knew that would help keep him alert on the ride.

Eliot ended up stopping at five different Walmarts along the way: Ellsworth, Brewer, Waterville, Augusta and South Portland.  Each of them had varying amounts of Christmas stuff left over.  Eliot found good deals at a few of them.  He got a few lights, some wrapping paper, tape and bubble mailers.  (We're planning to use the tape and bubble mailers for the businesses.)  He also found us both some discounted Disney Happy Planners for next year!  Other than those, I think my favorite find of his was the strand of Twinkly lights he got deeply discounted!  (Although, I was also pretty pumped about the banana he bought me in Brewer!  It was so yummy!!!)

I only got out with him at Waterville.  I really didn't need to use the bathroom since I was still so dehydrated, but I thought I should get out and stretch.  It was literally all I could do to walk around the store.  I could tell how weak I was.  Eliot asked me multiple times if I was ok.  After that, we stopped at the Waterville McDonalds.  I was able to eat a few French fries, and 10 chicken nuggets.  Thankfully, my stomach was ok with them and I felt much better having something else in my stomach!

We finally arrived home around 10 pm.  It took us twice as long to get home as it should have, but Eliot really enjoyed himself shopping along the way.  I had dozed off here and there, so I was perfectly fine with it.  I was happy to be home though.  Once we unloaded the things we needed from the truck, we went inside, called our parents to tell them we were home and went to bed!

Christmas 2021 wasn't without a few small glitches along the way.  But at the end of the day, I was so happy to be home with my family, vaccinated, and able to hug them that even a terrible case of food poisoning wasn't going to stop me from enjoying it!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family too!!!!  °o°

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