Christmas time in Burke.

Then Richmond. Then Waldorf.

Kelly and I completed our annual Christmas rounds again this year. Started in burke, we exchanged presents early.

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Mostly because I get excited and can’t wait, but also because if we start early we will have more days of presents in a row—5 total. I had to chance the last minute shopping because of that whole trip to Asia thing, but I knew what I wanted to buy, something that I had been wanting to get the wife for quite a while. We exchanged gifts, and Kelly easily won. I got a digital SLR. All I gave her was a diamond tennis bracelet. Only problem is you spell diamond with a ‘C’ and a ‘Z’. It is very nice, good quality, and petite. I should take a picture with my new camera.

The new camera rocks, btw. I am working to learn how to more properly use it. I have my Dad’s old fully manual 35mm SLR, and have used it with very limited success. The Canon EOS 350D is so nice, I love the creative settings where you can tell it to make all but one setting automatic. So I can do things like experiment with the aperture and the focus, shutter speed, et. al. will be taken care of. Very good for someone who wants to learn what exactly everything does, but isn’t quite sure yet.

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The next day after work we had dinner with our chosen family, and exchanged a few presents—over Mongolian BBQ. And that was the end of the calm. We loaded up and headed to Richmond. photoRichmond was very incremental this year. Breakfast and gifts with the Anderson’s. Five Guys. Afternoon at the Wilson’s. Evening at Grandma’s. Much lower key this year, I think the cousins are getting older. And at Christmas older means boring. Luckily we have Joshua and Jacob to keep some life in it. Oh, and Darth Vader too.

After grandma’s back up to Burke.

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Christmas morning was loading up the car, cats and all, and ‘round the belt way to Waldorf we go. You would think all the old boring people involved that it would be dull, but there were ipods, nintendos and tivos being tossed around, so we kept the dull at bay. Of course it was a step down from last year’s unicycle, but that’s just presents.

Kelly and her mom made the most spectacular dinner. They had the most amazing Beef Wellingtons ever made. Still properly pink, so tender, and the puff-pastry wasn’t soggy in the least. I wanted to eat two. I nearly exploded after one and a half.

I was really happy to see so much family. Especially the Andersons, Wilsons and Tulli — I think next year when we have extra pitter-patter’ring at our house we are going to have to switch to a 3 year rotation. Home, Richmond, and Waldorf — otherwise there is no way we can get any sort of quality time in there at all. I say year one starts in Burke. Of course I could just be sick of traveling from my little jaunt to as-far-away-as-you-can-go land.