i'm having a great holiday season (which explain my offline-ness, i suppose)! we've spent the past 6 days with my family, and things have been remarkably fun.
we've done loads of shopping, made lots of different sweets and cookies, played games, and have eaten plenty of incredibly yummie stuff (dad's bosnian food has been a particular treat; fresh-made cevapcici on monday, and bosnian ground beef pies with home-pickled red peppers yesterday, with the salmon marp and dad caught this summer as a sidedish for marp to enjoy.).
last night was spent with my aunt and cousins and their little families. all in all, 9 adults and 5 kids. big christmas dinner followed by a visit from santa to hand out gifts, a full hour or so of unwrapping, and then us adults did our christmas gift game* followed by a boardgame until 3 am. fantastic night.
i got so many presents (and gave many as well) - i got an mp3-player, fuzzy socks, a great TP-style boardgame, a seriously yummie perfume (naomi campbell 'cat deluxe at night'), a pretty silver-necklace and lots more. i believe the gift that totally stole my heart was the robot, though:
MY ROBOT ROCKS! Marp is SO the bomb for getting me the robot. for the record, the robot doesn't do anything except look like a robot, but i love it all the same. wee!
(some of the favourite things i gave marp included a book signed to us from one of our favorite swedish illustrators, hans arnold, and a bobble-head doll of our favourite swedish professor in criminal law, leif gw persson, hahaha.)
anyway. loving this holiday, and there's almost a week and a half to go, still. wee!
* the christmas gift game: instead of having to buy lots of gifts among us adults, we do a game instead. everybody buys one gift at a set price (this year approx. $10) that must remain a secret.
on christmas eve, all gifts are put in the middle of a table. a pair of dice are passed around the circle of participants: whenever somebody manages to roll a pair, they can pick something out of the pile. this continues until the pile is empty.
when all gifts have been taken, an egg timer is set for 7-10 minutes. until the buzzer goes off, participants pass one dice around the circle. if you roll a 6, you can take a gift from somebody else. if you roll a 1, you can tell another participant to hand over a gift of your choice to another participant of your choice (not yourself).
this goes on until the buzzer goes off. when the egg timer rings, the game stops. whatever gifts you've managed to amass are yours. sometimes you end up with a whole bunch, or you could end up empty-handed. (luckily when you're a couple, you have better odds, haha, because when you roll a 1 you can tell somebody to hand a gift over to your SO...)
this is ENORMOUSLY entertaining and gets really stressful at the end. it's hilarious seeing people's $10 gifts. i ended up with some beach towels with games printed on them so we can play games on the beach. marp ended up with a big fancy box of chocolate. my cousin tobbe ended up with an emergency blanket in case of a fire, hahaha. another cousin got a book about chocolate, and her son ended up with super-fancy sea salt-thingy. mom got a cd with andrea boccelli.
in short - we love this game and i highly recommend it. :)