Happy Holidays

I’d like to start by wishing you all the happiest of holidays, whichever ones you should choose to celebrate. Not to play favorites, but seeing as today is Christmas Day, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas as well. My family finished unwrapping our gifts early this morning, and we just finished up a lunch of delectable glazed Christmas ham. Such may seem obligatory on blogs such as mine, but I’ve just got to show you my loot for this year.  And so, without further ado…

Now I know what you’re thinking…well, I really don’t, but it serves my purposes to pretend that I do. Anyway, as you can plainly see, there isn’t much in the way of otaku goods to be found here. I wrote a long list this year and told my family to pick a few things; I usually ask for a few specific items, but because of that I haven’t really been surprised all that much in recent years.  I think my family decided to play it safe and get me things readily available from stores and websites they already knew and trusted, which precluded most of my less American requests. That’s not to say that this wasn’t a good Christmas; I got plenty of wonderful gifts:

First up is the new Zelda game, Spirit Tracks. I’ve been a Zelda fan since I played Ocarina of Time when I was little, and I can’t wait to see what this installment holds in store.

Next is Clannad Collection 2, the only anime I received this Christmas. ADV is distributing the series in America, albeit undubbed. I’m fine with this, as I prefer subs in most cases, and the original voice work is simply amazing for this series.   I was given Collection 1 for my birthday a few months back, and this DVD finished the first season.  I hope to buy the After Story DVDs in the near future.

I’ve heard nothing but praise for this game from friends, and I very much enjoyed the first installment. I’m intrigued by the use of Renaissance Italy as the setting this time around.

This was another recommendation by friends, and from what I’ve seen of it thus far it should prove quite impressive.

I’ve nearly run out of room on my shelf for PS3 games, but I hear that this one is a more than worthy addition to any gamer’s repertoire. Prototype was another option on my list, but I didn’t really hold one over the other. Should I get that game eventually as well?

What Christmas is complete without gift cards? $25 to Amazon, $25 to Barnes & Noble, $25 to Shell gas stations, $10 to iTunes, and a year of AAA membership. Yes, AAA membership. It takes a certain kind of person to give someone a AAA card for Christmas, but luckily for him I am that person’s son, and I loved it. My car is a ’95, and it’s set to crumble to dust any day now.  Also, the Shell card wasn’t actually a Christmas present; someone I tutored a few times gave it to me a few days ago in thanks. Thoughtful, no?

Can’t go wrong with tea!

Or hot chocolate. My brother got quite a lot of coffee beans and the like, so we’ll have no shortage of hot beverages for quite some time, it seems. Not that I have a problem with that.

I got some chocolates and candy canes as stocking stuffers, along with that iTunes gift card from before. Note that those are the good kind of chocolate coins, in that I’ve already eaten a lot of them. Also in my stocking…

Chapstick. Santa knows me well, it seems.

Sparkling pomegranate juice. I wanted to photograph everything before I started using them, but I couldn’t quite help myself. I fear it may somehow be too delicious for my own good.

A cold-weather vest from my father. I’ve never really been a vest person, but it was still a nice surprise.

A scarf. I would have balked at the idea of using a precious Christmas gift opportunity on winter clothes when I was younger, but this time around I asked for this. Some would call that a sign of maturity. I say it’s a sign that my neck gets cold often.

Every year my parents try to get one particularly expensive or lavish gift for me and my siblings.  The only such item my parents knew I am aspiring to possess was a DSLR camera, which is of course far above their intended price range for such a gift and far beyond what I was expecting. Rather than take a chance on some expensive figure I might not want, they opted for this:

I think they may have been a bit worried about being unable to choose a specific gift, but I couldn’t have been happier. I’ve been saving money for months now in the hopes of making some big purchases myself. Had they actually gotten me what I am after, not only would they have spent far too much, but it also might have felt as though I had been working so hard for nothing.  This certificate helps me toward my goal and maintains the validity of my efforts. I doubt my parents thought of all that, but I made sure they knew I was happy with it.

That about wraps it up for my Christmas loot this year. What do I think?

I loved it. What else can I say? Great gifts and glazed ham go a long way. Plus, with the money from the gift certificate, the backed paychecks from all those extra pre-Christmas hours at the store, and the check I got from my grandmother (thought it best not to photograph that one) I think I may be nearly ready to make some purchases. As for what those may be, I’ll leave that for another day.

Well, as always, thanks for reading. I’ve really got to stop waiting until holidays to post, and I’m going to try to post more regularly. If I should fail, then I guess I’ll see you on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Thanks again!

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