When we woke up today there was lots of rain and lightning and house-shaking thunder. Bruce crept into Michael’s room and woke him up. Michael and Amanda then went downstairs to wake their parents up. Phil was already up and moving, but they jumped all over Karen proclaiming that “Santa came! Santa came!”

We had a nice time opening gifts. I almost got an Xbox 360, but Karen was thinking she could get me an L lens for my camera, but then she didn’t realize quite how expensive that was and by then they couldn’t get the Xbox anymore. That’s okay though, I got a lot of good DVDs and an external hard drive, which was one of the biggest things I’ve been wanting for a while. Altogether I got The Man Without a Name Trilogy, War of the Worlds, The Godfather, The 40 Year Old Virgin on DVD, a study Bible, the book Wicked, more socks and boxers and shirts. Amanda got more boots (a pair from her mom and a pair of cowboy ones from me) and sweaters and clothes along with some Pier One bowls to complete a set we have and a coat rack thingy “from Bruce.” I wasn’t sure how she’d feel about the gifts from Pier One, but she was happy with them. Michael mostly got Xbox games. The graphics and sound on the King Kong game were outstanding.

After the presents we took showers and packed up everything to leave. We left around twenty after ten with our trunk packed and a container full of sausage balls and Pop Tarts from Karen, complimented with coffee and orange juice.

On the way to Rougemont we talked to Ben and Jessica, left messages for Paul and Kim and Rob and Kristen, and Baba and Pap as well. We also talked to Kaylon Honeycutt, a guy Andra used to go out with but Amanda and I ended up befriending, as well as everyone in Uncle Roy’s clan (Roy, Jodie, Wally, Hilary, Francis, Gordon and Eleanor Horner). They’ve been having a rough time lately finance-wise, but it sounded like they did alright for Christmas. Wally is going to a boarding school in Scranton, which Pup Pup later said was being paid for by someone. The big gifts there were a new PlayStation 2 (their old one broke), ventriloquist puppets and a remote control helicopter. We also talked to Aunt Robbie. I realized later that I had forgotten to call Erin, so if you’re reading this, I’m sorry!

We got to the Dotsey homestead at about a quarter of one. The first thing we were shown was Andra’s engagement ring. No date set yet or anything, possibly in May? The immediate family (sans Erin, who couldn’t make it home from St. Thomas) was there, plus of course Jackson and Josh, Pup Pup, David, Aunt Reggie, along with her boyfriend Hank. Mom had decided to start a new tradition, so after we handed out the presents that were specifically for everyone (we gave out mugs with a cute picture of Jackson to Dad and Josh, scarves Amanda made to the ladies, a sweater for Adam, pictures for Mom and Pup Pup, David gave out books, Mom and Dad gave out socks, mostly), she had us all say a few words about what Christmas meant to us all then she announced that the for rest of the presents under the tree we were doing White Elephant. I was a little skeptical at first, having seen an episode of The Office where it went terribly awry, but this actually worked out nicely. All the gifts were pretty nice and Amanda and I ended up with a really nice new blanket and some wireless phones which, conveniently, we had been considering getting. They’re the type where only one needs to be plugged into the phone jack and the other one can just be plugged into an electrical outlet somewhere in a decent range of the other one. It’s great for us because the only phone jacks in our house are in the bedrooms and our cordless phone holds a really crappy charge.

Afterwards there was food and football. David and I were talking about general stuff and I ended up with Linux on a partition of my laptop. I’ll probably install it on the desktop too, when I get home. I also asked him if he ever got Duke tickets, since he works for Duke. He said he has a friend with season tickets who offered to let him go to some games now and then, and that he’d see about getting me some tickets. Sweet!

While we were messing with the computer, Aunt Reggie, who had left and come back, said she’d broken up with Hank. Basically, she felt he was getting all he needed from the relationship but she wasn’t getting what she needed. I felt sorry for her, but I thought it was very strong of her to do something like that.

Mom is feeding Doug and TJ (friends who live not far from their house) Watson’s horses, and Mom didn’t see one of them so I went out and walked the perimeter of their field with her to look for the missing horse. We didn’t find it, so the hope is that TJ sent the horse somewhere while they’re gone. Mom tried getting in touch with TJ, but couldn’t.

When we got back, we watched The 40 Year Old Virgin, which had us all cracking up, especially my dad and me.

Jackson is more and more fun. I had him laughing a lot by letting him bite my finger then pulling it out of his mouth and saying, “Ow!” It actually did hurt now and then. He’s a lot more vocal now, too, and more animated. He’ll wave and say some semblance of “bye” and he’ll blow kisses. He puts his hand over his mouth and casts it out while he makes a “ba” sound. Dad put his hand over Jackson’s mouth and Jackson would make the noise while casting off Dad’s hand. It’s adorable.