Cats Love Christmas

Christmas 3 of 3 is done! No more Christmas! *happy dance* We saw my family on Sunday, Mike’s family yesterday, and did our own Christmas last night. I have an emotional roller coaster relationship with this holiday. I hate it when they start promoting it before Thanksgiving. I seriously love the smell of pine trees. I hate that I live close to a mall. I love it when I start coming up with ideas of things to make people. I hate listening to other people’s bratty children when I’m waiting in line somewhere. I LOVE snow, even though we rarely get it here. I hate it when they play Christmas hold music on the phone … it doesn’t make me want to punch you in the throat any less for automatically charging my credit card when you shouldn’t have. I love it when my son starts to not-so-nonchalantly asking me what my favorite things are so he can get me something. It is adorable and makes me very happy that he is awful at being discreet.

“Soooooo, uh, what’s your favorite candy?”

“Sooooo if you had to pick a favorite movie that you don’t already own, what would it be?”

We enjoyed the company of our friends and family and that alone is worth all the stupid music, crazy drivers, and other people’s annoying children in the world. We had to cut our Christmas a little short because my cat wasn’t feeling well after all the excitement. I bought some toy fish with catnip in them before we found out about his heart problems and I forgot about them. We had to take them away after we realized what was happening and he started breathing too fast. Even though we didn’t get to go camping this year because of my cat’s health, I had a great time and I am quite pleased with everyone’s thoughtful gifts this year. Although I loved everything, here are just the outdoors related ones in no particular order:

  1. Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods from my brother. I’ve already read it but the reminder of knowing I have his support  is one of the best presents ever!
  2. A small kitchen scale from my husband so I can start weighing some of my gear. Every ounce counts. I weighed a Dr. Pepper bottle (only the essentials, right?) and the reusable hand warmers I got him for Christmas to see if they were worth their weight to steal for my thru-hike.
  3. Some Black Diamond trekking poles from another brother. I’ve never used trekking poles and I can’t wait to try them out. Review to follow!
  4. A clever welcome mat from my favorite aunt and uncle that reads “My idea of a 5 star hotel” with an image of a tent. How cute is that?
  5. A clipped article from a paper about the AT from my very thoughtful in-laws. Not only am I lucky enough to have the best husband in the ‘verse but his family is pretty much the bee’s knees as well. The picture didn’t come out well and now I’m trapped under a cat. Sorry.
  6. My retirement withdrawal check from the county came in the mail. This should fund the remainder of my gear purchases. Thanks, HCIFS!

Again, thanks to everyone for being so supportive. Oh! The cats got new beds and a hilarious whack-a-mole game and that genius Santa got me a calendar of men with cats for the garage. Good times.

I’m excited to try out all my new stuff. I’m excited about the REI garage sale this Saturday. I hope I can score some much-needed gear at a decent price. I’m also excited (and jealous!) for all the 14ers who are about to start their adventures next year. It is just around the corner now and I wish them all the best of luck. Merry Christmahanakwanzika, guys!

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