In general catchup, New Year's proved once again that I am a geek: went over to malacissation and motleypolitico, and the assembled proceeded to play Guitar Hero, watch the first few episodes of Angel, and then board game until 3:30 am. But we did do champagne at midnight.
1. My sister decided that driving a snow cat around Yellowstone was somehow more Christmassy than coming home. You'd think they had feet of snow and a huge wooden lodge and blazing fires or something.
2. This meant that I was required to make the chocolate swirl cheesecake, because my family firmly believes in making the exact same things for Christmas each year. This is because they are delicious things. Despite the fact I was working from her recipe, it ended up too sweet, because it turns out that in the 15 or so years since she wrote it down, she's been freelancing it, and it has evolved. Damn those innovators.
3. Acorn flour pancakes are really wonderful, especially with genuine maple syrup. This broke our string of mildly disastrous Christmas pancake breakfasts; my mother doesn't usually keep pancake makings around, so every year she picks up some fancy little bag of gourmet mix. This has resulted in rather... fibrous, or stale, or last year, flat pancakes. This year my father in a labor of love gathered acorns, boiled, dried, and ground them in best Indian fashion, and brought some of the flour with him. Nutty and dense and rich in the best fashion.
4. There was happy loot! My favorite probably being my video ipod. My previous mp3 player was a Zen, and gotta say: the Ipod is designed ten times better. It's a perfectly elegant and seamless process, from the first upload to the click to start playing. And it knows to ignore the The in band names!
5. I got to win the Christmas Scrabble game by emptying my rack to play "uvea" on a triple word score. This was awesomely satisfying as I rarely get to beat my family in word games.