So I told you things were going to get crazy! These past two weeks have been a whirlwind, but I’m excited to be back to blogging and a semi-routine.
Christmas was a special day shared with family. We woke up and Jonathan and I opened our presents we got for each other. One of his presents to me I actually already opened a while back – my Canon Powershot SX50 HS. Ok so, I LOVE this camera. I got it early on in our SA trip and have used it capture our Kruger getaway, and as a matter of fact, most of the photos on this blog were taken with this camera. The zoom is perfect for game drives and capturing the distant cheetah, and it also functions well indoors and has manual settings which appease the photography in me, as well as automatic for when you need a quick shot. I know most people love their SLRs and I myself have an older canon SLR model, but to get the same zoom range equivalent as the SX50 in a detachable lens would be pricey. I highly recommend it.
Because I am spoiled, I also got another present. A bicycle! I’d been wanting a bike to ride around our neighborhood and to the gym and back or to take a quick ride to the shops. (I’m still not driving). I got Jonathan a tent, and I’m planning a camping trip with some friends to the Drakensberg mountains in February. Can’t WAIT for that!
When Jono opened his tent, my mind was flooded with memories of being a kid at Christmas. I remember the year my brother and I got play tents from Santa. Mine had Simba and Nala on it from the Lion King. We were so excited, we set them up in the living room and “camped out.” Every year my grandpa and grandma Linton would get to our house early to watch us rip open our presents. The year I got my Barbie minivan, my grandpa got roped into assembling the thing. Three hours later it was perfectly put together and immediately became my prized possession.
In the past few years, Christmas has become considerably smaller and…different. Since my dad’s parents passed away and we’ve had other deaths in the family, family move away, etc. Christmas hasn’t really been the same. It feels sort of like the start of a new era. Nevertheless, after 25 Christmases with my mom, dad, and brother I have to admit, it was strange to miss one.
Next on the agenda was breakfast and mimosas at my mother-in-laws, where the whole family was meeting. This was a special Christmas for the Ehrlich’s because it was the first time in 10 years that the three boys were together!
Breakfast was delicious. I giggled when I picked up my champagne glass and saw it was from a 1999 graduation, which is the year Jonathan graduated high school.
It was no surprise that the first half of the morning was all about the little ones. It was so cute to watch them open their presents. My nephew Ethan’s favorite present was a playhouse from Carol. He didn’t want to get out of it!
We then headed over to Uncle Dave and Linda’s for a Christmas lunch and Secret Santa present exchange. One of my favorite parts of the day was opening up “Christmas Crackers.” Christmas crackers are not a tradition in America, and when Linda first mentioned that we had the task of bringing these crackers, I was under the impression that they were your standard ritz crackers that went with the dip. When we went to the shops to pick them up, I was shocked to see crackers were in fact not edible whatsoever. So what is a cracker? It’s a wrapped present with two ends that are meant to be pulled. One person will pull each side and the cracker will POP – out will fall a gift, a joke and a christmas hat. The person whose side opens, gets the goods!
You can see the crackers on the table below, and Jonathan is wearing the Christmas hat!
After dinner, when we arrived back home, I tried dialing up my family on Skype. The connection was pretty awful. I’m guessing a lot of other people had the same idea. I could hear them, but they couldn’t hear me, so I just said hello to my mom, dad, brother, nephew and grandma and grandpa and listened to how their Christmas was. Honestly I was just thankful to hear their voices.
Overall, it was an exhausting, but fun Christmas, filled with gifts, food and family. Besides the “crackers” an SA christmas isn’t much different than an American one!