Santa was good to us again. Elly, Ken and I already received our main presents during thanksgiving due to the kids expiring cell phone contract. We all got T-Mobile MyTouch 4G phones which we are all liking very much. George got his first cell phone for Christmas so we all now have cell phones. What that means is that we'll be cancelling Vonage. I'll update folks on our new "home" phone when the time is right.
We got George the $15 prepaid plan which comes with no "talk" minutes but unlimited texting. Reality is that we really don't call each other very much and George would have to make an awful lot of calls for us to worry about the incurred charges at 10¢ per minute. Since we will be moving George to our plan in 6 months I've set George up with a Google Voice number an associate it to his cell phone number. That way when his phone number changes in six months he doesn't have to worry about upating people on his new phone number.
Probably the most discussed present this year was the one in the following video.
We had one of these things years ago and my wife really gets a kick out of it for some reason. Elly remembered that and got it for her. So we ended up having a lot of discussion about Okinawa and this odd bird thing, and the best way to make it work as it does in the video.
Arisa got a present from me that I knew nothing about since she bought it, wrapped it, and gave it to herself. I knew she was going to get it, but she picked what she wanted. What she got was a pressure cooker. She's been wanting to make Soki Soba, and with this pressure cooker she'll be able to do that. I felt bad since she new what she was getting an Christmas should always have some surprises. And as my twitter followers know, I was running around on the 24th looking for an inexpensive present for her. I had a couple of ideas but ended up getting this:
We had a tea kettle at one point, but it was old and eventually the handle broke or something. We never got around to buying a new one. We have been boiling water in a normal pan for a couple of years for tea. As I have been recently drinking more tea these days, particularly non-caffeinated teas in the afternoon and evening, I keep forgetting that the water is on the stove. At least once, I've returned to the kitchen to see all the water had evaporated. So having a whistling tea kettle is also a safety precaution. It's size is perfect as it's really for only a couple of cups where as our older one was too large - perhaps if the kids drank more hot tea it would make sense to have a bigger one but they don't so we don't need one. And as the kids move out to go to college, etc., the fact is that increasingly it'll just be Arisa and I so this size is just right.
Of the present givers, I thought Elly's were the most interesting. Well, the most practical, anyway. Besides mine, which lead to "Present Face" (Star Wars' Light Saber chopsticks from ThinkGeek.com - how cool is that!) and the bird thingy above, Elly's presents were all very practicle. She got her mother a present where we can put letters and hang keys, but it's also a little white board for notes.
She also got us some squeeze-a-tubes. You know, the things that will push the toothpaste up up in the tube as it gets used. Believe it or not, I think this was one of the best presents this year. Not a fancy gift, but just really handy. Did I mention Elly's gifts were practical? She also, in combination with Ken and George, got us a clock for the living room. We had absconded with the one from the second floor since we realized that when we switched from Time Warner to AT&T U-verse, that the uverse set top box doesn't have a clock on it and we had all been using that as our clock in the living room. It bothered everyone in the family that we didn't have a clock in the living room, so when Elly went to college we grabbed the clock that had been in her room. But Ken has wanted it back for months now, an now he can have it back since we have one for the living room.
Hyland gives us a selection of presents each year. This year, of the things that I wanted I realized that my new MyTouch 4G does. It's an mp3 player so I didn't need the Nano, in combination with Google Maps and Navigation it has GPS capabilities so I didn't need the TomTom, and I have downloaded the Kindle, Nook and Google Books apps so I didn't need the ereader . This year, Elly's roommate brought a TV but she may need one next year, or Ken may need one if he gets accepted to college (not if, really, but where). So I picked the 19" flatscreen TV as my gift. Thank you Hyland.
We put it up in Ken's room for now. We'll need to decide what we're going to do with the big old analog TV behind it in that picture above. We'll probably keep it until we see if Ken or Elly is actually going to need the new TV in the fall.
I haven't listed every present, but as you can tell we already had a good year of gift giving. We all got something we wanted, but more importantly everyone got each other gifts that represented a lot of thought behind the gift for that person. And that's what Christmas is all about!