Monday, December 29, 2008

christmas '08: a tale of two orange counties

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday this year! This year, enjoying Christmas seemed to be a daunting task at first, but in the end, I think I was able to pull it out.

This year, we had a pre-Christmas celebration in Orange County, CA with my family. On Christmas Day, we celebrated with Jesse's family in Orange County, VA. Although the two locations couldn't be more different, the end results were similar: both were settings for two different families to get together, eat some delicious food, and open some cool gifts.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of
Yup, the OC is that little piece of land between LA and San Diego.

Although my brother and his family didn't make it to our OC, CA Xmas, my mom, sis, Jesse and I had a wonderful time partaking in family traditions despite their absence. Namely, these traditions consisted of spending the day making tamales, anxiously awaiting for tamales to be cooked, eating said tamales (which were delicious and, yes, we brought some home and, no, we are not sharing) and then opening presents. It was nice that it was just the four of us. Because of the intimate setting, there was no craziness or drama and Jesse and my family were able to interact more and get to know each other even better.
image from

It was sad to leave my mom and sis on Christmas Eve, but I was grateful to be headed back home to see my fur babies. We had NEVER left them for so long. We came home to find two crying (for attention) kitties. Nicky wouldn't stop yelling at me and Gracie was all over Jesse, wrapping herself around his legs, keeping him from getting around the condo. Oh I missed them so!

The next day was Christmas and Jesse's family decided to celebrate at his aunt's house in Germanna, VA (which is in the other OC). Normally, the family tradition is a Christmas brunch but this year, Jesse's aunt decided to try something new and cook Chinese (when I told one of my Jewish friends about this choice of Christmas cuisine, she replied, "Hey, that's what I eat for Christmas!") So we had noodles and shrimp with brocoli for lunch (which, as much as I love tamales, was a nice break from eating tamales for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). After the meal, we opened presents and my gift to Jesse garnered much attention (yes, I'm bragging a bit).

I managed to get Jesse a Wii, which he had not been expecting. This means I finally managed to surprise him which is never an easy feat. He was really happy with the Wii, but probably not as happy as his 10-year-old nephew Chauncey, who got a Wii last Christmas from Santa. Chauncey was so excited, he couldn't stop talking about how cool the Wii is (you can hook your iPod to it!!!) and how he had to be 'friends' with him so they could play together (you have to tell me who you are so we can play together when we're online!!!). Jesse is really a big kid at heart, so seeing his nephew get all excited for him was pretty heart warming for me (and Jesse too).

Once we got home from Orange County, VA, we hooked up the Wii and Jesse played for hours. Despite my hatred for video games (except Bioshock on XBox 360), I have to admit that I kinda enjoyed playing the Wii too. was your Christmas?


Lexiloo said...

Okay, you are the third blogger in two days that has mentioned tamales...I must find a recipe, now I am craving them!

Glad you and J had such a nice Christmas, OC2 (no tiny 2 for a squared symbol...)

PS. I love the name Chauncey!

Bilbo said...

It's good to hear that your Christmas was as good as mine!