Christmas has come and has brought with it a variety of presents and, more importantly, anecdotes (I was clutching at straws near the end there). While a lot of things happened in the past two days I think I can only put them into two posts. Then I'll think of things that don't relate to Christmas - whatever they are.

So, let's start at the beginning i.e. 5am. I was staying in Newcastle with my cousin and her 2 children (an 8 year old boy and a 7 year old girl) and, as it was Christmas morning (and that I was staying in one of their rooms), there was no chance of sleeping in (actively being woken up didn't help). After being woken up by my second cousin (I think that's right terminology) I asked him how long does he think it will be until 'present time'. He replied "Until my sister comes in and tries to kill me". Sure enough, 30 seconds later, I could hear the patter of little feet on the floorboards. First out of her room to the tree, then back to her room (presumably to inform my sister that Santa had delivered presents), then back to the tree, then to her parents room (to check if they were awake), then back to the tree again, then finally to our room. I pretend to be asleep and watch what she does. She slowly opens the door and creeps up to her brother's bed and climbs up the the top bunk. She then softly pokes him, but there is no response as earlier he had pulled the covers over his head and pretended to be asleep. She keeps poking him for about a minute or so and then gives up and leaves. I then say to my second cousin "that was mean" to which his reply was just giggling.

Not long after, we got up, as did everyone else, and started the present opening. As this was at my cousin's house the gifts were mainly for the kids (the rest of the presents were exchanged at the family gathering later in the day). It was fun watching them open their presents, not just because it's cute, but because I get the chance to play with toys that for some reason I no longer receive. There were a few lego sets that I was asked to help construct later (I had to resist the urge of stealing them and making them myself as lego is awesome). One of them got a toy monkey with stretchy arms that you can fling around. It also made a loud and piercing monkey cry when it hit the ground, which was funny the first few times, very annoying after that, and the next morning when he "accidentally" threw it off the bed at 5:30 was practically traumatising. There were also a lot of other toys, like a fancy doll house in which my second cousin could not fit any of her currently owned dolls, and some toy eyeballs that you could race.

Later in the day (i.e. 9am - still way earlier than when I normally wake up) we had the family Christmas festivities. I like my relatives, if only for their continuous use of sarcasm, wit and black humour (and they're nice). Over the course of about 10-12 hours there was a lot of the mandatory eating, drinking, present opening, eating, past Christmas recounting, old movie watching, and eating. A particularly unusual trend of the day was brought about by my auntie's decision to take the request of "silly photos" for my other auntie (who is in England), ironically, quite seriously. The sight lipstick put on excessively around her lips was both scary and amusing, especially when her daughter (the cousin I stayed with) did the same, and even more so later when my cousin's son did the same. It was a really fun day with good food and good company, and it ended awesomely with Back to the Future III being on TV (I couldn't have hoped for anything better).

To finish here is a list, in no particular order, of my haul (not including the gift my sister and I gave ourselves):
Money, gift card, clothes, 1kg box of chocolates (it's huge), book of evil penguins, electric razor, and a weird leather bracelet-y thing. I also received the sunglasses that I felt really bad about losing, which my family chose to wrap up instead of telling me that they found them.