Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

The Haul

Christmas was fairly epic. The boy rose at a semi-reasonable hour. I made the traditional massive pan of scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and sausage for breakfast. (And some meatless eggs for my wife.) My sister and mother-in-law and nephew came over and we had a pleasant hour tearing open packages and oohing and ahhing.

River loves opening wrapped gifts, so we got him lots — though many were of the Dollar Store persuasion, acquired so he could have more boxes to unwrap. He got many many legos, and a Thomas the Tank Engine train that drives itself around following a special light you can shine on the floor (the future is weird), and a toy vacuum, which was rather inexplicably his MUST HAVE toy for the season. (When he met Santa and asked for a vacuum, Santa was rather bewildered, but the fat man came through in the end.)

Heather’s big gift for me was four pieces of beautiful old Fiesta dinnerware — cups and mugs in assorted colors. I’m not a serious collector by any means, but I have a few nice Fiesta pieces, and now I have EVEN MORE.

My mother-in-law got me an Xbox 360, of all things, much to my astonishment and delight. (It was a combined birthday/Xmas present, but still!) So she’s to blame for any major drop in my productivity in 2011… Heather conspired to make sure we had games, too: Bioshock 2 and Fable 2. I’ve already begun killing drug-addled maniacs with drills and lightning. Fun. (The nice thing about getting a gaming system years after everyone else? Many awesome games available for cheap. Any recommendations? I’m not much for playing with others; I prefer solo experiences. I like stealth action games and survival horror and the occasional weird puzzle game…)

I also got the final volume of the collected Theodore Sturgeon, completing my set. Looks very nice on my shelf. Still my favorite short story writer. I got lots of other goodies, too — clothes, books, wind-up dinosaurs, and an awesome print I need to hang on the wall soon.

Then we had the big dinner. I made turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy (best gravy I’ve ever made), cranberry relish that turned out a bit boozier than intended; but that’s okay. There were many, many casseroles. Heather did stuffing and two pies, apple and chocolate. Yum yum yum yum yum. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend joined us for the meal. Very pleasant. The afternoon passed in a languorous stupor, except for the kids, who were in a toy-fueled frenzy. We watched White Christmas and drank wine. Pretty mellow.

And on Boxing Day, we cleaned up. All good things have their price.

Leave a Comment