My 12 Joys Of Christmas

Date: December 28, 2012 at 8:23 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 36

On the first day of Christmas, my friends and family gave to me…

Santa butt. Warning: Many Tyler photos lie ahead in this post. Lie ahead? Lay ahead? I’m embarrassed that I can almost never remember.

…all amazing things.

I’m sure you’re sick of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa recaps by now. But if you’re up for one more, I can do my best to try and recap the past week. It’s been pretty good. Turns out, shutting off the computer and actually spending time with people you like in real life can be a nice little treat.

So with that I bring you, “My 12 Joys of Christmas.” And then we’ll move onto the next holiday.

Joy #1: Decorating our sweet-sized apartment with just the right amount of holiday-ish things. When you’ve got two people in a one-bedroom — plus presents waiting to be exchanged and closets filled with hoarder-esque things — there isn’t a ton of space left over for festive cheer. But we made do.

I’ve never had a Christmas tree of my own, so Brian said I could pick it out. But then, when I made my choice, he negated it. Michelle Tanner and I both say, “HOW RUDE!”

In true Ali & Brian Fashion, we waited far too long to actually do the whole decorating thing. We didn’t get our tree until December 23. Whatever.

Carrying our big guy home from the tree stand a block away. Love that NYC convenience. I also love not helping with any heavy lifting.

Brian did the lights. I did the ornaments. He put the bow at the top upon my request. And I dropped one of his glass ornaments. And it shattered into all the pieces. Apparently I’m terrible at holiday cheer and decorating.

Joy #2: Christmas cookies!!!!!!!!!! Have I eaten too many? Oh absolutely. I’m a case of diabetes waiting to happen and I’ve been running on sugar fumes for a week. But I’ve baked stuff, I’ve eaten fresh-from-the-oven melty stuff and I’ve gone back for second, third and ninth helpings. I’ve loved every bite.

I made those famous “Slutty Brownies” and at first I was like, “Meh, these are OK,” and then a minute later I was like, “OMG THESE ARE AMAZING NOW THAT I HAVE ALREADY BURNT MY TONGUE. OMG YUM. OMG BRIAN THESE SUCK, NO, YOU SHOULDN’T BOTHER EATING THEM.” And then I secretly went into the kitchen and ate them all myself. They were supposed to be gifts for our building staff. Instead they were gifts for my hips, thighs and stomach.

Joy #3: Exchanging gifts with Brian and getting utterly spoiled. We had agreed to “only do small stuff” and “keep it low-key” this year. But Brian’s kind of a dick, and he broke the rules. So I gave him some magazines and Reese’s products (delicious) and a photo book, and he gave me this…

“Every night in my dreams…I see you…I smell you…” I don’t know if this stuff smells like dog crap, but really does it even matter? IT’S A CELINE-ENDORSED PRODUCT. My heart will go on and it will smell fantastic in the process.

…and this…

The little clues confused me, because I’m not so smart, but the “Welcome to Aliful Colorado” was a giveaway that in February, we are apparently going on a ski trip to Colorado. So job, hey, I’m going to need a few days off. Bye.

Brian also gave me tickets to Jersey Boys, which I have never seen, a spa certificate for the spa at the Mandarin Oriental hotel (swanky, NBD) and a llama hat.

All very thoughtful, very awesome gifts.

Joy #4: Waking up on Saturday and walking out of the apartment to find an early surprise gift from Mom and Dad.

The New York Times Weekender subscription!!! Dreams really do come true. Keep the print industry alive, people!

I love the New York Times, and it breaks my heart (and pisses me off) when this happens right around the third day of every month:

Sorry that I like to stay informed. BUT FINE. I’ll pay to read the Social Q’s column every week. Not a problem, Times.

I spent hours and hours reading the Saturday and Sunday editions. My desire to stay informed is going to come at a very time-consuming price I think. But I also gave the crossword puzzle a pretty solid shot.

The finished product. Nailed it!

That went well.

Joy #5: Flying up to Boston and seeing my main little man. Turns out, he has no idea it’s Christmas.

He was obviously thrilled to see me. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks I’m a flat person who lives inside the computer. So I had to come up and prove that I’m a real human and I’m not afraid of a little drool. (I am, however, afraid of diapers. I still won’t go near those gnarly things.)

Joy #6: Downloading the game Bejeweled Blitz and setting the Feller Family Record. We are all addicted to this game. Brian included. It’s sick. But I’m the reigning master.


I’ve clearly had a very productive week.

Joy #7: Playing at a new gym. Lame, I know. But I like exploring gyms, and my brother hooked me up with a guest pass to his local L.A. Fitness for the days I was in town.

Every dude at the gym looked like this guy. I did not mean to take a picture of him. But tank tops, tattoos and bulging biceps were all the [‘roid] rage at this place.

The gym was huge and nice and I took my mom to her first spin class there. The spin classes were awfully disappointing, but I got a workout out of them, so it’s fine, right? Right.

Joy #8: Spending Christmas Eve at home with my parents and my grandmother (Honey) and uncle who came up from Florida and Pennsylvania, respectively. We drank our traditional “Woo Woo” drink and did not much else. We had a few visitors but it was a pretty lazy evening around the house.

Joy #9: Going for a Christmas morning run in the snow.


I haven’t been running at all lately, so it was nice to lace up and get a few (slow, I’m sure) snowy miles in before the holiday madness began.

I didn’t run in these socks, actually, but I should have. If only they had moisture-wicking powers.

The run was nothing super special, but I really liked breaking a little sweat and spending some time alone that morning. I knew the rest of the day would be nuts, so this hour was important for me.

A white Christmas in New Hampshire.

Joy #10: Getting wonderful gifts. Sure, giving is more fun than getting, but I really did like being on the receiving end of things this year. Highlights included the newspaper subscription, a steak knife set from Ryan and Michaela (everyone is excited about my knife skills), a drawing by Tyler (he’s so talented — watch your backs, baby artists of the world) and a subtle hint to stay off the roads and wheels for a while.

Soul classes > Trek Lexa. For now at least.

Joy #11: Giving gifts. My family enforced a spending limit this year, but we were allowed to “spend whatever we want” on Tyler, so long as we didn’t give him anything “physically huge.” I obliged by giving him a few of the “Llama Llama” series books…

I recommend “Llama Llama Misses Mama” if you think you can handle it. I cried hysterically the first time I read it. That book will break your damn heart.

…and outfits that I thought were adorable.

Babies love sweat, too!

THIS IS A SNOWSUIT THING DISGUISED AS A FOOTBALL. I wanted to toss him around while he wore it, but Ryan wasn’t having it.

Tyler didn’t indicate whether or not he liked them, but I think he did.

Please don’t call Child Protective Services on me. I swear I love him and I want what’s best for him. But I also want to dress him up in things that are more cute than practical.

Joy #12: Spending a ton of time with Tyler. And the rest of my family. But mostly Tyler (sorry, guys).

Brace yourselves for an influx of Tyler pictures, coming right atcha…

He obviously wasn’t super aware of the whole holiday thing going on, but Michaela’s family and our side of the family all came together at Ryan and Michaela’s house for a day of eating, present opening and giggling at Tyler.

Dude, smile. We’re posing for a photo. Get it together.

And to all a good night…

I fed him. I’m not scared to do that anymore. Do you know what’s awesome about babies? After they eat, they rip these huge, awesome burps. I was so proud of Tyler’s burping ability after I fed him. A true Feller…

All in all: A very Merry Christmas. Restful and relaxing? Not so much. But worth it?

Dad, your foot looks huge in this photo. Just so you’re aware of that. Sorry for bringing it to the world’s attention.

“Llama Llama Time to Share” — an instant classic.



MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, TOO? If you’re a part of the Christmas-celebration-nation, tell me about your presents. What was the best thing you gave, the best thing you received and the best thing you ate?

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