Christmas this year was a bit different than in years past. We’ve spent the better part of 2011 actively downsizing our lives, and didn’t want to undo our efforts over the holiday. I had to reel myself in and resist the urge to shop on black friday. We made an amazon and rei “wish list” at the request of the in-laws, and pleaded our case to our loved ones NOT to get us “stuff”. We set a $50 budget for exchanging gifts with each other. We didn’t decorate, hang lights, or put up a tree.

The holiday weekend started on Friday for me, as I was fortunate enough to get a four day weekend from work. We decided to head to Ohio and spend the holiday with our families. The hubs had to work until 5, so I spent the morning packing the car, tidying the house, and running last minute errands. I ran a few miles to my running club’s Christmas tree to put my ornament on it. I had been meaning to do it for a few weeks… better late than never!

I picked the husband up at work, we grabbed some subway, and hit the road. The drive was pretty uneventful. The most exciting part is always going past the wind farm in Indiana along I-65. I’ve seen the windmills dozens of times, but this was my first time seeing them at night. Each mill had a slow blinking light on top, and it looked like an eerie scene from a movie. I wish I had snapped a picture… maybe next time. By the time we got home, it was 1am and we were both exhausted.

Christmas eve we headed to the in-laws’ flower shop to visit the fam for a bit. Afterward, we went to my grandpa’s house to open gifts with my family. The highlight was my brother’s excitement over the ikea silverware and spatula. Apparently, he only had one fork and had to wash it every time he wanted to eat up to that point. I scored some new running shoes, and the H got gift cards.

Christmas morning we went back to the in laws’ house and had a delicious breakfast of crepes, fruit, turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, and croissants. Everyone exchanged gifts, and we got a lot of great travel gear. I excused myself to go for a run mid afternoon, and made it back in plenty of time for dinner. Afterward, we engaged in some family warfare monopoly. Of course, despite my best efforts, you-know-who won. As always.

The next morning, we took off early and made it back to Illinois by 4. All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. We got to relax, spend time with loved ones, and eat some great food. Our families did an excellent job of honoring our wishes and not going overboard with buying us things. The gifts we got are mostly things we plan to take with us on the trip or will use immediately (running tights for me!) Back to the daily grind for now. Merry Christmas!