As most college students would tell you, it is usually a bit weird to go home for Christmas break because it is so long! If you don’t take a J-term, you might not see your buddies for 6 weeks, and that can be hard. It can also be hard to be back with your parents and siblings again, to have rules, to have to meet up for dinner and all of that. Last year it was pretty hard for me but this year is much better.
I arrived back on Monday night, December 19, and spent most of the day Tuesday finishing up my International Security paper. It was due on Wednesday and on Wednesday night, my sister Lauren and I and some of our friends saw Sherlock Holmes 2 in theaters. I hardly ever see movies in theaters anymore, mostly because I am a poor college kid without a car, so it was pretty epic. The movie was great, although I still like the first one better; the second one was a lot more complicated. However, I rediscovered the greatness of movie theater popcorn, especially if you get a big container and let it sit overnight because then all the butter soaks in. Delicious, even though my arteries will not thank me later.
Thursday and Friday I hung out with some high school friends and slept in a lot, then Saturday was Christmas Eve already! My older sister, Emily, her husband, Matt, and their two kids, Jack and Avery, came over and we had brunch and then opened presents. I got some awesome Saint Therese books, some new socks, some fancy gloves that you can wear while using touch-screen things, and a world map. Exciting stuff, right? On Christmas morning we opened our Santa presents and I got a sweet orange hiking backpack for next fall when I am hopefully going to Rome for the whole semester! It just made me even more excited to go! Here’s a picture of it! Another win is that this backpack is usually over $200 but we got it on Amazon for much less!
We went to mass on Christmas Eve at 9 P.M. and it was so joyful! Christmas Day we went to Ames, to my grandparents house, and had Christmas with all of our awesome cousins. I was reminded how blessed I am to have such a great family! We played cards a lot and spent the night at our cousin’s house, then the next day we went to the mall and Target and then came back and played cards more! Our family has always played cards, and our new favorite game (for the kids at least) is called Peanuts. I have also heard it called Nertz, Nutsi and Crunch, but it’s pretty much the same. It’s a fast paced game where you have a Nertz pile that you want to get rid of, and you do this by playing your cards in the middle, starting with Aces and going up to Kings, and you play solitare on your discard pile at the same time. Kind of hard to explain but it’s really fun! My brother Michael is the best and my sister Lauren is the worst. The last time we played, Lauren was still in the negatives while Michael had over 100 points and I had 50 or so.
Today is Tuesday and tomorrow I am going to Des Moines, Iowa to visit some fellow Tommies, then Thursday I head back to Minnesota for a few days because my friend Sarah is getting married on Friday! She is 23, not my age, and she works for Saint Paul’s Outreach. She is awesome and I can’t wait for her wedding!
Take care everybody, and Merry Christmas! Fun fact: the 12 days of Christmas actually start on Christmas Day, so it’s still Christmas for 10 more days!