I just logged in to e2 after an extended absence. I've been camping with my Boy Scout troop for the last few days. We go up to a little Scout Reserve a few miles from here called Saukenauk, just hanging out in a cabin up there, emerging occasionally to fish or go sledding on one of the many great hills there. But anyway, back to the writeup at hand. I logged in, and my eyes went from one nodelet to the next, right down the page. First stop, epicenter. Oh good, I've gained experience. Next one down: edev. No new news, after a week. Ah well. Next stop, chatterbox. Instead of the out-of-context blab that usually occupies the space when I first log in, there were several /msgs. Nothing but checkboxes and italics as far as the eye can see. There were a few from my man cool man eddie, a couple from various noders praising/complaining about various nodes of mine. Their concerns were squelched with a deft click as I dismissed the assorted notifications of typos and misinformation, as well as the sundry buttkissing and compliments. The checks next to the cool man eddie messages stayed unclicked, for the time being, as I tried to remember who likes being thanked for the precious C! and who doesn't. (Here's a tip: Never, ever /tell P_I thanks for the C!. Trust me on this one.) The rest got my full attention. To my surprise, they mostly fell in to the same catagory. They all said something along the lines of:

How was your christmas, anotherone?
Did you have a good holiday?
Haven't seen you in a few days- I hope you'll do a writeup about what you've been up to! =)
What'd you get for xmas?

As soon as these were dismissed, more filled the chatterbox. I took down names, in order to /tell them how my christmas was. I began drafting a short message, but found it impossible to sum up all of my experiences over the last week or so in the short text box nate has provided for us. So I decided to write this, a node to replace the several daylogs that I should have written about what happened during my Christmas break. Here goes.

December 23, 2000
Christmas, for my family, starts on the 23rd. The four Coonrods who live under this roof gathered in the living room and exchanged presents. I wasn't expecting much from my parents, since they're paying for various repairs on my van, and it was understood that this was to be my gift. However, I was taken aback when one of my presents began ringing! I quickly tore it open to reveal a Nokia box, with a Nokia 5120i inside. The rest of my gifts were great, a pair of Happy Feet house slippers, a lamp, and a few accessories for the phone. After the gift giving was completed, I retreated to my room to watch Saturday Night Live and play Mastermind on my new cell phone.

December 24, 2000
The next morning started early. The family went to church where we attend, Central Baptist. The Youth Choir, which I'm a part of, sang a song whose title has escaped my at the moment. It's the one that Micheal W. Smith wrote for the girl who was shot at Columbine High after admitting that she was Christian. After that was over, we made the two hour drive to Carrollton, IL, where my grandparents live. When we arrived, we had Christmas Dinner at my mother's parent's house. After lunch we opened more presents.

My mom's father is severly technophobic. He had stated that he would not buy me anything having to do with computers. This would be a problem, since I wanted an MP3 player. After explaining what I wanted, and telling him that it was simply a new format of music which allows you to keep several CDs on a special type of cartridge, he agreed to get me an 'MTV player'. sigh. I finally wrote down exactly what to get, ("Anything with the words Portable, MP3, and device on the package.") how to select one, ("Somewhere on the package it should have a list of 'specs'. Get as many MBs as you can find.") and price range ("Get the most expensive one you can."), I left him to his own devices... expecting to get a Sony Walkman.

However, I was surprised to find that he somehow got a great one, the Memorex MPD8505CP MP3 CD player. The rest of the presents I got from them were clothes, as usual.

That afternoon, we went to my other grandparent's house across town. It was the annual Christmas party, full of happiness and jubilation. Movies were watched, food was eaten. Visiting cousins visited. As the Coonrod tradition goes, we had a Grabbag, during which many assorted prizes were distributed, including a few Immortality Devices that I donated. After the bags were all grabbed, the party dispersed, and we went to bed.

December 25, 2000
Christmas Lunch was eaten at my mom's brother's house. Lunch was delicious, but the company was... odd. As soon as I walked in the door, my Uncle David grabbed me by the arm "Evan, I am so glad that you're here. Follow me." The last bit about following him was unneeded, as he was dragging me alongside him. I managed to escape his grasp and followed him into my cousin's room. "Katlyn ((My cousin)) got a television from Santa." He winked at me, and indicated the 27 inch tv in the corner. "And she needs to get cable in here. Do you know how to do it?"

Before I could answer, he led me to the basement where the cable was spliced into several cables, each winding its way into the suspended ceiling and then to various points around the house. I grumbled at working on Christmas, and then decided to grin and bear it. After stringing coax above the tiles and up through the floor, I went to eat lunch. Before I could eat, my grandma pulled me aside to speak with me.

"Evan," she started. "The TV that your cousin got was from us. You would have gotten one too, but with your grades, I don't think you need another distraction. See that those are raised, and you'll get one for your birthday." I agreed and nodded. My aunt's father, who I suppose would be my grandfather-in-law (?) is getting a bit senile in his later years. He overheard this conversation, and for the rest of lunch, talked about it.

"Hey, Lou (that was his name), could you pass the catsup?"

"No." Huh?

"Huh?" I was confused.

"If your grades were better, I'd pass it, but I don't think you need any when you're flunking school."

"..." You could see the dots above my head. I eventually got the catsup, of course, but since his hearing was poor, he almost shouted what (I assume) were supposed to be clever jabs at my 'smarts' for the rest of the meal. Once lunch was over, we got out of there and moved on to get presents from the other side of the family.

The rest of the day was spent opening presents over there. Although she gave me the option between a Playstation 2 and a Razor Scooter (tough choice!), grandma got me several shares of a Van Kampen mutual fund. Now I've got an actual portfolio. I'm so happy. I also got your standard assortment of York Peppermint Patties, socks, and trinkets.

Once that frenzy of Christmas Cheer was over, we returned to Quincy, IL. After a day or so, I packed stuff up again and we went to the abovementioned scout camp. Tonight I'm attending a Christmas Party, and New Year's Eve I'm planning on either sleeping or hanging out on E2.