Happy New Years Eve Eve!

Hello Internet! Despite rumors, I am alive and well. I also successfully made it through another Christmas – always a good thing.

Overall, it was a pretty decent experience. It was also fun getting to watch my brother’s fiance go through the whole thing for the first time. It’s interesting getting an “outsider’s” opinion to how we do Christmas compared to what they’re used to. I think the Clark/Jerdan/Beales Christmas passed inspection though.

I got some good stuff too. From my momma, I got The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (a biography), A Passion for Nature – The Life of John Muir (another biography), Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina, and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Lots of good books in that mix! My brother got me a pair of pants to run in that I’d really been looking at. And since I was on the road for my birthday, he gave his gift to me then. It’s quite possibly my favorite gift out of the whole Christmas ordeal – an autographed picture of Dabo Swinney at Howard’s Rock. It’s extra cool since I have my own rocks from Death Valley too! I also got a trail guide and compass from the soon-to-be new member of the family. There’s a very “outdoors” feeling about my gifts this year. I wonder why? 😉

We had dinner in Chapin on Christmas Day. It was nice just hanging out with immediate family and not rushing to be anywhere. The plan was to be up early on the day after Christmas and get on the road to Summerville for my grandparents’ version of Christmas. So my brother and I got up extra early to go run before we left. And I got to do something I’ve never done before – run in the snow! We probably got between 2 and 3 inches overnight and it was still going at 6:30AM. It was fun! My time was decent (12:10) and my brother keeps getting faster. I still think running in the rain is better though. I absolutely love that.

After driving through the snow all the way down to Summerville, the Christmas show down there was fully underway. We do our stockings (which are really paper bags filled to the top) in the den. They’re normally little knickknacks and candy. Maybe a $10 gift card or two. Then the main event is opening presents in the formal living room. In years past, it was generally more coordinated since little kids have a lot more gift ideas, but the big thing is an “open last” present. This year, mine was a rhino lining for my truck. Absolutely love it! I had one on my old truck and it’s amazing. I also got a good sized Barnes & Noble gift card. I’m thinking about buying a Nook. I like having a book in my hands, but I understand the benefits of having an e-reader too since I’m almost never going to reread my old books that just take up space. Any advice from the regular readers on here about owning one? Pros and cons?

My dad also got me my normal Clemson Christmas ornament, a Dynaflex powerball, and a framed picture he took from when we spent the night in Yosemite. It’s of both the upper and lower Yosemite Falls. Good stuff! It’s one of the first Christmases in awhile I haven’t seen my dad around the holidays though. So that was different. But I got to talk to him several times, which was good.

But it is Christmas we’re talking about. And there’s the whole love-hate thing I’ve got going on. I got a bunch of presents I might not ever use. I’d rather just not get presents than get a bunch of stuff I’ll never use. Such is life at Christmas time though. Not sure I’ll ever get used to that.

I hope Santa was good to everyone though! And that you enjoyed your holiday wherever you may have been!

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