I received several lovely presents, include four more Taika bowls (owl! fox! I'm working slowly towards accumulating a mixed blue / white place setting for ten), an ivory sweater dress and pretty smoky necklace that I plan to wear on the first day of school next semester, an adorable water bottle w/cover (owl! fox!), a silvery serving plate (used at Christmas dinner), a cool ceramic knife (because I really liked the one I used at our knife skills class last week), gift certificate towards plants for next spring (maybe we can get an espaliered cherry tree or two for Kevin?), various print books, a Kindle Fire, and an Amazon gift certificate which has been very useful in stocking the Fire. So far, I've read two books and a short story on the Fire since Christmas. I'd STRONGLY recommend both books: Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and Jo Walton's Among Others. Amy Tan's story, Rules for Virgins, was only okay.
The Fire itself has been pretty interesting. It's my first eReader, so I can't compare it to any earlier ones. Its screen is more similar to Kev's iPad than to a regular Kindle, I think, and my eyes do seem to get a little tired reading at length. It's also annoying that once I finish a good book, I can't immediately go loan it to a friend. On the other hand, I like that it keeps my place, that I can read it when it's lying flat next to me on the bed (look ma, no hands! -- must try knitting with it), that I can easily highlight significant passages and keep attached notes (this may end up VERY useful for teaching), the instant gratification of quick downloads, and the fact that I can download a bunch of free classics and then have them with me all the time. That's going to be very reassuring; I HATE being without a book, especially while travelling.
It's a pretty splendid collection of gifts-- I feel so lucky that I have friends and family who know me so well. And also grateful that so far, none of them have been hit too badly by the current economic situation. Kev and I did get furloughed a few days last year, which cost us significantly, but it could have been much worse. We had most of our own money tied up in the renovation (ALMOST done), so most of our outgoing gifts this year were homemade in some way. People seemed to like them, although they haven't actually tried Kevin's hot habanero jelly yet. It is VERY hot.
I hope all of you had good holidays, and that if you celebrate Christmas, you and yours were able to find some special gifts for each other this year, and more importantly, that you were able to spend time with the people you love. My best present was having my entire immediate family come out for a long visit; I so appreciated having the chance to host them in our new home. Even if they did bring the children a cold. Kev's in bed now and there's an itch in my throat, so it's going to get us all in the end, I suspect. Ah well.
I'm thinking good thoughts towards a peaceful and prosperous New Year for everyone.