Merry Christmas!

I'm here at my in-laws in Livermore, California. My kids have a pile of cousins, and the kids and cousins have a pile of presents. There are video games, books, tubs of fart putty, snack food, and much more... and we haven't even gotten to the BIG pile under the tree. There's also a Wii. Sandra entered Amazon's "lottery," and won the opportunity to buy the new Nintendo console. Yes, Daddy (me) set it up last night and "made sure it worked" for a good 90 minutes with the help of assorted uncles and one outnumbered aunt. Short review -- it's hugely fun, and disturbingly intuitive. So... there's lots of loot this year. But it's not about the loot. This is the first year we've been able to have Christmas on the road with a pile of cousins, and I'm really, really enjoying it. I played D&D with the older cousins (ages 12, 11, 9, and 8) and two uncles (35-ish and 20) on the afternoon of Christmas eve, and we all had a blast. (It helped that when their party of six barged in on a band of kobolds, every party member AND every kobold was represented by a miniature on the battle-mat. This hobby of mine is paying off nicely.) Four of the players had never played D&D 3.5 before, and two had never played D&D at all. Breaking for dinner and Christmas-eve type activities was difficult, and might not have happened at all had we not agreed to let the kids open one gift early. I hope your holiday is joyous, and I sincerely thank all of you for reading and "schlocking" enough that I can continue to do this full-time. Merry Christmas, everyone.