The Christmas Holiday

It is an interesting thing to think about: Christmas is a farily boring day. Even when I was younger, we did the present opening and the such on Christmas Eve–mostly because that was when we had the big Christmas pageant at church. Christmas Day would then be for checking out the presents. I think it was in 1988 that we went down to Chicago for the day, but I don’t remember much other than not stopping at the stop sign about a mile from here (go figure :)).

Two years ago, we were fortunate enough to have an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta, where it was about as cold there as it is here (just above freezing) and I was silly enough to not bring a jacket along…oops. 😉 Anyway, Christmas Day we went out to do some sight-seeing of the neighborhoods of the city, and there were hardly any people on the roads, as you might expect. However, the strangest thing happened – at about 11.00 PM, there was a traffic jam in the pseudo-downtown area (it’s not the technical downtown which is about a mile or two to the south). It never made any sense to me, but it is something that sticks in my mind.

So, anyway, Christmas this year was a very quiet one and since we didn’t do much gift exchanging this year (in fact I only unwrapped one gift – a down comforter from a friend), there wasn’t much to do other than to maybe watch TV. As Snos pointed out, there isn’t much on TV no matter where you are (that is unless you’re a fan of professional basketball, or follow much more than one team in the NFL). Two networks had marathons of the same movie – Christmas Story on TBS and Ice Age on FX. At one point, I wound up watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year on my new DVD player.

I’d been looking for a DVD player that can play DivX files (and consequently XviD files too, which is still the most common format for video out there). On Friday I was looking through the sales slips for the last-minute sales and at one store they had the a DVD player like the one I was looking for, and so it was purchased (this after my saying that I’ll look at Amazon to see if it’s the lowest price and then just realising that if I don’t just get it I’ll keep looking and not commit ;)).

I started looking at information online about the player and I found out that the player I got (Philips DVP642) is easily convertible to a region-free player! All I have to do is open the tray, press a few buttons and boom! It’ll play DVDs from anywhere, even if it’s not in NTSC formatting since it can convert back and forth between TV standards. Basically that means that if I wanted to order something from the ABC Shop or from overseas in general, I really have nothing to worry about as it’ll play the disc. 🙂

It was not a white Christmas this year; the temperature was hovering just around freezing, and there were forecasts for snow, but none materialized. In fact, the grass is still green here, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some nitwit will be out this weekend (provided the situation doesn’t change) mowing their lawn. In the strangest coincidence of them all, one of the last places you’d expect to have a white Christmas had one this year. Snow was reported in the higher elevations of South-East Australia in the middle of summer (which could be somewhat comprehendable if it weren’t for the fact that the highest mountain there doesn’t even reach 3000m (or *very* loosely 10,000 ft).

Oh, and if you’re interested, Christmas dinner this year wasn’t the normal Ham (which we usually make with scalloped potatoes {separately, but we are known to mix a few pieces of ham into it}, which we really couldn’t be bothered to do), but we decided to just stick a pizza into the oven. The idea of getting Chinese food was entertained for about 10 seconds, but then we figured that we couldn’t be bothered to go anywhere either. 😉

One final thing – a question for the Aussies – how thick was your paper yesterday? I saw stories about the crush at stores (and a note to on that last link, what is a CDB? :)) for Boxing Day sales. It sounds as if Boxing Day is the “Black Friday” for y’all.