I'm late posting because I've been in Colorado, visiting parents and siblings.
As you may have heard, they've had a little snow there, recently.
You can click on the picture for a bigger image. That's not my parents' car, just a random one parked in my old neighborhood, which we visited on a little nostalgia trip. Actually, both my parents have SUVs, of which I've been disapproving, but I have to say they came in handy this year. The city doesn't plow the residential streets (instead they rely on the 300+ days of sunshine Colorado gets to melt the snow for them within a few days.) So the four wheel drives are the only reason anyone was able to make it out of the cul-de-sac they live on for a little while. The neighbors all shared a couple of snowblowers to clear each other's driveways and get rid of the larger drifts, and then drove in each other's tracks to flatten down the snow on the street.
That's what it looked like by Saturday, which was almost a week after the big storm and the cleanup. Of course, during that week, another eight inches or so fell...
As the van picture indicates, our old neighborhood got a bit more, even. Here's the house we lived in during the eighties, from a couple of different angles.
Driving back there took us a little closer to the mountains, so my parents took me into the foothills a little ways for lunch at a restaurant that they remember from when we lived in that old house. And I can't resist including a few pictures of that, because they show the biggest icicles I've ever seen
To get a sense of scale, compare to the doorway.
As for gifts...
From my husband I got a really fancy portable DVD player and earphones (which I used on the plane and in the airport, both ways) and a shoulder massager, and a Bears T-shirt which I am currently wearing, and a movie, "The Ref," which was hilarious and has nothing to do with sports and was perfect to watch on Christmas Eve, and a video game, "Nancy Drew: Danger by Design." Because I said there should be more video games where you have to solve mysteries.
From my parents, Ken and I got an electric toothbrush (which I asked for, and love) and a down comforter, and I got a new winter coat (black with cool random metal bits, and very warm), a couple of pairs of jeans and tops during a mother daughter mall trip, and holes in my ears. Yes, my mom paid for me to get my ears pierced. I must be one of the only women in the world to pick out her first earrings to match her wedding ring. Also, they're paying for the plane ticket for the visit, which is a huge gift in itself.
From my brother, the Xbox 360 remote, because the Xbox 360 is now the source of all our entertainment. From my sister, a poster sized Lord of the Rings Calendar and a Harry Potter bookmark, because she knows I'm a sucker for LotR and Harry Potter. And from my Grandpa, as usual, a pad of one dollar bills. You tear them off one at a time and the look of consternation on the store clerks' faces is worth way more than a dollar.
All in all I made out like a bandit, and I hope you did too. Happy New Year.