I think we should start a new tradition. It's always fun to read everyone's wish lists for Christmas, and it's always fun to watch other people open their presents, so I think we all should write a "receipt list" to share the joy of presents with those who weren't fortunate enough to be there (or be paying attention) when we opened them.
Several of my offspring were kind enough to feed my current obsession with monetary policy. Virgie and Brandon gave me The Case Against the Fed, and Ben gave me Secrets of the Temple, which is a lot thicker than I expected. Peter and Nancy gave me The Real World Guide to Banking and Finance. I've started reading that one first, probably because it's the shortest. It's hard going for me, because it consists of articles and essays from Dollars and Sense, the Democratic Socialist magazine. I'm sure it's good for me to read articles from a point of view towards which I am antipathetic, but I'm finding it difficult to finish the articles once they go into a socialist rant. It is working, in the sense that I wanted it to, because I am already finding that I know much more about money than I did a month ago. After I finish all three of these books, I should be able to take on barstool economists without fear!
Virgie and Brandon also gave me Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain -- not for listening to at night when one is alone, I assure you!
Mariam contributed to my Middle East collection (already about 30 books strong) with Oil, Profits, and Peace -- another book that is most likely way more lefty than I am naturally inclined to be, but therefore a perspective widener.
Dad and Pablita gave me a cool photo keychain that supposedly holds 60 photos. Feel sorry for anyone who has to sit next to me on a plane after I figure out how to put pictures on it.
On the games front, we are now well-supplied with entertainment to while away the winter evenings: Beatnick gave me Boggle and waterproof Uno -- I mean, how many times have you had your friends over and wanted to play Uno in the jacuzzi but were afraid to get the cards wet? No more worries about that for me! The Lewises supplied me with the non-waterproof version of Uno, for everyday use. I will have to practice up so that I can stay ahead of Daryl when she comes to visit. And Mom gave me the NYTimes crossword puzzle calendar, which may already be the most-used present of the year.
Oh, and Jenny also gave me a darling knitted basket with sleep aides, including a sheep! We decided that it might help induce sleep if one had only one sheep to count: "One. One. One." Exactly like the meditation that I learned at the hospital.
There were a few other things to round out the take, making it clear that my morning mantra is really true: "I have everything I need right now. I am surrounded by love."
Thanks to my wonderful family, who spoil me rotten!