Holiday Hangover

by farrah on December 27, 2012 · 8 comments

Not sure about you and your house- but man, are we ever hungover here.

Besides the gluttony of gifts (boys are up before 6am wanting to play with their new stuff) and food- we are back on the sickness bandwagon. This cold virus that we cannot shake is back yet again. Actually I don’t think it ever left- the boys just keep passing it back to each other. Once one is better the cycle keeps repeating and someone is always coughing, with a fever, runny nose, etc. I have never experienced this joy of never-ending illness so this is all new. The only bright spot here is that it’s nothing too awful- and my husband has been off this week to help while we try to sleep in in shifts. Always fun.

Sickness aside- our holiday was pretty good. I learned that here- places actually ARE closed on Christmas (or Keerstfeest) and for two days. There is the ‘first’ and ‘second’ days of Christmas here (the 26th) so today is actually the first day that anything is open again. The grocery stores, pharmacies-you name it- have all been closed. Being shut up in the house of illness hasn’t been fun for anyone- so I am really, really, really looking forward to my acupuncture appointment today at 10am. Ha! What a life I live to where I am thrilled at the prospect of getting stuck with needles for my stupid TMJ.

UPDATE: Upon leaving my appointment today, I backed into a tree and shattered the right tail light. Merry Christmas to me!

Sigh. Such are the holidays.

So here are a few photos wrapped up to document this for us- yes, totally lazy. I just made collages with my good friend PicMonkey- but hey. We were up before 6am today, so the fact I was able to get this up is a major accomplishment for me!

Top left to right: Christmas Eve shopping in lovely Eindhoven, What is up with everyone ignoring Santa?, A good looking crew of Christmas sweaters, and Popular gift to keep away the hyenas!

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We went shopping in the city center of Eindhoven on Christmas Eve. I couldn’t believe how many people were out and about despite the rain. I really wanted to investigate De Bijenkorf-  ‘The Beehive’ department store that I had heard so much about, and I wasn’t disappointed. As we walked in, there was a Santa just sitting there- throngs of people walking by him, no one really paying attention. No elves taking your money so you can get a photo, no line, nothing. It was strange and I thought this must be some sort of a trap- but alas, all was well. I guess visiting Santa just isn’t that big of a deal here. The boys were forced into the hand-me-down Christmas sweaters for a second year in a row (there may have been some stretching involved) and thankfully the hyenas are kept at bay with these headlamps (a gift from Oma). No, we don’t really have hyenas- it’s a game the boys play. That they’re being attacked by hyenas. Boys.

Top left to right: Best holiday purchase ever, What Christmas morning is all about, Mystery Meal exposed, Christmas gift from the Chinese restaurant down the street.

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Back in 2009 I was at a Christmas store and saw this book to jot down your Christmas memories. I bought it- knowing that a geek like me would love to write down our dinners, plans, favorite gifts and visitors year after year. It’s been really funny going back to read the memories- like the year I barely filled in anything- whaddya know- that was the year of the twins. We’re lucky we ate anything let alone I have a memory jotted down. Gift wise- this year the big hit was train stuff, as usual. One thing I cannot get over though is the overload of cute pjs. The ones C is wearing are ‘Chicka Boom Boom’ and I love them. L is in a pair of Thomas and the fact they are both sporting loungewear cracks me up. All they need are cigars and leather slippers to complete the look. My mystery meal was to be cooked on this stove-top grill admist cross-contaminating the beef, chicken, pork and multiple kinds of sausage. It was good and what I like about it was that there was something for everyone! Neat idea- not too messy and a really cool thing to do as the boys get older. Lastly- we went to a Chinese restaurant last night for dinner. They gave gifts to the boys and this is a snow-cube thing with a gold buddha inside surrounded by gold coins and gold glitter. There is even a handy pen slot on the top and it’s all in a thick plastic. It’s so strange it’s cool.

If we can ever return to the land of non-hacking smokers coughs and annoying fevers- we have some traveling planned. Switzerland, Amsterdam and possibly a jaunt to France in the future awaits. Thinking about a trip for a big birthday coming up. My oldest turns 4 in February which is so mind-blowing I can’t really think about it.

Hope you all had a very merry and are getting ready for the new year!

How was your holiday? Are you feeling the hangover too?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen December 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I miss De Bijenkorf, it was my favorite store. Their kitchen section is small but full of little treasures.

Santa isn’t very popular in Holland because they have Sinterklaas, now he is more popular, but it’s unlikely you’d pay for a photo with either. It’s just not the way it’s done.

Did you know there’s a Six Flags in Holland? We’ve been there once. Brussels is also really nice, and very close (there’s a Longchamp store that has a major sale in January 😉 ).And if you’re looking for cheap flights, definitely check out Easyjet and to a lesser extent, Ryanair (who are cheaper but more of a pain). You’ll miss the traveling when you come back and it’s ten times as expensive…

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2 farrah December 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Yes- thank you for the flight tips! From what we have already seen, it is much, much less expensive- which makes no sense considering the cost of fuel here vs. back home???

That store was awesome- I look forward to going back BY MYSELF one day as, ahem…. my party wasn’t interested in the kitchen area. My MIL is coming in Feb, I think she will love it.

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3 CK December 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

So exciting and fun! Enjoy the EU while being an expat – so much to see! Just an FYI… Switzerland will likely be one of the most expensive countries in Europe that you will visit. We lived in France and Switzerland (and toured various other countires) and Switzerland is night and day in terms of pricing for groceries, restaurants, hotels, etc.

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4 farrah December 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Good to know! I don’t know anything about it.. my husband is in talks with a coworker and we are all going to go with our families for possibly a week. It’s great to know that going in, thank you!

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5 CK December 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Although I prefer hotels, if you are going to Switzerland for a week, you could look into vacation flat rentals (either big enough for the two families or just for your family). When we toured other regions of Switzerland, a 3-night hotel stay cost us as much as a 7-night hotel stay in Barcelona or Nice!! Yup… Switzerland is pricey!

I don’t even want to tell you what we paid in monthly rent… our place was smaller than what we had in Paris, and cost more!!

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6 CK December 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Although I prefer hotels, if you are going to Switzerland for a week, you could look into vacation flat rentals (either big enough for the two families or just for your family). When we toured other regions of Switzerland, a 3-night hotel stay cost us as much as a 7-night hotel stay in Barcelona or Nice!! Yup… Switzerland is pricey!

I don’t even want to tell you what we paid in monthly rent… our place was smaller than what we had in Paris, and cost more!!

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7 KerryB December 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm

wow that looks so fun. I’m sorry your sick:( Hopefully you will kick it soon so you all can have great adventures traveling!

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8 Robbie December 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom pajamas? As in the book? That was one of StinkBug’s fave books this past year.

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