Goodbye Christmas Vacation, Hello 2018

"There's too many of them!" I not only baked these cookies for Santa, but I also taste-tested them for him.

“There’s too many of them!” I not only baked these cookies for Santa, but I also taste-tested them for him.

Happy New Year, folks. 2018 is here, and none too soon as far as I am concerned. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a fresh start.

I did, however, enjoy being on vacation since December 21. Christmastime is my favorite part of the year, despite how busy it can be. This year, the busiest parts for me were actually before vacation, so I was mostly able to focus on relaxing – something I really needed.

Here is how I spent most of my Christmas vacation:

  • Wrapping presents (unless in a time crunch, I find this relaxing)
  • Baking Chocolate/Peanut Butter Chip Christmas cookies
  • Eating Chocolate/Peanut Butter Chip Christmas cookies
  • Enjoying Christmas Eve with my wife and parents-in-law, including a re-watch of Elf (first time for the parental units, though–not sure if they viewed it as a Christmas classic like we do), Christmas morning with my wife and our Beagle, and Christmas afternoon with my wife and my insane family (mom, siblings, nieces, assorted significant others, and dogs)
  • Re-watching four Star Wars movies (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi “unaltered” DVDs, and my second viewing of The Last Jedi in theaters – still love it, even after reading much of the bashing from a disappointed and vocal segment of the fanbase, and can’t wait for a third theatrical viewing hopefully later this week)
  • Listening to The Last Jedi soundtrack at least a dozen times (yet another masterpiece from John Williams)
  • Re-watching all nine episodes so far of Star Trek: Discovery (it has grown into a fantastic series, I’m looking forward to the resumption of season 1 on CBS All Access January 7)
  • Re-watching Spider-man: Homecoming on Blu-ray (one of an embarrassing number of Christmas gifts from my wife)
"This time you've gone too far!" These are just some of the gifts my wife gave me for Christmas 2017.

“This time you’ve gone too far!” These are just some of the gifts my wife gave me for Christmas 2017.

Speaking of gifts, this year was definitely a Star Wars Christmas for me. Among the Star Wars items I received:

Though they do not all weigh 22 pounds like the McQuarrie tome, many of my other Star Wars reference books are quite heavy as well. As an early Christmas present, my father-in-law made me a bookcase for them, which fits right below the action figure display case he made me a few years ago. These handcrafted items are two of my most-cherished possessions.

The bookcase my father-in-law recently made me fits perfectly with the action figure display case he made me back in 2014.

The bookcase my father-in-law recently made me fits perfectly with the action figure display case he made me back in 2014.

My wife, who is a Star Wars fan only through marriage, mentioned after we saw The Last Jedi the first time how much she loved BB-8 and wanted one. She has never once asked for anything related to Star Wars, so guess who happened to show up under the tree as a last-second gift?

Check out this brief video (also embedded below), where you’ll hear my wife trying out a couple of voice commands on BB-8. She wishes I listened as well.

With BB-8 ready to go, I’m hoping to sneak in a re-watch of The Force Awakens on Blu-ray at some point today in order to start the year off right.

As mentioned, I’m glad 2018 is here. I will happily take even an artificial reboot due to the arbitrary turning of a calendar page. While many of yesterday’s challenges remain, may the spark of hope burn brighter. Support and enjoyment of the arts, including that of mere pop culture, remains important even while fighting the bleakness of today’s world – perhaps even more so.

In 2017, I completed 19 posts for my little pop culture blog. In 2018, I plan at least to double that number with more posts about Elvis records, Star Wars toys, and other bits of fun. I plan to spend more time writing, here and elsewhere. I plan to spend more time reading as well. Both activities bring me peace.

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How did you spend your holidays? What are your plans for 2018?

7 thoughts on “Goodbye Christmas Vacation, Hello 2018

  1. My holidays were great, too, as I have been off since December 21st as well. This Christmas was the first major preview my wife and I have had of what our Empty Nest Christmases will be like. My boys are now 18 and 16 and have their jobs and their lives and, for example, a lot of the Christmas viewing we have always done together went by the boards this year. But, as I’ve always said, I love the Christmas holidays and will always do the ‘Christmas things’ I love whether my kids are here or not. Tonight, as I watch the ‘Christmas train’ recede into the distance, it will be sad, as always but it’s also always exciting to turn and approach the coming year. My plans include focusing on the reading I want to do and writing/blogging more about all of my interests. It’s always a challenge for me – focusing – because my interests are so varied but I’m not letting that bother me but instead embracing it. BTW, on the King front: I discovered some (unofficial) collections of alternate tracks and outtakes from “The Wonderful World of Christmas” that I enjoyed this year and I’m working on a series of blog posts for the coming Elvis Week. Happy New Year to you, my friend!

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    • Happy New Year, Wellsy. Like you, I’m always sad to see Christmas go. The older I get, though, the faster it seems to come around again. I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming Elvis posts.

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