Leanne Nalani

{December 22, 2013}   Almost Christmas!

It’s Beginning to Look (and Sound) a Lot Like Christmas

With the snow on Friday, it was one of those quiet and relaxing times when you’re at peace. Could it be because Christmas is right around the corner? It’s my favorite holiday. I spent part of my Friday afternoon wrapping gifts. Does this bring out a feeling of zen for anyone else? Wrapping Christmas presents is almost therapeutic.


Inspired by the holiday cheer, I dug into the piano book collection and found a bunch of old-school Christmas music. My favorite is the old Charlie Brown Christmas book. I was surprised that none of them had Ave Maria, one of the songs my grandmother always used to request. I had to get Disney’s Fantasia book for that.

6It’s been months since I last tinkered around on the piano.

A friend is visiting family in the Seattle area, coming up from San Jose. He joined us for an evening of gaming and hanging out. It was a nice Christmas present to get to see him. Two friends we used to see all the time have moved out of state for work.

Bowling & White Elephant Christmas Party

Saturday morning it was time to go celebrate our nephew’s 7th birthday with none other than bowling! We got him a set of Nerf guns so he and his sister could run around shooting at each other. :p

The bowling itself was fun to watch. Several of us chose to sit at the tables without participating. My highest score is probably around 65 and I chose not to participate in order to avoid the embarrassment. Mike kicked butt, though! Everyone enjoyed pizza, wings, nachos, and cake.

That night was the event we’ve been waiting for, my sister’s Christmas Party! Last year we were in Vegas and missed out on the fun, so I was looking forward to seeing friends and family and partaking in a white elephant gift exchange! Our friend from California joined us, too. To start off the night I poured a mug of warm mulled wine.

1488337_10151761528010448_388913779_nI’m not a red wine fan but this stuff was extremely tasty!

The food was heaven. My sister made these really cool cheese balls with things like bacon and ranch. They looked like they could have been bought from a fancy cheese place.

Party_Cheese_BallThere were two and they looked something like this.

There was also an abundance of Christmas cookies. One of my favorite treats was something my mom brought. Online it’s called White Chocolate and Frito Popcorn.

5515360071_99602d1d72I guess you just mix popcorn, crushed Fritos, and white chocolate or almond bark.

I couldn’t stop eating this stuff. It was hard to stop eating period, especially when you’re hanging out in or near the kitchen!

I was happy to see my parents, especially my dad who recently had his second back surgery. It had also been a while since seeing all of the people who were there. At one point we were waiting for someone to arrive before doing the white elephant gift exchange, so we played a creative version of Cards Against Humanity. Instead of playing it like normal, we used the white cards to play charades.

Cards Against Humanity

It was crazy and hilarious! I don’t know if I’ve ever play charades in my life, but it turns out I can act out the cards and also guess them pretty well!

The white elephant gift exchange was a blast. The first gift I opened was a nice fancy Mango Moon wine glass. I’ve never seen them before but I think they are hand painted and it had feathers on it. Fun! Someone stole it pretty quickly. The next gift was the one I kept:

3In the past I’ve had to use these in my classroom. These might actually come in handy!

1It’s a sheep that poops jelly beans! lol

2This is one of the best movies ever. It’s a classic!

Mike’s gift was stolen a few times, but in the end he got this:


*Is wrapping presents therapeutic for you?

*What are you doing this weekend?

This sounds like so much fun!

I find gift wrapping to be very zen too. I like to turn on some Christmas music and the lights on the tree to really get into the spirit of it.

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