Also got all my stocking gifts; mom got me some of my absolute favorite tea, which is made only once a year by a small local place and sells out pretty quickly. It's called 'Winter Wonderland' and is made by a local English tea house called the Queen Mary; it's china black tea, ginger, clove, cinnamon, orange peel and vanilla. It's absolutely wonderful; they actually use it as a potpourri at the Queen Mary's dining hall as well during the winter. She bought me all of it that they had left, but that still wasn't enough to fill a third of my tea-tin. It will last me for a while, but I'll have to use it sparingly; I'm putting aside a bit of it to make tea for when I get together with wonderwombat and kieri, however.
Mom also got me a new tea infuser ball, and a proper tea strainer, so I can do English-style tea again; both of my old ones were lost several moves ago. And in a package addressed to me from my grandmother, who passed away in February, I got the oldest of her antique stoneware marmalade jars (don't ask), which happens to be exactly the right size as a tea mug. When I visited grandma, she used to make me tea in that marmalade jar for in the afternoons; I got teary when I unwrapped that one. I've already had one cup of the Winter Wonderland tea in the marmalade jar.
Mostly it was just little stuff, though my brother got me a big horse book. My main gift was, of course, the riding lessons.
The weird part, though, was that when I got there, Michael was telling mom and dad about a nightmare he'd had the night before where his friend DJ (who has a bit of a drinking problem) pulled up drunk in front of the house with the front of his car all banged up and ran in to ask Michael for help because he'd taken a wrong turn on the Eastside and hit something big. It might seem odd, when compared to my nightmare of last night about a DUI hitting Chester, but it almost made more sense; mom, Michael and I have had shared nightmares in the past, though this is the first time since Michael and I moved out on our own. Mom claims it's the gypsy blood.
Michael's gift from me was a $100 gift certificate for Home Depot, since he's bought a house that he's remodeling and renovating to sell. It was put in a homemade card I made this summer while in Austin, and had been keeping for the purpose. He was very pleased! Dad's gift from me was a CD he wanted, and science fiction book he'd been interested in... but I went and tracked down the book's author and got her to personally inscribe it for dad. He thought that was cool! Mom's gift was the least interesting; I got her the boxed set of the first season of 'Dead Like Me.' She opened that as her one-day-early gift last night, and according to dad, she forgot about the rest of the world after I left and watched 3/4 of the box set, staying up until 4am. Dad proclaimed, "This gift was a success. Perhaps too much of one...!"
Anyway, home again now and settling in. Didn't eat too terribly much at my folks' house, so I'm probably going to get myself something small to munch on for the evening, and settle in for the Masterminds marathon on Court TV. Whee! :)