On christmas eve, we went to Nunspeet, as we have been doing for nearly (or exactly?) 10 years now. We did the traditional gift-giving (and -receiving), and everybody was happy with their presents!
The next day, I helped my father-in-law with installing the USB-memory-sticks they received as a gift. Together, we tried to retro-fit a 'newer' model Compaq (with USB) with a harddisk of an even older Compaq model -- only to be foiled by that nasty habit of Compaq to use some sort of system partition instead of a good old BIOS. We switched the harddisks back again, and it all booted (much to my relief).
Turns out that the stuff my mother-in-law did on the old computer was so little that it only took a floppy to put it all on the newer one -- so that was fixed as well. FiL will be canibalising the old machine to double the memory capacity of the newer one, though running Win98 on a Compaq with 32 MB of RAM isn't a prospect I would find heart-warming. But if all you're doing is making some Excel-sheets, I guess it'll suffice.
In the afternoon, we had the equally traditional christmas dinner. This year, we all had to send in a suggestion for a course, which were all combined into a delicious dinner. After dinner we had a cup of tea and then we hopped in the car for the second, longest leg of our journey.
We arrived unscathed in Son (it's amazing how empty the roads are at 19:00 on christmas day), watched TV, read some magazines and had a few beers before heading to bed.
The next day, we got my mom's new computer out of the car. Turns out that the temperature difference meant that moisture was condensing on the computer and the monitor... We took a walk to the christmas stable (as is traditional), so that the parts could get to room temperature. I was much amused to see that the star above the stable had it's tail underneath the star -- so it was taking off instead of coming down. Pay attention to that little detail: lots of people display their stars upside-down...
When we got back, I installed the DVD burner and went to work with installing the machine and hooking it up to the ADSL. After some cable-laying, all was well and we were online! This was followed by a webcam-session with paultje. Joep was still napping, but she promised to call us again if he had awoken.
We lounged about, and lo and behold: the appointed time had arrived. It was fun to see this webcamming session from the sidelines, and to see Joep's confused expression when he saw his grandparents on the screen. My dad was also amazed at the speed of the ADSL as opposed to his dialup -- score one for technological progress!
We had another delicious christmas dinner, and then it was time for the last part of the rally: back to Nijmegen! The cat was a bit miffed that we had left him alone all that time, but he was easily placated by feeding him...
Oh, and everybody was enthusiastic when I announced that we would be hosting a christmas dinner next year, so I guess that means we have a go!