My parents arrived new years day, bringing with them a substantial pile of food and gifts. Also additional things to spruce up my apartment (I have more than one chair now! it's exciting). We had "christmas" at that point, with me running out to Borders about an hour before they got there and somehow managing to get them both really excellent gifts. We had dinner at a Korean place up the road that I had been curious about, and I was happy to discover that they do in fact serve authentic Korean cuisine.
The next day they decided that they not only wanted to do my dishes for me, but that they should buy me yet more stuff for my apartment. I was rather surprised at their generousity, apparently they were really happy not only to see me but also with the quality of my living conditions.
My dad lived in the Cities thirty years ago, and so he has a lot of (dated) knowledge about the area. It's sort of strange to realize this was his home once, too. But Tuesday night it meant driving over to Minneapolis to visit a delicious german restaurant that was still going strong, so it's not all bad.
The gifts I got this year were functional things. That's really good, in that they are mostly things that I did need, but it really doesn't give that same satisfied materialism that accompanies either Christmas hype, or Christmas nostaglia for me personally. I'll have to remember that when I'm asked what I want again next year.
The gifts thing is part of a trend that I am increasingly noticing about myself, namely that I am rather self-centered. Thinking about myself first, etc. This is rather strange, because my ethical framework theoretically abhors this, but at the same time I personally don't feel that worried about it. I also am unsure about whether this is a recent development or something I am just now noticing. The argument for the latter is that I now have much more time for unmolested self-reflection than I have at any time since becoming a full sentient, and thus its possibble that I just never noticed before. The argument for the former is that I had a lot of very personal financial anxiety recently, which is well known for causing extremely self centered behavior. I'm not sure yet, i's just a trend I think I've been noticing.