On the food front (a critical component of the day), dinner was a simple yet classic herbed beef tenderloin roast with shallot and red wine reduction, green beans, and ridiculously rich scalloped potatoes, all washed down with a light chardonnay while cooking and a spicy red Vacqueyras while eating.
Personally, I got some nice clothes which I wanted very much, and a few books. On the history side, there was Michael Mallet's Mercenaries and Their Masters; Warfare in Renaissance Italy, and a reprint of F.L. Taylor's The Art of War in Italy, 1494-1529. Very much looking forward to digging into these. On the cookbook front (I love to cook and have a pretty nice cookbook collection), I received Jacques Pepin's More Fast Food My Way, and Madhur Jaffrey's From Curries to Kebabs, Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail. Pepin is my hero; he is a master of technique, and in recent years has put out a number of books that concentrate on simple good food, the kind of recipes that can be made on a weeknight. Several of his recipes from Fast Food My Way, the predecessor to this book, have become routine go-to recipes in our house. We also love Indian food (and need to make it more).
There is one other Christmas gift coming for me that I am very excited about but will likely not get here for another week or so. I will post pictures when it arrives.