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Brent? Please forgive me if this is an absolutely offensive question.. but does Hanukkah get boring by the 8th night?
We started with the usual boring stuff--lit the menorah, then said the prayer. For the few who might actually be interested:

Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha'olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
("Blessed art thou, Eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has made us holy by mitzvot and instructed us to light the Hanukkah candles.")

And that was it for the ceremony. Which is why I told Rachel:
Not really. The ceremony's very short, and then you get presents.
So, now for the part you might actually be interested in: Night 1, The Haul.
  1. iTunes gift certificate.

    When I opened the present, I was surprised and vaguely disgusted to see the bane of my existence--the book Pillars of the Earth, which Mom has been trying to get me to read since the beginning of time. I gave her a Look, at which point she told me that my present was inside it, and that she didn't want to just wrap an envelope. Sure enough, there was a white envelope. And inside was a $20 iTunes Music Store gift certificate. Sweet.

    (I didn't notice till after, but the outside of the envelope had a little Apple logo and the phrase "You are musically gifted." Cute.)

    I've since realized, however, that there's no such thing as a song that sounds good in a 30-second clip. I've listened to all of my favorite bands, and none of the songs sound good! Snow Patrol's the closest to having decent samples, but even there, half the songs sound like crap.

    Anyway, I have about ten presents from my parents this year, to spread over seven nights (one night is spent with extended family). I was only intending to open one present tonight, but the other two kids (in their infinite wisdom) grabbed two, and apparently my parents thought it was sad that I only opened one or something, so they told me to get another one.

  2. CD-RW drive.

    I asked for a CD-ROM for the server, not a CD-RW; when I pointed that out, they simply said that "the price was right". The front cover is black, which would match the server's case, which is cool. OTOH, it's faster than the one in my desktop, which makes me tempted to swap it in there...or maybe put the CD-ROM I got from the junkyard in the server and put one of the CD-RWs in that computer when it's finished...gah, I can't decide!

    Finally, we had a family present--two, actually, individually wrapped but tied together with ribbon. My brother and sister jumped at the chance to open it; Mom said that I could open the next one. I didn't care. Before opening it, Mom gave a little monologue about how this was the most exciting present to her, and that it's likely that none of us had heard of it, but she thinks we'll really like it.

    Siblings ripped open the presents, and I started laughing manically.

  3. GPS receiver, and
  4. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geocaching.

    Mom wants to try it out this weekend.