Anyway, Rakeela and I have already opened our gifts. As I only get two more days off work, including today, it made more sense to open the items my parents shipped to me throughout the last few days rather than all today- it gives us more time to play with them! Or, in this case, read. Or watch, since my parents showed excellent judgement in the Mythbusters Collections 1 and 2 that my other computer is currently busily reconverting for my Zune. (On DVD 6 of 7 now... not that we've watched more than 1 DVD worth of shows.)
I guess the interesting part about the Box of Stuff my parents sent, besides the Alpha Centauri CD I forgot to bring and didn't prioritize until GameTap took it off their service, was that one of the gifts was for Rakeela. Not that its contents were a large surprise to me: all three-inch-tall cylindrical gifts from my mother are cans of cashews. I suppose that, in and of itself, isn't very interesting.
But I think it's symbolic.
Every year for as long as I can clearly remember, my father and I have each gotten a can of cashews at Christmas. It's more than a little silly, but it's also completely practical in the sense that we both like cashews and don't actually buy them that often. So it's an appropriate gift, and it's enough of a running gag by now that there's no reason to stop it. It's just part of what we do, as a family, now.
So I'd classify the gift as the first open acknowledgement by my mother that Rakeela is part of the family, and that counts for more than just a can of cashews.