Friday, December 30, 2011

Catching Up with Christmas News

Merry Christmas! We had a wonderful day, well --- several days. I did take pictures, so here they are, though, as is typical, I didn't take pictures of us on Christmas day. Somehow, there is always something more fun going on. I'll try to organize this in my mind and relate the following events in a form of order. We've been going to be late for a couple weeks now --- and it's beginning to take it's toll on me. I've got to go to bed early!

December 24: We finally got down to making some cookies. Elizabeth and I like those "Danish Butter" cookies, but we forgot to get a tin of them this year. So, we decided to make some Spritz cookies. For anyone that doesn't know what they are, it is a butter cookie that you "squeeze" out of this little metal cylinder. On the bottom of the cylinder is a little metal plate with a shape cut out of it. The dough is squeezed through the shape and pops out onto the cookie tray. We hadn't made these in several years, but they were a tradition around here when we were younger. Dump the store-bought stuff and let's make more Spritz. In fact, we made five batches of them! Some are vanilla-flavored and some were chocolate. We even decorated some of them with star-shaped sprinkles and mini chocolate chips.

We also finished up our present wrapping. Dad was off of work, so I got him to wrap most of my secrets. He and Elizabeth are fabulous wrappers. They make everything beautiful, so I had to take a shot or two of the packages before we ripped all of that paper off. ;)

Mom and Elizabeth also made some "Peanut Butter Doggie Treats" for Buddy and Kay's dogs. We'd been wanting to try making them for ages, and they seemed like a great Christmas present for three pups. Mom got out a bunch of cookie cutters and they made all different shapes, including a cowboy, an airplane, dinosaurs, dog bones and a goat (my personal favorite!). We packed up some "Rum Balls" for Buddy and Kay.

Since no churches around this whole area of the state have Christmas Eve services anymore --- we had our own. We read the Christmas story and sang hymns together. Elizabeth played piano, and we sang a ton! In fact, she and I kept at it and sang 'til our voices were all but gone. I was still a bit gravely sounding the next morning. It was sure fun, though.

December 25: Christmas morning dawned not too bright and early. I got up and made breakfast before everybody was up, so all we had to do was pop it in the oven. We were all tired a bit, so we decided not to dress-up, hence, no pictures of us opening gifts. I did manage to get one of Elizabeth after we were done. She's holding a huge glass "emerald" that I gave her. Long story.

We had some really fun gifts, as everyone seems to have done a wonderful job choosing stuff this year. I was really surprised. I'll have to take some pictures of some of the things unwrapped. I got a really cool mechanical pencil from the Coronation of King George VI, also a book on the Clapham Sect, and a "Bing and Nelson" charm bracelet! Gramma Gail sent presents, and as always, they were wrapped in her special way. Elizabeth and I can always spot her packages --- even if there were a hundred others around them. Aren't they cute? (They're the ones in the red and silver wrapping.) Beatrice even got a new little mouse-toy --- which she liked a lot.

As soon as we were finished with the gifts, it was time to get dressed up and ready to go. We went down to Buddy and Kay's for their Christmas party, and we ended up staying until eight o'clock or so. The weather was great for driving --- no snow and so warm that it was hard to realize it was actually Christmas. Buddy took us up to the barn and we looked at the horses, and it wasn't even cold. They gave us a set of Roy Rogers movies (wonder how they knew we liked that?) that is swell! It's got a bunch of films that we haven't seen yet, but most importantly: The Cowboy and the Senorita uncut version! Wow!

That's most of the Christmas news. We've been trying to stick around here this week. I've been doing some research on various members of the Clapham Sect (Edward James Eliot and Harriot Pitt, in particular), so that's been fun. Bad though, because I stay up late. We still want to make it up to Stan Hywet, but the weather hasn't been good enough on the days that they're open. Maybe tomorrow. With New Year's weekend coming up, it's almost time for our annual Lord of the Rings marathon. All three films back-to-back! Elizabeth and I can't wait. More later.

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