After all the preparations, expectations, wrapping and the like --- Christmas is over. We had a very nice one this year with a day full of laid back family time. I've got a bit to catch up on, so I'll start with Sunday.
December 23: We woke up to a reading on the outside thermometer of 16'F and a reading on the inside thermometer of 62'F --- near the stove! We spent a freezing morning stoking the fire and trying to get the place warmed up. A plus to this weather is that some snow came with it. We all bundled up and went to church, being sure to load the wood stove up before we left. Came home and finished the prep on the Cuban dinner, though we had done a good job of getting everything possible ready in advance. The Keultjeses arrived around 4:30pm, and we ate a bit later. As always, it was a wonderful evening with lots of gab and general fun. Claire brought her fiance, Luke, so we had a nice time talking about wedding stuff and things like that!
We always exchange little presents, and Mom and Elizabeth had made all-natural doggie treats on Saturday. These were for Hannah's dog, Toby. We got several varieties of really cute little treat treat bags at Hobby Lobby, so this gave us a chance to use them. Mom and I had also made some granola, so we packaged that up in little baggies with some tea for everybody. (See pictures above.) We didn't even go to bed until midnight!
December 24: The day before Christmas, and we were all a bit slow in waking up. There was still some snow on the ground, but we also had some freezing rain --- so things were bit icy. We all took a leisurely time with breakfast, then Mom and Dad ran into town to pick up a few last-minute groceries. Elizabeth and I stayed home and worked on finishing one last present for a friend. There was an evening service at church, so we went to that and it was nice. We sang all kinds of Christmas hymns and read the Christmas story. By the time we got home it was time to go to bed. Elizabeth and I talked to each other for a little while, since we were pretty excited about exchanging gifts the next day.
December 25: Christmas morning dawned gray and foggy, but there was still some snow on the ground. We all got up not too early (about 7:30am) and came down to feed a Christmas breakfast to the kitties (lovely canned wet food!). Next, we made a big breakfast for ourselves. Elizabeth and I went upstairs and got all of the wrapped presents out and under the tree. Due to Oliver's enthusiasm (and that of a few others) for fancy Christmas ribbons and tags, we don't put our presents out in advance! Everyone had a large gift bag this year, and we put the presents for each person in those. We started unwrapping around 10:30am, took a lunch break and didn't finish until almost 4:00pm! There was all kinds of fun stuff this year --- including John Wayne Monopoly!
Mom and Elizabeth found a paperweight that's shaped like a little leather book, and it is called "Not Gone with the Wind". This was released at the time of the book as presents to employees within Brown & Bigelow Publishing. I've looked for one for quite some time, so that was pretty exciting. Also got the DVD of Bing and Barry Fitzgerald's film Welcome, Stranger. I love that one. One of the really cool things was a British penny from 1797 (bottom of photo at left). This was the first year that England issued a copper penny, but what was cool to me is that it is the year that Edward James Eliot died. Not bad to own a coin that he could have had at some point. Hey, I mean, who can prove that wrong?!
These pictures show some of the fun and the unwrapped presents. Of course, Oliver joined in the fun, too. We had coffee while we were unwrapping. Elizabeth got all three seasons (that have been released) of Green Acres! That's her new favorite TV show. Elizabeth gave me a really cute set of china figurines. They are four little boys dressed as Pierrot-type clowns. We also got Wagon Train seasons three and four, the complete set of Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes films . . .
All in all, it was a nice Christmas. We ate dinner and watched Miracle on 34th Street --- which was a gift from Jennie. That was sweet and a nice one for yesterday evening. We were a little sad all day, though, because it looks like Olivia (our Mama Cat) may have the same tooth disease that three of our other kitties have died of. It may not be, but signs are pretty sure. We'll be taking her to the vet this week --- as soon as the roads are good enough.
December 26: Today is cold and it has snowed all morning! In fact, it's still snowing. That's pretty nice, because it looks like a beautiful postcard out there. The roads are covered, though, so we couldn't make a trip to the vet or to the stores to check out some of those after-Christmas sales. Maybe tomorrow. Elizabeth and I are planning on spending the afternoon writing thank you cards, felting and watching one of the DVDs that we got yesterday. More later.