Christmas Day began for Tom, Jan and me with a stop at the local Starbucks to pick up some lattes and thank the baristas for working on Christmas Day. Yes, we left a tip and a personal "Thank you!"
We went on our way to Jill's house, just a ten minute drive on a quiet, cold, foggy morning. The night before, after Isaac and Irene had gone to bed, we had played Santa and arrived in our sleigh (mini-van) loaded with wrapped gifts we had been hiding away until Christmas Eve. Jill had her stash too. We stuffed stockings and stuffed packages everywhere they would fit.
When we arrived Christmas morning, the kids were already playing with fun things they found in their stockings. We joined them. All of our stockings were well stuffed.
Then we prepared breakfast, which was closer to brunch, since we finally sat down to the table about 10:30. Irene decorated the Swedish Wreath bread.
Isaac and Irene had new friends. Santa seemed to find just the thing that the kids had been visiting in the stores, apparently with a little help from Jill. Irene has been hugging that giraffe in a toy store at the mall for years now. I guess that store will have to get a new pet now.
Tom played with his phone and Jake played with his Lego while we cleaned up. Yes, I still give my man-child a small Lego kit each Christmas. What boy doesn't like Lego.
Then it was time for the main event, the unwrapping!
Some people got some special shoes.
Irene loved the smell of her new Converse shoes. Kind of like a new car smell, I guess.
It was well after 1:00 by the time all of the treasures were revealed. Yes, we do know how fortunate we are to have such richness of giving and receiving.
Tom stuffed the bird and got it on the charcoal grill for our traditional smokey turkey.
When he sat down in a sunny corner to rest, he attracted some company. Tom relented and Mr. Whiskers settled on his lap.
We "kids" played Exploding Kittens. No one had to wear the cone of shame for forgetting which direction we were going, but Irene was close. I exploded early and was out.
And then I was involved in a lot of activity in the kitchen, where Jill and I prepared the rest of the traditional turkey dinner. Typically, I got no photos of that meal, of course. But I did get the dessert!
You did hear that the Sounders are the champions, didn't you? :-)
It was a very good day, and a very good Christmas pageant, through weeks of preparation, baking and decorating and shopping and festive parties and gatherings and celebrations and visits.
And now Christmas is over for another year. It always makes me a little melancholy when Christmas is over. I do love the build up and not the let down that can come after.
But I remember the song I learned from the characters on Sesame Street in their Christmas special from many years ago, a video of which we have viewed many times. The end of the song goes like this:
Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you,
The goodness of loving,
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too.
So, keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
Save some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.
Let's all hang on to the spirit of giving, the goodness of loving, the gladness of living as long as we can.