Merry Christmas!

We enjoyed Christmas Eve.

#2 daughter arrived safely. We spoke with #1 daughter by phone as she and Son-in-law prepared to have their celebration (he will be spending today on the submarine). We had pictures from New Zealand of my sister’s family in the exotic T-shirts we sent, and we are enjoying the exotic stuff they sent us.

feastWe had quite a feast. “In spite of our b est efforts,” said #2 son, “We still have too many cookies for one plate.”

We actually began the feasting when #2 daughter arrived, and we haven’t finished yet.

I have homemade cinnamon rolls in the oven along with a sausage and cheese breakfast casserole, and we will have lunch at my parents’ house, but after that we will have to continue working on the myriad plates of goodies.

The music was good. In fact, the whole service was very nice. It was a candlelight service, almost entirely music. There was a delightful spontaneity about it, unless you want to call it a lack of preparation.

We added to that effect by scribbling the words for “Ave Maria” — which #2 daughter sang along with a saxophone and a piano — onto the organ score which we finally found after disarranging all the music in the choir room. For some reason, all the numerous copies of that piece went up to KC with #2 daughter and did not make it back.

When we got home, we continued feasting, opened some presents, and snapped our Christmas crackers.cracker

 I am not allowed to post pictues of my kids, of course, for fear of terminally embarrassing them, but I am giving you this picture of a couple of them snapping crackers, in case you are not familiar with this custom.

You pull these apart, and they make a loud snapping noise.

Though we do this every year, thbis year it scared one of the dogs so much that she went and hid under the bed.

Inside these you will find a toy, a paper hat, and a joke. Ours this year were British jokes. “Why can’t cars play football? Because they only have one boot apiece.”

This makes no sense in America. Fortunately, we are cosmopolitan here and we were able to laugh at these jokes.

christmas cat We open the gifts from siblings and spouses on Christmas Eve, so there were then some presents, followed by watching DVDs that were among the presents.

As Santa Claus, I kept trying to get the kids to go to bed early.

This year, for the first time in many years, we did not have a midnight service. I was thinking that that could mean I would get to go to bed early and not be tired on Christmas day.

This did not happen.

There was drinking of gingered cider, watching of X Men: The Last Stand, eating of homemade candies, solving of crosswords, and general hanging around. There was talking. There was playing with daddy’s new, very sharp kitchen knife. There was a lot of suggesting that people should go to bed.

#2 son went online to see where Santa Claus had gotten to, and discovered that — while he had been to New Zealand and to much of Europe — he had only gotten as far as Florida in the U.S.

But I was eventually able to chivvy them all into bed and get my Santa Claus duties done. Now, with breakfast in the oven and the kids beginning to get up, Christmas day is beginning.

Merry Christmas to all!