11 There’s the shirt, completed and being worn by #1 son, who made a goofy face for the occasion. He didn’t button the sleeve cuffs, but he rolled them down at least. This is a KwikSew pattern, and would have been no great effort for you skilled seamstresses, but it was an accomplishment for me, I’ll tell you.

#2 daughter and I started the day yesterday by walking over to the church for the decorating party. There we were faced with another of those “two kinds of people in the world” situations: the process vs. product split.

Some people enjoy the process. They want everyone to have a say and to be validated (which I think ought to be reserved for parking tickets), and they enjoy lengthy conversations probing all sides of an issue.

Now, I also enjoy lengthy conversations probing all sides of a philosophical issue, preferably over a nice cup of tea, and I can also get into those conversations examining all the possible ramifications of a life decision, or even where a relationship is going, provided there is lunch involved.

But not when there are things to be done.

#2 daughter is the same way. So when we strolled into the room full of decorations and found that people were debating how the table covers had been done the previous year, we could tell that we weren’t going to be good at what was being done there.

Fortunately, there was a large box of wreaths and wreath hangers, complete with photos showing just where said wreaths had been the previous year, so we went off on our own and did that. Then we strung popcorn for a while. We were just about to hang Chrismons when lunch was served.

Then #2 daughter headed back to the midwest and my husband announced that his family were arriving in a few hours. You might remember that we were expecting his family a week or two ago. So they arrived last night. We prepared by quickly putting away the Thanksgiving decorations and putting out a few Christmas ones instead, making up all the beds with fresh sheets, and cooking hot peppers. We also turned up the heater, since these are Californians, and unaccustomed to cold weather.

It was about 70 degrees on Thanksgiving day, but it has since gotten cold. This is good in one way, since the 11 anthem at this morning’s early service is “In the Bleak Midwinter.” This is a wonderful song with words by Christina Gabriella Rossetti and music by Gustav Holst. Click the title for the words, midi file, and PDF of the music, so you can sing this with any remaining house guests.

People who think of “Christmas music” as a genre should consider that their single genre would include both this great song and “Will Santy Come to Shanty Town?”, not to mention Handel’s Messiah.

It was nice to see my brother and sister in law again. Also with them was one of my nephwews. He speaks Lao with a strong American accent, and often spoke English. #2 son and I (#1 son had gone to work by the time they arrived) sat politely while everyone talked. We know how to eat in the Lao fashion, so we were able to join in with that convincingly, and I know a few words of Lao — enough that I can usually tell what the topic of conversation is. However, the basic fact is that when the Lao family is here I don’t understand most of what’s said and certainly can’t join in the conversation. I expect I’ll get a lot of knitting done. Above you can see my Jean Greenhowe elephant in progress.

Rigth now I have to wake my voice up enough to do my solo justice. It’s kind of high.