Well, i thought it couldn't be done, but it can. We actually managed to shave almost 20 minutes off our record time of our Thanksgiving visit to the folks. Not by choice, it just went that way.
We awoke to the sound of rain. Two weeks of nothing, and it rains on Christmas Day. Ha ha ha. Very funny. The whole day stayed gray and overcast, but at least the rain itself had stopped by the time we had to leave the house.
#1 Son woke up sick. Poor guy, looked like he had been hit by something unpleasant. He hacked and coughed and apologized and drank cough syrup, took his gift, and went back to bed.
Sweetie came down a bit after that and i made some good, strong coffee. We started waking the kids, one at a time, and i gave them their presents.
Then we drank coffee and laughed and joked and got ready to leave -- had to feed the kittens 3 times to get away, and i almost forgot the ingredients for the dressing. Oops, go back and make sure we have the ice chest and the gifts for the rest of the family.
We pulled out at 10:03am, and the drive down was funny. The kids challenged Sweetie to not say anything on the way. He is a stream of consciousness talker like Bigger Girl. Both of them are seldom quiet. It was hilarious watching him catch himself before beginning a comment, trying to pretend he was only clearing his throat.
My youngest brother and his children couldn't be there today, so we greeted Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle P and Sasha the dog. I started the dressing and gravy, and the rest of the dinner was warmed up.
Then it was gift time, mostly envelopes with green stuff in them for the kids, although Grandma got each child a small digital camera.
After gifts, we finished assembling dinner, and all of us fit around the huge dining room table. That is the first time that has ever happened.
Then clean up, and some talk, and some pie, and it was rather odd. I think if the cousins had been there we would have been longer, but it became obvious my parents were ready to rest and get their house back.
Home again, and we pulled in at 2;45pm. Unpack, put away, rest a bit, entertain Brother-in-law, who had not been invited anywhere for Christmas dinner (he does not like coming to my parent's place or we would have taken him as we have before), and who had put his back out again anyway.
A calm day in many ways, quietly celebratory, nothing over the top. Just enjoyable, and Sunday-like in feeling.
I liked it that way.
Blessing of the Wine -- Luxembourg
Boxing Day (Day on which boxes of goodies are given to the less fortunate, and sometimes servants and masters traded places for the day.) *Those countries which take this as a bank holiday will observe it tomorrow.
Coffee Percolator Day
Day of the Wren -- Ireland; Isle of Mann (Celebration of St. Stephen)
Day of Our Theotokos / Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God -- Byzantine/Eastern Orthodox Christian
Day of Goodwill -- Namibia; South Africa
Family Day -- Vanuatu
Feast of the Holy Family -- Catholic Christian
Independence and Unity Day -- Slovenia
Junkanoo (Junkanoo Jonkanoo, Jankunu, John Canoe or Johnkankus) -- Carribean Islands, also on New Years Day (A special music and dance, mime and symbol that is an early traditional dance form of African descent.)
Kwanzaa, Day 1, Unity
Mummer's Day -- Padstow, Cornwall
National Candy Cane Day
National Thank-you Note Day
National Whiner's Day
Recyclable Packaging Day
Second Day of Christmas
St. Stephan's Day (patron of stonecutters, bricklayers, builders, horses); in Austria, Luxembourg
Tehuantepec Festivities -- Oaxaca, Mexico
Thanksgiving -- Solomon Islands
Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra) - Zoroastrian
Jared Leto, 1971
Lars Ulrich, 1963
David Sedaris, 1956
Ozzie Smith, 1954
Carlton Fisk, 1947
John Walsh, 1945
Phil Spector, 1940
Alan King, 1927
Steve Allen, 1921
Richard Widmark, 1914
Mao Tse-tung, 1893
Henry Miller, 1891
Charles Babbage, 1791
Thomas Gray, 1716
Today in History:
Columbus founds the first Spanish settlement in the New World by leaving behind 36 men in what is now Haiti, 1492
The final trial of Louis XVI of France begins, 1792
A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable, 1811
The Erie Canal opens, 1825
Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years, 1871
King Mwanga of Uganda signs a contract with the East Africa Company, 1890
Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium, 1898
FM radio is patented, 1933
Time Magazine's Man of the Year is for the first time a non-human, the personal computer, 1982
The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union meets and formally dissolves the USSR, 1991
A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing over 250,000 people, 2004
33 minutes ago