John's mother, Isabel, and his brother Walt and his wife, Cathie, were all here for Christmas. We explored the local new knitting shop, quilting shop, and celebrated on Christmas Day with a naturally raised turkey from a local chain of natural grocers. We went to the Cheese Importers and got stocking-stuffers all around, even Jet bought a few things to just give people, because it felt good for him to do it, and I really loved that.
Hope that everyone else had a great holiday, too, and that you had fun with family and got what you wanted and ate what you desired. *laughs*
We've been going a lot of small craft things, like kite-paper sun catchers, parachute cord bracelets or anklets (there's something oddly satisfying about packing 16 feet of cord into a 8.5 inch anklet), and dragonscale chainmail. I also asked John and Isabel to read through the West and David book for their take on the story and for any typos they could catch. Both did a great job and even figured out one structural thing we're having to now fix to make the story stronger.
Christmas Eve was very busy, as Jet was playing with a musical ensemble. He's just had his trombone for a few months, but they really welcomed him, and he was practicing furiously to keep up with them. He's progressed leaps and bounds having those goals, and he was a little iffy about performing until the very last minute. So he had to be at the early service, and all six of us went to that and the impromptu recreation of birth of Jesus, anyone who wants to participate gets to! I love that part.
John and I both had parts in the late service. Poor Cathie was sick, so she and Walt stayed home. And the four of us went in for the more contemplative later service, with the choir. John and Jet were the two ushers, as the lead usher got caught up in the mountains when it started snowing that afternoon. Jet did great serving communion and I realized just how grown up he really is, now.
The time we all had together was really great. Christmas morning we did stockings and then ate apple cinnamon rolls (after San Diego, I had to figure out how to make them myself, and I found that chopping 3/4 of a Gala apple provided plenty of apple chunks in my regular cinnamon roll recipe), and then did presents. Exchanging gifts with everyone here was nice, and Jet played Santa, passing out all the gifts with great glee. The rest of the day was spent enjoying each others company, while making and then eating a lovely Christmas dinner with all the traditional foods and everyone contributed something for the meal.
It was also really great having Isabel for the holidays, since this was the first Christmas without George for all of us. Having her here meant the world for us.
The snow has been really sporadic here, but with the Christmas break the cold weather finally fell, and we had nights in the single digits and days with highs in the low 20's. Before this year, I didn't really take walks when it got this cold, but this year I started doing more walking even when it was frigid out. I especially loved the night walks when all the houses had their Christmas lights out. It was just so peaceful and quiet and beautiful. We have one neighbor, Joe, who, every year completely load his house up. When people find that they don't particularly want a string of lights, or they're about to move, they'll often give their Christmas light to Joe just to help him with his display.
It's really beautiful, and he says the power bill isn't any greater than when they're running the air conditioner in the summer. I love that we get to enjoy their house every year, even when we don't decorate the exterior that much.
It's nice and familiar these days, and we brought Isabel along, all of us bundled up against the cold, and we ended in the lovely cafe, which has been there the last two years, and got hot drinks and warmed up before driving home.
The New Years was fun to usher in with Isabel, we played games and watched when the ball fell in New York. We had sparkling apple cider, and toasted each other to have a good New Year. And it was very nice to just be together and celebrate it all together.
I hope you all had just as good a holiday and that your New Year is happy and bright! <3