1)Had a lovely smooth trip up to Paradise, PA and a good night's rest in our favorite hotel Weds night.
2)Did some minor shopping and had a smooth trip up to NYC on Thursday, including one of the fastest trips I have ever had (in 49 years of being on that road) through the George Washington Bridge toll plazas. Aside, that is from having faulty directions from AAA online and missing the restaurant we wanted to have lunch in.
Note to traveling families--if you are in an area with Panera restaurants, we highly recommend them for fast, family friendly meals. Beats Micky D's any day of the week, and by the time you pay the bill, doesn't cost much more for better, healthier food.
3)Was glad to know my parking fairy hadn't deserted me for the holidays when I took my mom grocery shopping on Christmas Eve, and the hell hole that is the Stop and Shop on Broadway yielded a parking space.
4)Let the Man go downtown all day Christmas Eve, which he really didn't deserve after the way he behaved on the trip up, and we had a knock down drag out in the stairwell of my parents building. But he WAS much less gloomy and unpleasant after that, especially to me.
5) Persuaded my mom to let me get rid of most of the old, scratched, discolored flatware she's been clinging to in place of the nice Oneida flatware we'd given her several years ago. We brought the old stuff home and the Man will take it to metal recycling. And she has the service for 10 she bought for when (not) my brother and his family come and we all (not) have a family meal together.
6)Stayed up with the Man until 2 AM wrapping all those Christmas gifts and filling stockings, including one for JR's sock monkey, Fred.
7) Got up and helped my mom make breakfast, which should have taken minutes, but took an hour. The girls had their stocking gifts and were patient until it was time to open presents, and they were very happy with their gifts from Grandma and Grandpa--most of our gifts went to my in-laws later that day.
8)Was delighted to see how thrilled my dad was with the calendar I made him from some of the slides that I have been scanning for him. He is an AMAZING nature photographer...
9) Went to my in-laws, where 17 of us crowded in for the holiday. My father-in-law is sadly frail and depressed, but he loved having his family around him. We had our usual barrage of pre-lunch photos, and since lunch wasn't quite ready, we let the kids open their gifts. And I LOVED that we just let them tear into them, rather than doing what my beloved sister-in-law has done in the past, insisting that each open their gifts separately with the video running. When you have kids ages 21 months to 15 years, that's too hard!
The girls loved their gifts from us. My nephew (4) loved the (feh) "Sonic the Hedgehog" shirt with his name on it I'd gotten from Ebay, actually hugged me--he's shy--and wore it the rest of the day.My older niece had a lot of gifts, but I was tickled to see her later with JR, coloring the calendar I'd bought her because she NEEDS creative stuff. And my darling baby niece was distracted by the horrible dancing Mickey Mouse she was given from the books we gave her, but I noticed she grabbed the kitty book when she opened it, and I know my niece will use them well with her.
rather x-rated that I couldn't have opened in front of the family, though my brother-in-laws would have loved it
Now if only he'd given me the GORGEOUS necklace he bought for my birthday at Christmas, and the other gift on my birthday.......
We had a delicious,riotous lunch. I have a batch of brother-in-laws who are all in their 50s, heading into their 60s, but they are still "the boys", eating, joking and horrifying the girls with their burping, though SC did her best to keep up with them!
10)And then came the blizzard warnings. And we ended up leaving the in-laws around 5PM, went back to my parents house, packed up the car, and at 9PM were on the road going south.
We got home at 1:30, got JR to bed, unpacked the car and went to bed.
No snow here aside from a dusting, but the roads would have been horrendous today, so I'm not sorry we went.
But I'm sorry Christmas ended so abruptly.
Which is why I'm going to cook a turkey tomorrow.
And tonight, I am going to finally get around to my Christmas Eve reading of "A Christmas Carol"
And I'll leave you with the words from that book which I've often posted on this blog at Christmas:
"But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round ......as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
"And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!'"