Monday, December 26


Merry Christmas, y'all, and Happy Hanukkah from Dallas, Texas and Motherlode's clan.

Christmas Eve was spent wrapping presents (The Sage and offspring), cooking and baking (me), and in general merriment. After gorging on Chinese food we played board games (Cranium, mostly), enjoyed the way the Christmas lights reflected on the lake we live on, hung the Christmas stockings, and finally trooped off to bed. The group included me and dad, our two sons, our oldest daughter (single) and our two younger daughters and their mates and grandson Navarre.

I was first up on Christmas morning (had to get cooking!), but Navarre had his aunt Daisy up shortly afterwards. They roused Papa, Mama, Daddy, and the other aunts and uncles, and we set to discovering what goodies Santa and each other had stashed under the tree. One of the guys made French toast for all and we munched on that as we unwrapped gifts.

I was moved to tears when I unwrapped Daisy's presents -- she'd had two pictures of her dad and me from our wedding (actually, exiting the reception on our way to our honeymoon, so not in bridal clothes) blown up from 8x10s into 18x24s and beautifully framed, and she gave a like one to each of her siblings.

Daisy also gave a huge remote-control WWII army tank to Navarre (he's 3-1/2) that is so elaborate it fires play missiles and includes two U.S. soldiers and two German army soldiers (each side has an officer and an enlisted man) with guns that fire play bullets. Now that's a weird gift to be given in our household, since The Sage and I are practically pacifists and never let our kids play with war toys when they were growing up. But Daisy's boyfriend is in Iraq, so I suppose she's got fighting on the brain. Her lad called on Christmas Eve -- he said his truck had been blown up, one of his men had his arm blown off but the rest survived intact. He insists that his platoon is not allowed to return direct fire, and I find that strange.

After all the gifts were unwrapped I looked around and said to The Sage, "The thing to do now, obviously, is to move." The kids took turns picking up and playing with one another's new toys while I called on various ones to help me get dinner on the table.

I hugely enjoy holiday cooking and we sat down just after noon to a feast of roast turkey, dressing (two kinds -- one with no bacon drippings for our two Jewish daughters and their mates) and giblet gravy, cranberry salad, ham with red-eye gravy, deviled eggs, amazing asparagus, cream cheese corn, green bean casserole, baked pineapple, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, yeast rolls and homemade honey butter. Dessert was pumpkin pie, Dutch apple pie, brownies, pecan pie squares, and fruitcake.

As you can imagine, after a meal like that and all the cleanup, we needed a nap. So we all crashed for a couple hours then regrouped to empty our stockings and snack on leftovers before our two youngest daughters' families took off for their homes to observe Hanukkah. The rest of us drove to the Gaylord Texan Resort to see a spectacular ice sculpture display, some of which you see here. The sculptures were created by Chinese artisans and the room was kept at 5 degrees (they dispensed parkas to all the ticketholders). The ice nativity scene made me want to kneel (I can't because of a busted knee) and refreshed us all spiritually. (The same busted knee kept me from enjoying the ice slide, but I was useful as picture-taker). It was so cold by the time we left that my fingers were stinging under my gloves. But it was a terrific way to end the day. The Gaylord folks had outdone themselves in decorations both inside and outside the resort. We picked up some hot chocolate and sang carols all the way home.

Today has been a time for rest, games, and just being together (with a little football thrown in). And, of course, leftovers. No politics -- I'll save that for another day.


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