We didn't stay super-late, because the next day was our own holiday party -- a tree-trimming tea party. Plenty of good friends, good conversation, and of course, good food. I didn't go quite as all out as I normally would -- I purchased the marzipan fruits, plum pudding, fruitcake and the lemon-poppyseed and cranberry-orange scones instead of making them from scratch. I'm trying to be just a little less type-A these days. :-) But we did make some of my family's traditional spicy veggie sandwiches (the three colorful layers are carrots, beets, and spinach, mixed with chili, cream cheese, butter, and a secret ingredient), along with a raspberry trifle, Kevin's homemade lemon curd, three more kinds of tea sandwiches (creamy mushroom, classic cucumber, roast lamb with mint-coriander chutney) and probably a few other things that I'm forgetting.
Now we're at Kevin's folks house in Los Gatos. Christmas here is sunny days, rainbows, palm trees. We've had a lovely time so far -- lots of resting and relaxing.
Other than that, Kev and I have mostly been doing our very traditional Christmas stuff here. Last-minute shopping and present-wrapping (per usual, I was mostly done weeks ago, and he mostly hadn't started yet when he got here, but in the end, it's all done on time, so it doesn't much matter, other than for my basking in a smug virtuous glow). We went with his folks to church yesterday to see all the little kids in the Christmas pageant, which not incidentally finally gave me a chance to sing most of the carols I love. Yay, carols. Kevin doesn't sing, but he does make funny (quiet) snarky comments to me during Mass, which is a way of participating, I suppose. After that, dinner at the Benjamins, an annual tradition, with more cute kids and babies showing up every year -- it's just that time in people's lives. I think there were three pregnant women this time around. I spent quite a while helping little Jackson assemble his newly-received pirate's cove; much fun. He does cheat at pick-up sticks, though, I want to state for the record. His scoring system is -- inventive.
And today there are all sorts of traditions to come. We open stocking presents at nine (with stockings for the pets too, which means that Ellie gets a stocking this year!), then have Ann's traditional egg casserole breakfast. Then more present opening. Then resting. Then Christmas dinner, which I think will be lamb this year. And then, sadly, Kevin and I have to head off to the airport to catch red-eye flights -- he'll be heading home, and I'm off to Philadelphia for SALA and MLA.
A slightly truncated Christmas this year, but still a very merry one all around. I hope you're all having lovely holidays, wherever you are, and that you have loved ones to share it with you -- including adorable pets! :-) Merry merry merry merry Christmas!