Christmas Wrap-Up, Part I

I know. You’re sick of Christmas and would like it (and all the leftover pine needles and credit card bills) to take a flying leap into the way distant future.

But I’ve got pictures and this blog show must go on. In not one, but three parts. Some of you might prefer waterboarding, but I have a soft spot for the holidays, so here goes…

We have hosted a lot of Christmases.

I can remember a year that we trekked down to Borrego Springs and pilfered a free tree on Christmas Eve, and one that we spent in San Francisco when a very young Daniel fleeced us all at poker, but other than that, I think Santa has found us right here, wrestling with the biggest turkey we can find every year since we first hosted the holiday in 1979.

Christmas 1979: the CE with Tina and Angie

Christmas 1979: the CE with Tina and Angie

Pops reading to the girls, Christmas, 1979

Pops reading to the girls, Christmas, 1979

That’s a lot of Christmases and a lot of turkeys. This year’s bird weighed in at thirty pounds!

Which one is the bigger turkey?

If I don’t say it, Katherine will: Which one is the bigger turkey?

This was a holiday filled with gratitude for me. Gratitude that Thanksgiving was on the early side this year and gave us an extra week to prepare. (Could someone please make a Constitutional Amendment along these lines?) Grateful that our faith allows us to celebrate Christmas in a deeper way than candy canes and red poinsiettas. And I was especially grateful this year, now that both boys are out of school and on their own – to have Taylor and Daniel home for Christmas. They hadn’t been here for a whole year!

Home for the holidays: The boys and Chloe

Home for the holidays: The boys and Chloe

This year’s only glitch was that poor Taylor fell sick about twelve hours after his arrival and the scourge did not lift until the morning we took him to the airport. He looked so bad that Aunt Gail wouldn’t let him near his usual domain of mashing the potatoes for Christmas dinner.

Taylor had one good spaghetti breakfast (yes, breakfast!) and spent the rest of his visit knocked out by a virus

Taylor had one good spaghetti breakfast (yes, breakfast!) and spent the rest of his visit knocked out by a virus

The virus did not affect his strength. Weight training with Chloe...

The virus did not affect his strength. Weight training with Chloe…

Sickie: only his Furby would go near him

Sickie: only his Furby would go near him

This meant more work for Daniel and Chris. And Gail’s reward for banishing Taylor from the kitchen was that she got three-layer-jello unmolding duty. She did it perfectly – guess who now has a lifetime kitchen assignment!

Gail came from Montana to liven up our holiday

Gail came from Montana to liven up our holiday

Thanks, Gail!

Le jello: Thanks, Gail!

This is just his "Mom's taking my picture" face - he's actually very good in the kitchen!

This is just his “Mom’s taking my picture” face – Daniel is actually very good in the kitchen!

Chris and Daniel. This was Chris' first Christmas away from home - he was a good sport even though we didn't have marshmallows on the sweet potatoes

Chris and Daniel. This was Chris’ first Christmas away from home – he was a good sport even though we didn’t have marshmallows on the sweet potatoes

Hard to decide which one was cuter. Furbys were my go-to gift this year...

Hard to decide which one is cuter here. Furbys were my go-to gift this year…

We had what has become a traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Ca Dario after going to church. Their rib-eye steak with canellini beans is killer.

Daniel and the CE at Ca Dario

Daniel and the CE at Ca Dario

Protein fest! The rib-eye at Ca Dario

Protein fest! The rib-eye at Ca Dario

Phyllis and Daniel at Ca Dario

Phyllis and Daniel at Ca Dario

Who says it's not cold in Santa Barbara?

Who says it’s not cold in Santa Barbara?

Taylor was just barely well enough to sit up on Christmas morning:

Chris, Daniel and Taylor with Miss Pop Tart

Chris, Daniel and Taylor with Miss Pop Tart

I was patting myself on the back for coming up with those Furbys until Daniel took this year’s prize for creativity. Not only did he bestow the turkey hat upon the CE, he also came up with this gem:

Present of the year? A motion-activated jellybean dispenser from Daniel.

Present of the year? A motion-activated jellybean dispenser from Daniel.

Daniel gave Aunt Gail a hat, too. Could this please go viral?

Daniel gave Aunt Gail a hat, too. Could this please go viral?

Alexandra and Andy stopped by on Christmas Day and we took a break from shredding and cooking for a lovely winter walk with the dogs.

Alexandra and the boys

Alexandra and the boys

Walkers

Walkers

Phyllis and Gail hosted a lovely post-Christmas dinner. We enjoyed wonderful food and a blistering game of hearts in memory of Uncle Delbert.

Phyllis always sets a beautiful table

Phyllis always sets a beautiful table

Some of Granny's favorite gifts from Taylor

Some of Granny’s favorite gifts from Taylor

As Christmases go, it was one for the books, or at least the blog. I hope yours was as merry and bright as ours!

More to come…

Christmas 2012

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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2 Responses to Christmas Wrap-Up, Part I

  1. Phyllis says:

    Oh my, what a wonderful holiday time it was. The after visit of Tina, John and Littles was just frosting on the cake. One of our best and turkey, turkey and more turkey to enjoy. Tell me it is over and Las Vegas is calling.

  2. Katherine says:

    You’re right – I was gearing up for a turkey comment but you beat me to it. So I’ll pass. I will also pass on making a dumb-bell comment about Chloe. (I love you Chloe, and you’re not dumb so, see, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with anything suitable anyway.)

    I was also gearing up for a comment about Pops’ plaid pants and if they were going to make a fashion come-back anytime soon. I see the CE and Daniel donning plaid shirts, but I don’t think they’ve entirely committed to the fashion “statement” (sure, let’s go with statement) until they’re sporting plaid pants.

    Angie’s a trend-setter so let’s see if she can make this take off, shall we?

    I say keep the fun Christmas stories and photos coming. Special dispensations are allowed regarding timing and punctuality when you post things that make us smile.

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