Christmas this year began with dinner at my sister-in-law's house on Christmas Eve. She put on a great dinner and it was quite special because we were all there for the first time in YEARS. We opted not to attend Christmas Eve services this year, but did attend the Mass on Christmas day, which was less hectic but just as special.
Michael surprised me with a new camera. My Olympus 5 mega pixel camera,
with all the bells and whistles on it broke in the most peculiar spot, which is where the batteries are stored. The latch that holds the batteries inside broke. Taking a photo with that camera is not impossible, just challenging because velcro and rubber bands are holding the batteries in, rendering some of the advanced camera features useless. The new camera is the same brand as my now "old" camera, but the battery enclosure has been redesigned. The new Olympus camera has 8 mega pixels and came with a dual lens kit(Zuiko Digital 17.5-45 F3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm F3.5-4.5) I really wasn't expecting anything that nice. I spent a good part of Christmas day playing with F stops, flash settings, and everything between the zoom and marco settings. I was stunned that Michael gave me such a wonderful camera. I had a good time experimenting... I even caught Evan, um, showing off.
The other big hit gift was the toy big rig truck filled with small Matchbox sized cars that Renee gave Evan. He spent a good part of the day lining up all the little cars, sorting them by color and counting them, and lying on the floor with the big rig so he could watch the wheels move... Evan received other wonderful gifts, but that big rig with the cars was his favorite.
Once the boxes and wrapping were cleared off the floor, we enjoyed macadamia nut pancakes for breakfast and maple sausage. This sounds like a small thing but it's a rare day when the 5 of us are able to sit together for a meal, even breakfast. The rest of the day was spent lounging around the house. Michael and I watched silly Christmas movies while the kids did their own thing. For dinner we barbecued steakes and also served potatoes and cucumber salad... (Keep in mind that Southern California had 75 degree weather for Christmas day.) We did put in an appearance at my in-law's house for dessert, which was pleasant, and they were happy to have us there. My in-laws are now in their mid 80's and the big Christmas Eve dinner is just too much for them to handle, so my sister-in-law hosts it now. My mother-in-law was stubborn about giving up hosting the dinner but she finally gave in, and I think she realizes that it is too much work for her and it's time that someone else take over.
I'd say we had "Peace On Earth," for a moment, well, at least at our house. I truly enjoyed the peace that was brought to our Christmas day this year.