Fudge, cookies, pumpkin bread, homemade candies, store bought candies from various friends and neighbors. There isn't a munch-mouth in this world who could have appreciated it all more than I do. Or did. Our daughter and son-in-law and the grandkids were here and there isn't much left. Not that I didn't eat my share.
A T-shirt from my younger sister of the Kliban Cat (do we all remember him?) at the top of the Christmas tree, holding on for dear life as it begins to bend over under his weight. Do you think there was a subtle message there? Or maybe she heard about the fudge, cookies, pumpkin bread . . .
Cereal bowls and matching plates with Norman Rockwell figures on them. They're adorable.
A gift certificate to our favorite coffee house.
A giant box of Hickory Farms sausage and cheese. Ron is in pig heaven.
A bottle of White Zin, and one of Moscato. I'm in pig heaven.
A tear-shaped amber pendant from Ron's cousin in Denmark. Some tiny seed or particle of something is trapped in it. I was so fascinated, I Googled amber. Did you know it comes from fossilized ancient forests now underwater? If I try to explain it, I'll get it wrong. There's a lot of science involved and I still think of electricity as magic. Bottom line is that it's millions of years old and finds its way to land in various ways. In Denmark, it usually comes to shore in the seaweed. Cool to hold something against your skin that was here long before man.
My washer and dryer are probably thirty years old and both fainted at the same time (I refuse to think they're dead) and my neighbor did my laundry while packing to visit her children. Good friends are the most precious gift.
Our church has three Masses for Christmas - the 'family mass' at 7:00 on Christmas Eve so the children don't have to try to stay awake through Midnight Mass, and parents don't have to try to tear them away from their toys for the 10:00 Mass on Christmas Day. Ron and I always went to Midnight Mass together, and in the old days, when all the kids were around, we celebrated Christmas Eve then went together to Midnight Mass. Ron can't come with me anymore, so while he watched EWTN, I went to the family Mass. I could not have made a better decision. It was packed to the rafters, riotously noisy until the service started, and the most joyous celebration I've enjoyed in a long time.
Our priest invited the children up to get a closer look at the Nativity Scene and told them they could touch the baby. Soon, one little boy took Him out of the manger and they passed Him from hand to hand. There was momentary panic on Father's face, but the kids were very respectful and a little awed and the baby finally was returned to the manger.
College kids returning home for the holiday were invited up front to the choir to sing carols. It was fun to watch old friends who hadn't seen each other in a while hug and giggle in the case of the girls, and elbow and shove in the case of the boys. They sounded particularly wonderful.
After Mass, all the Mexican ladies were exchanging baked goods and I came very close to jumping into the middle with a 'Feliz Navidad' to see if I could score some of that yummy looking stuff, but I remembered in time that I was in church, and not only Santa but GOD was watching.
That Mass was a gift. My daughter and son-in-law and my grandchildren showing their grandfather photos on their phones of the new dog was gold. I'm embarrassed to be so rich, but I just keep greedily gathering it around me.
What was your favorite Christmas gift?