There’s always such a long buildup to the holidays and then — poof! — they’re gone.
Well, not entirely. We still have New Year’s Eve to look forward to.
But, still, it feels as though we’ve crested the roller coaster and now we’re easing toward the final days of the year.
Quick, before the calendar leaps ahead, a look back at a fine celebration.
Friday: We got the party started on the 23rd. Lori’s brother, Jim, and his splendid wife, Judi, came over for dinner and to join us in hanging out with Jordan, Jamie and Emalyn.
Over tamales, refried beans, beer and wine, we shared stories about parenthood and grand-parenthood, now that we’ve joined the club. Jim and Judi have six.
Jordan and Jamie arrived the day before to attend the wedding of their friends, Vaughn and Candy, so it was nice to have them plant themselves for a few days.
Saturday: The celebration continued with a gathering at our place and a traditional hors d’hoevres dinner featuring more than a dozen appetizers to fill your plate. Lori likes this option more than an elaborate sit-down meal and who are we to disagree?
Along with Jordan & Jamie, we also had Simone & Kyndall and Nathan & Sara with us — a rare treat to have all three children and their spouses/partners. (Next year, they’ll scatter to be with their partners’ families.)
Another rarity: Lori and I joined Simone at a Christmas Eve service at a neighborhood church, Augustana Lutheran, known for its resident jazz quartet and national leadership as a sanctuary congregation. Nice to be in a church that respects all cultures and faiths and lives up to the values it preaches.
We made time for an early celebration of two birthdays — Jordan’s and mine — and called it a night.
Sunday: Not long after breakfast, the opening of gifts resumed, this time with Emalyn at front and center. This perpetually smiling baby turned five months old the day before and we were delighted to have her here for her first Christmas.
A little after noon, we packed up Charlotte and headed over to Simone & Kyndall’s for a full day of activities and a four-star meal, painstakingly prepared by the two ladies.
Food may be the fuel but family is the real nourishment at times like these. It’s so good to be around your adult children and their wonderful partners. There were no issues with the dogs — four in total, each of them weighing 15 pounds or less — and the only glitch came when we settled in to watch “Elf.”
Evidently, too many neighbors on the Internet foiled our plan to watch Will Ferrell in his Oscar-winning (er, unforgettable) role as Buddy the Elf.
No biggie. We all left with full bellies and full hearts. Isn’t that what every family wants from this holiday season?