(Apologies to James Stewart and Donna Reed for borrowing the title of their classic 1946 Christmas film.)
All that worrying was for naught. The day turned out to be sunny and bright, actually a beautiful day, and the boys had no problems on the road. We did, however, miss Deb and Craig's company as Craig had come down with some bug or other and they had to cancel all their Christmas plans. As it was on Thanksgiving, football was the order of the day until dinner was ready. The consensus was the chili verde was the best I've ever made (I tweaked the ingredients just a bit). Since I've been making it for years, I'll take that as a compliment. To celebrate Larry's upcoming birthday I made a 70's retro dessert, Blueberry-Pineapple Delight, his favorite. There are cake people and there are pie people. We are definitely on the side of pie and the boys reminisced about the year I made everyone's favorite on a day when we could all be together, eight in all, as I remember.
We put a five-dollar limit on gifts and that brings out the best, most imaginative presents, ranging from Scratcher cards (given with the hope that one or more of us becomes a millionaire), an all-in-one survival tool the size and width of a credit card, to more piggy kitchen implements (for me). It's all about the fun and not the price.
Wrappings were cleared away and we got down to some serious poker for big stakes. It's amazing how much competitive spirit is involved with a two-dollar buy in. We played for hours and, sadly, I lost my entire two dollars. Sigh.
When it was time for the guys to leave, I loaded them up with my presents: a variety of savory baked items, squares of gingerbread, and a jar of pickled eggs with beets and onion. (Try boiling and peeling seven dozen eggs sometime. It's a labor of love.) At risk of being called an egg pusher, I forced a dozen fresh eggs too on anyone who would take them. The little girls have been cranking them out and they're piling up at an alarming rate.
I've got two more Christmases to look forward to: one when Deb and Craig come up and another in February when Pete resettles in the area. With us, it's a never-ending celebration!
For now, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.