For the first time since 2013, Mark, my brother Grant and sister-in-law Evelyn were all under the same roof on Christmas Eve night. I worked on Christmas Eve until 12:30, then headed straight for the Polish deli and didn’t even stop off at home first. I picked up four kinds of sausages including kielbasas, cold cuts and cheeses. When I came up the street at 1:40 I noticed Evelyn’s car in my driveway. Although she had told me that they planned on being at my place around noon (they have my key so could let themselves in) I wasn’t counting on my habitually late brother being here anytime before 3:00. They arrived early enough for lunch, as I had hoped. Their Pomeranian Trooper was also joining us for Christmas. We certainly stuffed ourselves this Christmas, as I went all out in stocking the fridge for our traditional feast which included our favourite deli meats and cheeses, deli olives, artichoke hearts, kosher pickles, two platters of sushi, oysters, giant shrimp and Mark brought some homemade fish and seafood chowder which we ate later. Grant and Evelyn went to church while I dogsat, then Mark arrived. I was peeling potatoes when he arrived. I wanted to prepare for Christmas dinner while Grant and Evelyn were out, so I also washed and sliced up about two dozen large mushrooms. We love our mushroom gravy, and I fill a whole pot. A gravy boat is too small for this family. When we were all together that evening we ate and played Monopoly. I wouldn’t put any of my gifts under the tree until everyone had gone to bed. I finished setting all the gifts out and filling the stockings and finally went to bed at 2:45.

On Christmas day we woke up around 9 a.m. however I have long been known to sleep in till 10:30. I would have liked the extra time in bed. Unlike when I was a child and couldn’t wait to get up, I look forward to Christmas morning as a time to sleep in. Here are some photos from Christmas morning:

There was a single cardinal as well as a solitary blue jay at my feeder together, yet the blue jay flew away by the time Evelyn snapped this picture.

and evening:

What movie is playing?

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