I am appalled at the politicization and condemnation of the phrase "happy holidays." There is more than one holiday this time of year and it's a nice thing to say to someone else. There's nothing wrong with wishing someone a happy holiday. Ours certainly was. And yes, we call it Christmas, in a nod to my parents' observance of Christianity and the pervasiveness of that particular holiday and its traditions around the nation, as well as the fact that it's the most fun of the various winter holidays from which to choose. So I say, why not celebrate Christmas?
So, Christmas here in Tennessee was peaceful, quiet, and enjoyable by all. We had breakfast this morning (I made lemon crepes, The Wife's favorite) and exchanged our presents. Among other gifts that were exchanged included my gift to The Wife of a set of fire topaz earrings and a pendant; this was outdone, I think, by my parents' gift to her of an amber ring and earring set. The Wife also got a sewing machine as a "big present" (aside from La Casa itself). My parents got a tool storage chest and garage rack system; a seven-piece set of stainless steel cookware, and I got a Brett Favre autographed football and several bottles of wine.
Perhaps most gratifying part of the day was having my relative over for dinner with us. She's been not so well for several months now and it's truly a joy to see her walking around, eating real food, and keeping alert and cracking jokes. She was with us for several hours for dinner and afterwards and she will be going home in a week after so long in health care facilities that I can't remember the last time I saw her anywhere else.
Almost as gratifying was seeing the whole family getting along well. Everybody likes everybody else -- including all the critters, who played nicely with each other and behaved themselves mostly very well today. My wish for a harmonious family was granted and it, too, was a tremendous pleasure and a blessing for which I am grateful.
Also enjoyable was my time spent cooking with my mother. We made a prime rib withBurgundyy mushrooms, asparagus with savory (that is, garlicked) hollandaise sauce, zucchini casserole, twice-baked potatoes, and holiday pie (apple with some cranberries and a walnut topping, garnished with my ginger whipped cream). It took us about three hours plus some baking time, and I got several good tips from her for the future. That, and yesterday she taught me the secret to genuine pasta carbonara. I learned how to cook in large part from my mother and it's quite enjoyable for me to cook alongside her.
Tomorrow I need to get ready to go back to work and spend all day in depositions, get ready to do battle again with the insurance company and the mortgage company regarding La Casa, start thinking about making arrangements to move in to La Casa by next week when my mother-in-law arrives, and otherwise ramp up to return to real life. But today was a good day to relax, not be surprised or even particularly upset at the Green Bay Packers' loss to Chicago (which I predicted would occur a while ago, Loyal Readers will recall), and play with the critters. Although it was cool and rainy all day outside, inside The Estate At Louisville it was a very merry Christmas indeed. I hope the same can be said for the holidays (of whatever variety is preferred) for all of my Loyal Readers.