Pop's and Aunt Judy's tree
But onto the happy stuff! David and I woke up at 5 AM yesterday to forage north to Pop’s House for Christmas. It had snowed a little and it was very cold but our drive was relatively uneventful. The main road off the freeway and the dirt road to Pop‘s house was our biggest snow challenge. The last of my cold still lingers, so I couldn’t smell Pop and Aunt Judy’s citrus pine, but I sure could smell the bacon cooking! Tori was busy at the stove with a couple packs of bacon cooking and cooking. “Papa said ‘just cook at all.’ I have a small stack of wimpy bacon for Uncle David t oo.” My love of crispy bacon is a family trait.
Then it was present opening time. It was Rina's and Tori‘s suggestion a few years ago that we draw names instead of buying for everybody. It gives you the opportunity to really shop for thoughtful gifts for one person instead of trying to spread the budget around two gifts for everyone. It worked out great. I know in the past few years I’ve given and received some wonderful gifts. This year was no different.
Rina's boy, Basil, sitting next to his great-uncle.
Ya know how cats are drawn to non-cat people?
David is not a dog person, but this started
with a nap together before breakfast.
In drawing names it was strange this year that fathers and first daughters traded gifts. Pop and I had each other as did Dave and Rina. It was Star Wars for Dave and Red Wings for Rina and their Exchange and mostly food stuff between Pop and me. Keeping in mind that this is the 52nd Christmas Pop and I have celebrated together, choosing gifts wasn’t difficult, but it seemed that knowing when to stop was for both of us! Pop gave me a wonderful vibrating kitty neck wrap that I’m looking forward to trying tonight, As well as some warm slippers and a beautiful bracelet. And the food, wow! I got 4 solid large persimmons and some ambrosia apples to help them ripen, an only raisins panettone, lemon pizzele and some other tasty treats including two packages of my favorite breadsticks that can only be found, that I know of, and his Italian store. Among the things I found for him, to go with the stories and recipes from American immigrants cookbook, were an 18-pack of Pocket Coffee (dark chocolates with a liquid espresso center) chestnuts in a 1 pound block of aged 3 years Parmesan Reggiano cheese. We had a fun and yummy exchange! Tori was beyond happy, Especially about 2 poetry books from Ucle David. Between Rina, David and me for the information and finding the books, we did really well with that one!
It had been snowing a little bit while we were opening presents and there was already a thin coating of snow on our van when the Indianapolis family headed back home A little before noon. We made sure to have them call when they got home. I guess the worst of the snow was in Michigan for their ride.
Our annual Christmas 3-shot
Rina, Nana, Tori
Around 3 o’clock my cousin, Lisa, and family arrived for dinner. The snow was falling in heavier squalls by then and when Lisa’s bff, Annelie, and her kids got there they were commenting about the roads being pretty nasty.
All. Freaking. Day.
My awesome cousins
At the end of the evening when we were all packing up to go, Annelie sent home half of her homemade apple pie with us, we tried that apple pie for the first time at Thanksgiving and OMG it is wonderful! Before they were ready to leave Lisa‘s husband, Tory, shoveled off the ramp so we wouldn’t have to do that to leave. I’ve always said and I’m always proven right; my family chooses and breeds the best!
More Christmas to come...