BTW, a little factoid: Today is technically the First Day of Christmas. The Christmas season is NOT all the shopping days from Thanksgiving to December 24, but begins on December 25 and ends on Epiphany, January 6.
This holiday season has been full of wonderful gatherings and seeing friends near and far. I haven't done this much socializing in ages, and I have loved every moment of it! I have a few more holiday gatherings this week, and my family's gathering in mid-January -- and I can't wait!
Christmas Day is a small affair at our house. We have deliberately planned it that way, especially now that my parents are older and money is tighter. And like my dad, I have a tendency to buy myself stuff all through the year. If I need it or have the extra money for it, I get it then instead of putting it on a wish list. So this year, I got gift cards to Bed Bath and Beyond from the parents-- Mom said that she MEANT to get Bath & Body Works, but honestly I'm actually glad they're from the Triple B. I have been wanting some Egyptian cotton sheets or some other linens -- this is PERFECT! And my brother got me a DVD. Mom also got me a necklace/earring set -- YAY!
Last night, I went to a party at a friend's house, where we had homemade fajitas and lots of fun! Then I went to Midnight Mass. Now at my old parish, when we said, "Music begins at 11:15" we began to a mostly empty church as people straggled in. At the new parish, I got there at 11:15, and found a seat on the very back row -- it was packed!
I do miss, at times, the Christmas Days of my past. When I was a child, every Christmas Day was getting up fairly early (no later than 8) for present unwrapping, and getting ready for the trip to my grandmother's apartment. We usually made a casserole or two of some sort, or maybe one casserole and one vegetable, and a dessert -- and off we went. We were allowed to take ONE of our toys/presents with us, because otherwise, we were bored out of our skulls. Eventually, the rest of the family would get there, and dinner would commence around 1:00 or so. We grandchildren ate on her stair steps, usually with the older ones at the top, and the younger ones at the bottom. We would alternate the way we faced in order to have meaningful conversations!
As we got older, and Granny moved to a different apartment, it was held at their activity center, and then at my aunt's church. After Granny died, things went crazy as they often do in families.... And ever since then, Christmas gatherings have been with other people instead of my own family. I'm the one who plans the January gathering -- and I chose that time specifically because I didn't want people bitching and hollering about me cutting into their Christmas time!!!
I hope that your Christmas season is filled with faith, hope, love, dreams, wishes, fulfillments, and all good things.