Because the Cookie Exchange was yesterday, we had plenty of great treats to munch on all day long. Alyssa and Josh went to visit his Grandma, Katie wrote stories and watched recorded Supernatural episodes. The kids picked up Grandma on the way home, as she and Pepper are spending the night tonight.
I talked with Michael for a little bit on the phone. He's a little bored in his new location. Also, his family isn't celebrating Christmas, so it's a bit of a let down. Partially, it's because they're so poor. When you grow your own food and wash dishes in a tub of water from outside because you have no electricity for a pump, life is just plain hard. He told me how they have to stay on watch when they hang out laundry; they have to stay ready for the rain, so they can run out and take it all down quickly, then rehang it all when the rain stops. So, life is very tiring. And they will probably REST on Christmas. But the other reason is because they are not Catholic, they are Evangelicals. They believe that the hoopla surrounding Christmas festivities is pagan. So they do not participate. The town had a big procession for the Virgin Mary when he first got there. The family locked up their house and closed the curtains. Michael was just trying to fit in with them, so he stayed there. If he had known that the Virgin Mary procession was going to be the highlight of December, he might have gone out to soak it all in! We plan to Skype with him in the morning....hopefully it will not make him homesick.
Katie, Alyssa, Josh and I all went to the Christmas Eve service at Gateway today. As Josh put it, it was a bit over the top! They did a performance of the Birth of Jesus. They tried to modernize it, referring to Mary's husband as Joe, entertaining us with some fantastic breakdancing angels, filming it locally giving it a very "Austin" spin, - snow even shot out from the ceiling at several spots in the performance! I'm glad we went...it's at the Gateway website tomorrow at 11 a.m. Here's a clip of it.
Once Upon a Christmas from Gateway Church on Vimeo.
Then we came home to a huge crab feast with spiral cut ham and roasted potatoes. It was so yummy we forgot to pull out the tamales Ron brought home from work. So that's on the menu for tomorrow.
Afterwards, Ron and Josh did the dishes and we started up the Patterson Annual Tradition: Watching Christmas Vacation. Grandma laughed so hard at the different pieces of the show which was really funny in itself! I guess forgetfulness has it's advantages!
Then all my shopping that had piled up in the corner of my bedroom needed wrapping. I'd so prefer to just sit around and chat with everyone. So I wrapped a little, and chatted a little...which led to my not finishing the wrapping and stocking stuffing until 3 a.m.!!! Luckily for me, Josh stayed up to help me run packages up and down the stairs. Then when 1 a.m. rolled around, he started wrapping too! He was shocked at how our Christmas presents just spill out into the room. I think he'd prefer a more organized Christmas that sticks to a budget - which I cannot even fathom! Gosh, I need more self-discipline!
So Granda is literally asleep in her kerchief, the dogs are snoozing (yes, Buddy is staying with us), the "children" are dreaming of their own version of sugarplums, and I'm wrapping this up and calling it a night!
Merry Christmas to All....and to All a Goodnight!