Lou and I chanted the entirety of first Vespers. We were very proud of ourselves for this, and despite a lot of mistakes, I have to say it was beautiful. For church we went to midnight Mass, and the music was splendid ... just splendid. Worth getting so keyed up that I couldn't sleep till 2:30, even though I had to get up at six on Christmas.
My family hosted Christmas morning for us, as is now traditional--big breakfast, lots of dogs underfoot, Luke 2 and prayer before presents. Everybody loved the little things we brought back from Italy, to my delight. Almost everybody, at least; Grandma's response, when I helped her unwrap the snow globe and placed it in her hands, was "Open it for me"--but at least she was there. Dementia and all, it made me happy to have one more Christmas with her.
At midafternoon we drove back to town and spent the evening with Lou's parents and a couple of family friends. We had exchanged presents with them and Andy and Lindsey earlier, so we relaxed and enjoyed a nice dinner and quiet evening.
As for presents--well, the family on both sides shopped at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so you know Jenna came home happy. Lindsey even made me a reading pillow with ribbons to hold a book open and mark a place. It works well as a neck pillow, too, when I don't have a book in it. And I've listened to Hayley Westenra (lovely) and read part way into Andrew Peterson's On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (hilarious) and pored over the pictures in the giant book on the Vatican (wondrous; I desperately need to write a post about St. Peter's) and ... well, now I'm going to go work on my own book, because I get separation anxiety when I stay away from it for very long.
Merry Christmas to all. (Hey, it's still officially Christmas till January 6. But if you're really sick of Christmas music and you've put your tree and nativity away, then Happy New Year.)