It was a good Christmas after all. I was a little worried. All our friends left town. It was just the two of us. I was worried it'd be no different than most other days off, we'd sleep in, take a walk, read a little, make dinner, play poker and go to bed. True, there would be the half an hour of presents in the morning, which would be very very awesome, but other than that, what would make it compare to the many day hoop-la I'm used to at home? Somehow it compared. Somehow it still felt like Christmas.
We continued some traditions that I grew up with: a midnight Christmas Eve church service, then Christmas morn Zeb wasn't allowed to get out of bed until the Christmas music played. Then we had to clean up the whole house before we could open presents. I heard my eternal childhood question echoed in Zeb's voice when, after ten minutes he said "Is the house clean enough yet?"
We made presents stretch out as long as we could, examining each one for at least ten minutes before we moved on to the next. Zeb was in kit heaven. I had sent out a sly email saying what a sucker he was for kits and hot sauces, my family took me very seriously. He received a hot sauce making kit (just add garlic, peppers, oil etc), a fudge kit (just add butter), a beer making kit (just add water - this won't be the best of beer), a put up your feet and relax man kit (just add chips), a golf ball monogramming kit (add golf balls), a cigar kit and another five or so other bottles of fancy hot sauces. As I said, he was in heaven.
I received many wonderful things, my favorite being a beautiful new, long, warm coat from my husband. I had been eyeing it for quite some time on the J Crew website. Zeb says it makes me look like a ninja which is his highest compliment (I translate it to movie-star in my head). I loved it so much that we had to take a walk right away and we spent a nice hour down by the water.
By this time it was mid afternoon so the west coast was finally up and the virtual Christmas began! First there was a flurry of texts to an from everyone we knew. Then we were put on speakerphone while my family opened the gifts from us. An hour later we received a video of those same gifts being opened, and we could even hear ourselves on the phone. The best part, the video camera turned toward the computer and we could see and hear Valerie live in Germany on Skype! We sent pictures of ourselves and our gifts to Oregon, and it actually felt like we had all participated in Christmas together.
We finished the evening, of course, with steak and poker and our new Alison Krauss Robert Plant CD. We watched 'The Nativity Story' in bed and we said, 'That actually felt like Christmas!' A new kind of Christmas, but it was still filled with family, cozy pjs, thoughtful gifts, good food, and the birth of Jesus. To answer Camille's question, yeah, it was a good Christmas.