Saturday, January 3, 2009

Holiday on Wentworth

I guess you would have to say that we did spend the holiday season here in our house in Cincinnati, but if you were looking from the outside in (like through our front bay window) you would never have known it. Our furniture didn't arrive until Dec. 18 and the thought of getting Christmas decorations out of the attic before we had even had a chance to get organized just wasn't going to happen this year. Now the true state of our attic is for another day and another blog, but trust me, unpacking decorations from the attic just was not going to happen this year. Our one holiday decoration was a nativity that I bought in San Francisco, and it was easier to unpack it and put it on the mantel than to take it up to the attic and put it away with the other Christmas stuff. So it is still on the mantel and will be there until either Max or I gets the energy to put it away. That might be next year with the rest of the decorations- we'll have to see- I'm not committing yet.
But we did have holiday visitors and ate holiday food with lots of family and friends. I guess that's more what the season is about anyway. I'm a minimalist when it comes to decorations- a tree with the ornaments that you've collected over the years- and the nativities- also a collection over several years. But for me it's never about the decorations- though I love to go to someones home that actually gets the decorations right- with lights and greenery and Santa's- maybe I like it at others because I just never do much here at home.

Amber was the first to arrive. She came down from Chicago and stayed for 10 days. It's always so nice to have Amber here. She's quiet, likes to read, watches movies in her room, gets us interested in the CSI Las Vegas marathon that was showing (how many of those did they make?), and loves ethnic food just like we do. So Amber doesn't increase our efforts, but does increase our enjoyment. I guess it's time for a disclaimer here. We also love everyone else who comes and even enjoy the efforts needed to see them, so let's not have anybody think we like Amber better than others - OK? Now I hope Don isn't going to get us in trouble- but we did have a great time with Amber- and he did neglect to mention that she loves to shop as much as her Mom- so I had company when I shopped for the Cincy Babes- and we even snuck off together after Christmas and found some really good deals. Don couldn't believe how much money we saved him! If by chance I ever really had all that money they save me, we could retire right now.

The following is a bit of a blow by blow account of the next week. As I write it, it seems awfully dry, so I'll depend on color commentary and pictures from Max to try to help keep those of you who read this awake.

I think probably the time we spent together is certainly the best part of the holiday- though I do love to celebrate the winter Solstice- that most ancient of holidays- praying that the sun will begin it's slow return to our earth. Mary, Kevin and the babes came for dinner in a pre-holiday gathering- with chili. But it the pictures better tell the story of our holiday than the words.

Notice the pre-dinner celebration! I'm in the mood for a PARTY!

This is my prettiest apple pie yet!

We ventured into Christmas gently by attending the 9 Lessons and Carols at church on Sunday evening with Am. But this year we decided that Christmas Eve midnight service was just not in our cards. Getting home at 1:00 a.m. and to bed even later is just not what we do very well. Some might think that we are getting old, but I like to think we are just getting smarter. Actually I think we need to be a little more honest than that about why we've decided to skip the mass- It's just that after the service we come home and have a really good Courvoisier.

It is so romantic- a nice fire- a cognac in the Waterford Crystal glasses that Clare and Oliver gave us for our wedding. Well, in all our Christmases together we've spent that last bit of Christmas Eve with the crystal glasses and the sparkling fire. My favorite moment- but oh my goodness- you don't want to rush this moment- and it doesn't begin until 1 am. And then Mary, Kevin and the babes arrive for brunch the next morning- I think you see where this is going. I do have my priorities. OK, she's right - cognac, a fire in the fireplace, music and SLEEP win over a midnight Christmas Eve service.

Anyway, Christmas Eve consisted of a large pot of seafood chowder (vegetarian for Am), seasonal music, a roaring fire in the fireplace, a glass of very nice brandy, and asleep by 11:00. And of course there were the annual "Hello Kitty" presents for Amber. I'm just not letting my baby grown up all the way. Or maybe I just want to remind her- one more time- of the hours I spent in the Hello Kitty Store in the Norman, Oklahoma Mall spending her $2- or was it $5?

Christmas morning we slept in and then made a breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice (with some help from Taylor) French toast and sausage for us and Mary, Kevin, Taylor and Samantha.

Taylor loved squeezing the oranges for the juice. And he did a great job!

I even tried cinnamon rolls- but I still need to work on these- so I'll let you know when I have an approach that's not- well- rather- "yawn, oh rolls"...

Taylor was primed for opening his gifts and attacked it as only an almost 3 year old can. Sam even got into the act and pulled on pieces of wrapping paper, or at least held onto them while her Dad moved the box so the paper was torn off. Taylor got activity types of stuff and Sam got clothes. I think she may have inherited her desire for clothes from her Aunt Am, but time will have to determine that.

Our big event with the rest of the family was put off until Saturday when we fixed dinner for Michael, Liz, Shawn, Sarah, Deseree, Anthony, Mary, Kevin, Taylor, Samantha and Amber. Our family is sooooooo big I do believe we're going to eventually need name tags for family parties! It was a family event with 4/7ths of our children/spouses here. Dinner of brisket, roasted fall vegetables, smashed potatoes, Mom's corn pudding-this pudding has now played to rave reviews from Brandy and Will- and this crowd as well- so I think everyone is going to regularly see Grandma Lucas' corn pudding at holiday dinners! And a mixed berry pie with ice cream for dessert. The only down side is that the dishwasher decided that Saturday was the day to finally quit. Consequently, my Christmas present consisted of a new pair of Playtex Living Gloves! And we now have a brand new dishwasher- and our dishes are REALLY CLEAN- something haven't been for some time now!

And of course Sam got plenty of loving!

Can't get enough of this baby!

Four cousins!

Sarah, Shawn, Deseree and Anthony!

And sisters!


Lucas said...

So great seeing all these pictures! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time together. Holidays can be magical when everyone gets together. Looks like your homecoming was celebrated in grand style!

Lucas said...

BTW, that pie is BEAUTIFUL and has me drooling.

Amber said...

But you do love me best! As you should because I've earned it!