Christmas, 2012

The picture above, taken by one of my nieces, was our Christmas card this year. My industrious and creative wife always makes our Christmas cards.

The picture is, of course, a close-up of Will.

Last night we attended Christmas Eve Mass at Queen of All Saints. The congregational music program was the same as it’s been for 25 years. Before Mass the choir sang Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, a very ambitious piece. It’s a beautiful piece of work. They did an okay job with it. The harp was glorious.

After Mass we returned home for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner—a dish of spinach, white beans, and potatoes, anchovies on the side. While I was shopping for the ingredients the grocery store owner, looking at my cart, asked what I was making. When I told her she looked at me skeptically and asked, “Are you Italian?”. I responded that, no, I was not Italian but I had some old friends who were and I had adopted their Christmas Eve custom as my own many years ago. I always think of them when I make the dish.

We slept in late this morning—all the way to 7:30. After feeding the dogs we gave them their Christmas presents: elk antlers to chew on. Now they’re delightedly busy.

Vince Guaraldi is on the CD player. In a bit we’ll open our presents. My wife is studying up and preparing to make my birthday cake, the Reine de Saba from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A few hours from now the daughter of dear old friends, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s brother will join us for brunch.

Although I plan on posting again on non-Christmas subjects later in the day, this post will remain at the top. I’ll update it as the day goes on.

Merry Christmas to all!

28 comments… add one
  • And to you, dear host!

  • Beautiful card.

    Service at St. Mary’s Basilica, Natchez, was quite nice, too. Lansdowne again, for me today.

  • Tad

    Where does one get elk antlers in Chicago? Or is that commonly available this time of year?

    Merry Christmas and a good meal to all

  • Where does one get elk antlers in Chicago?

    They’re frequently sold at dog shows and dog performance events.

  • steve

    Merry Christmas!


  • jan

    Close-ups of animal faces are special and seem to attract a second look….and, what an interesting photo to highlight a Christmas card!

    This Christmas there has been less attention to commercial detail and more to the spirit and rituals of Christmas. Our simply decorated tree stands by a huge window, looking across the tops of a myriad of redwood and fir trees cascading down to the ocean. A glass angel with a single light, snuggled up against it, graces the top, with an open metal star starkly hanging behind it on the glass. It’s quite spectacular with the changing weather bathing the tree in a kaleidoscope of sunset/sunrise, and everything in between kind of lighting. Right now rain is pelting the window, with a backdrop of gray clouds, giving our lit tree an especially warm, transcendent glow.

    Gifts are being sporadically opened thru-out the day. Dinner is mid-day at a friend’s cabin. I probably won’t be able to go as I have a cold I’m trying to get over. Instead, my tissue box is next to me, and my nose is doing a Rudolph imitation. However, my husband will take over our gifts, food, drink. and spend some merry, merry time for both of us.

    In the meantime, “Merry Christmas” to all of you — may it bring contentment and be what each of you wishes and needs….

  • Andy

    Elk antlers – what a good idea! Ironic I drove through a large heard of Elk only yesterday in Colorado.

    Merry Christmas all!

  • Now, I don’t know if anyone got a picture, but I was wearing my black Ariats, and I did get on a Palomino. I got off right smart, because I know what those damn saddles can do.

  • I’m an agrarian, dammit!

  • In the foreground, that’s Anna, Lisa’s daughter, and Margaret, 3. She wears cowgirl boots.

  • Speaking without any spite at all, little Margaret’s Daddy is rich and her Mama is good-lookin’. ( Her mama also has a law degree from UT and made about $80 thou until she decided she likes Margaret better.)

    She’s adorable. She makes very good felt peppermint cookies.

  • Anna’s cut back from like 90, to 50 hours a week.

  • I really do like jan’s imagery of Christmas where she is. Sounds beautiful and soothing. I’ve taken the train up from San Francisco to Portland.

  • Don’t worry. They have the same opinion, but it’s original to the house.

  • Makes me think of Bosch.

  • Which tracks nicely through Wikipedia to Italian Grotteschi.

  • Drew, Sugar, if you’re still in pain, I prescribe The Pointer Sisters:

  • Odd thing, come to find you were raised by a black nanny, Ruth I think, second in line.

  • Did you know the Pointer Sisters, mon oncle?

  • Did I do okay, Mr. Dave?

  • Because this year is over and it ‘s going to look a lot different.

    No reason to be frightened. But I mean business.

  • Catch up, snotwads.

    Not you, my mentor.

  • We will be quickly going into the realm of interpersonal relationships.

    Now, y’all want the country room or the rose room, Mr. Dave?

    I’m using an electronic cigarette. Bought it for for myself. Best gift ever.

  • We call this “transition.”

  • I’m really crazy or I look really good on my on dime. What the hell?

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