Well, not when the alarm went off, though. Ah, well. :-)
This year I had a list, so we had everything when we got in the truck at 9 a.m. At least everything after I looked at the list and ran back upstairs for the couple of things we had forgotten. We were off to Warner Robins to see James' mom and sister and niece, both very wary of the Christmas Eve shoppers, enough that we circumvented Cumberland Mall altogether—and then, surprisingly, saw little traffic on Cobb Parkway where it got near Best Buy.
We went through Macon this time so we could go into Warner Robins through the "front" (via route 247 in front of Robins Air Force Base) so we could stop at the cemetery first. I had bought James' dad a cute little poinsettia (this one was really cute; I am absolutely immune to plants and this one was trying to talk me into keeping it) which we left on the gravestone.
We had a nice afternoon with Mom, Candy, and Nicki. We exchanged gifts first—actually, James got to open his gift first, because I got him a small camera that he can take to model shows and air shows and it will fit in his pocket. He in return got me a Flip video camera. Wow! James got The Pacific as well as some World War II DVDs, and I got five stuffed birds, each which sings its own particular song: a goldfinch, robin, chickadee, bluebird, and cardinal, and some cutouts for crafting. We filled James' mom up with DVDs and some books, and gave Candy an Eeyore nightgown and a little purse, and Nicki some lotions and other pretties in a storage box; each also got a belated birthday gift: a heart-shaped glass box with a necklace inside, and Mom had belated birthday and Mother's Day gifts as well, since we have not been down there since last Christmas!
For lunch we had fried chicken with sides and the corn casserole James made. This is a new recipe, more like a savory custard, with eggs, onions, butter, etc.
We also met Mom's new dog. Her name is Jenny, and is part some type of terrier and part Maltese, a little thing about Willow's size who is a pretty cream color with long hair, floppy ears, and a simply long, long tail! She's shy, but friendly, and very sweet.
We left just as the sun was setting. Traffic was remarkably light! We stopped about halfway to "use the facilities" and I drove the rest of the way home, propped on my pillow (I can't drive the truck without it; if I pulled the seat up as far as I needed, James would have his knees tucked under his chin).
Willow greeted us happily (certainly partially because she needed to go out...LOL), and then we put things up, I sat down at the computer, downloaded e-mail, and got one that struck like a thunderbolt...a good thunderbolt, but, oh, my ears and whiskers! What news; what happy, splendid, joyful news! It was enough to send me dancing figuratively and literally for the rest of the night. I don't think I've been quite so happy in a long time, and can say honestly: Best Christmas gift ever! Of course it's not fair not to say what it is, but all the particulars are not known to certain people who need to know before others, so right now I'm happily keeping mum—although it's hard not to shout it from the housetops!
Watched The Homecoming tonight, as always on Christmas Eve, and also The Small One (which always reduces me to tears) and Mickey's Christmas Carol, then finished watching the news—they're still saying we might have a dusting of snow for Christmas!—and then Midnight Mass from the Vatican. After midnight we had gifts, and I feel quite spoiled, although I think James bought almost everything on Borders Bucks and Really Good Coupons and club discounts: Christmas 1945, Theodore Rex, Something Old Something New, and the collection of Harry Dresden short stories, Side Jobs, plus an autographed Owly print, and a T-shirt that says "Bibliovore," plus the Webkinz Signature fox (which I am tempted to name "Mulder"). I'd put my budget mostly in the camera (and the memory card), but I also gave James the DVD of Animal House and some World War II B-movies, plus the Webkinz ice dragon. Wil chomped on bacon-flavored dog snacks and I will give Schuyler a special something tomorrow: some mandarin orange, perhaps, or apple.
Will go to bed smiling tonight...