As I mentioned, James volunteered to work today so he wouldn't get drafted, especially on New Year's Day. Plus it was double time and would make up a little for his three doctor's appointments last week. So this Christmas morning James was up at seven to work. I got to sleep in a bit.
James was twiddling his thumbs when I got up and had breakfast. I was changing channels looking for something Christmasy, and stumbled over Come to the Stable on FXM. I wish I'd known it was on. I hadn't seen it in years. It's not really a Christmas movie, but begins in winter when two nuns arrive in New England to try to found a children's hospital. I'd forgotten how funny bits of it was, especially Sister Margaret driving the jeep.
Tucker was very patient and waited for me to finish with the movie to go out. It was very cold out, in the high 20s with a sharp wind snapping the St. Nicholas banner and the flag. It felt good! There were high clouds and bits of sky showing as we strolled the neighborhood. Someone down the street was having company for dinner. The cars filled their long driveway and spilled out to the street.
James took a break before lunch and then we had presents! O, what a haul! Four books and two DVDs, the books all from my Amazon wish list: World War II in Rhode Island, Rhode Island Radio (with a photo of Jack Comley, my favorite radio talk show host ever), Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Britcom FAQ. The DVDs were both Rick Steves: his new episodes for 2017-2018, and all his specials (even the Easter special). I gave James two military nonfiction books, Andy Weir's new book Artemis, the second season of WKRP in Cincinnati, and a Jethro Tull concert DVD. And of course the chair he was sitting in! (We discovered Tucker sleeping in it last night, and it looked so sweet, the little dog curled up in the big red chair next to the Christmas tree.
Put on The House Without a Christmas Tree while we had lunch: our turkey leftovers from West Cobb Diner on Friday night, a clementine, and Terry's dark chocolate orange slices. Tried not to snack too much so we could save the calories for the feast at the Butlers!
While James waited for someone to call, I also washed some towels and unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and made the bed.
Spent the later afternoon watching The Homecoming and feeling very drowsy, so took a 45-minute nap (well, I tried to; I really didn't sleep much), then took Tucker for a walk, fixed him a special Christmas dinner with a little chicken broth and beef and carrot dog-food puree, got dressed and washed my face, brought James his shoes (otherwise he was ready to go) and a hairbrush, and put the gifts together.
At five o'clock James signed off having had nary a call, and we loaded up the car with presents and chocolate cake and were off to the Butlers to enjoy three hours of friends, food and fun. People had just sat down to dinner and we availed ourselves of apple cider basted turkey, spiral-sliced ham, pot roast, mashed potatoes, noodle kugel, sprouts, and carrots. Dessert was two homemade pies, fruitcake cookies, our chocolate cake and a coconut cake, and some Andes mints we also brought. Once the feasting was complete, we gathered in the living room for gifts. We got many lovely things, too numerous to list.
Journeyed home about eight, stopping at a housing plat along the way to see their decorations. One end definitely had a "glitter gulch"! Yet another lawn was covered with inflatables: two Mickey Mouses, a Minnie Mouse, a Minion, Olaf the snowman, Santa in an airplane, Santa with his sleigh, and about a dozen more.
Once home we watched the Call the Midwife Christmas special—very interesting story based around "the Big Freeze," the cold winter of 1962-1963. Will the actress who played Barbara not be in the new season? They have sent her and her husband the curate to another church for six months. I've always loved Barbara and will miss her.