I am at work right now, it's been a quiet, peaceful day spent at a truly enchanting spot. A co-worker of mine came in for a few hours and brought his lovely, polite young daughters to keep him company. They left a couple of hours ago, so I have the place to myself. Yeah, we may be understaffed and overextended to a certain extent, but I really can't complain about my circumstances.
Last night, I had Christmas Eve dinner with some great good friends, a family that I'd known since I was a young-un. Stopping by on Christmas Eve for a couple of hours was always a tradition- my characteristically nice friends had a Christmas tree buying routine that would have matched a De Beers diamond merchant's techniques for ruthlessness... they would go to a lot where some poor schmo was selling trees around 5 PM on Christmas Eve, and offer the guy five bucks. Invariably, the guy would say, "That's a thirty dollar tree!" and my friends would respond, "There's nobody else here on the lot, is it a five dollar tree or a zero dollar tree?" They'd bring the tree home, and, in a fashion that would have made Tom Sawyer envious, they would throw a Christmas Eve tree-decorating party. Even when they were still in high school, they had this devious scheme down pat. Their callous treatment of Christmas tree vendors aside, they have always been unfailingly hospitable, generous people (their house, like ours, had an "open door" policy- nobody was turned away). Anyway, I went over to their ancestral abode for Christmas Eve dinner (including Yorkshire pudding made by a Yorkshire native) and a heaping helping of nostalgia. My friends' spouses and kids were over, so I got to hang out with three generations of my awesome extended family at a time I couldn't get out of town to be with my nuclear family.
I'm grateful to have such awesome friends.