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Another Year, Another Merry Christmas

I don't know about you, but I was excited to give Christmas gifts this year. Lots of years I struggle with what to give, however, this year I felt pretty darn good about things. Although, I will say, with the internet replacing so much, gift giving has become way more difficult. Or, at least that is how I see it.

The stage is set:
When the children were young we had way more traditions, however, as years have gone by, mostly we just do what feels right at the moment. One thing that has stayed pretty much the same is the watching of "Love Actually", at some point or other before Christmas. This year, that watching fell on Christmas Eve, with the usual tears of joy at the end. Although we'd planned to go down to Lake Eola for a stroll with Jonathan and Alissa following said watching, the heavens opened with a big rainstorm. Instead, we watched another movie called "Stardust." Have you seen it? A very interesting fantasy romance.

Then it was Christmas morning; before long Matt called via Face Time from Melton Mowbray where he and Tom are spending the holidays with Tom's family. Well, that was fun, and modern too--opening gifts in front of the computer while Matt and Ray, Tom's Dad, watched. Tom and his mom Jane were intermittent guests on the call as they were mostly busy in the kitchen preparing a very ambitious menu planned by Tom. Mostly we think of grocery deliveries being done in big cities, however, it happens in small towns as well, according to Matt. Tom prepared the shopping list, and Sainsbury delivered. How cool is that? The dinner bell rang, and we signed off to begin the gift giving in Orlando.

Mr. Bruce opening a biggish box with small goodies:
In an effort to keep this post manageable, I'll show you more about that in a few days. Meanwhile, Alissa opened her new LOMO camera!
I was so excited when I found it at Nordstrom back in July making the wait for her reaction a long one. There was talk about buying the film needed for this cool camera, that is up until she opened another little bag with five rolls. As well, I found a place in Austin, coincidentally very near their home, that develops film. So, a gift certificate for that as well. She takes fantastic photos with anything she gets her hands on, so I can't wait to see what she does with this.

Jon boy is hard as the dickens to buy for--his take away was not great, but he did get a few fun gifts including this neat little thing I found.
Unfortunately he's purchased a larger phone so this is mine inside. There is a little stand to hold it up--super fun.

Around two in the afternoon, the twins and their lovelies came over for round three of our gift exchange. When they came in David asked Michelle if she wanted some champagne--taking him aside, I asked that he wait just a few minutes, and he would then see why. Remember the tree flood? Well, one of the gifts requiring re-wrapping was the one to Dave and Michelle from Matt and Tom, and I knew it was champagne flutes. What I did not know was how incredibly chic they were because I only glanced at it when Bruce was wrapping it again. Well, Michelle went crazy for them....
The reason you can't really see the glass? It is because it is BLACK like her sweater! With a gold stem no less. What's most remarkable is that when they were purchased in London, Matt had no idea that she was going to a gold and black color scheme in their living area! Why I should have been surprised that they were going to be chic was just plain dumb; anyone who has ever received a gift from Matt will concur on that.

I, on the other hand did know about the scheme, and with that in mind, I made them a quilted throw for their sofa. As you can imagine, I was dying for her to open it. The main pieces are machine pieced, with the quilting and binding done by hand.
I'll tell you what--that quilting kept my hands busy while I watched some of those close FSU football games! Otherwise I would have been a nervous wreck!

Our son David has a massive wrestling card collection, so anytime I find something new to add to his wrestling obsession, I buy it. He seemed to be pleased with a new book.
They brought along Ginger who was "dressed" for the occasion.
Bill and Fallon asked me to take their photograph by the tree--one of the only posed photos I took throughout the day.
You may have noticed that all of the men are wearing short sleeves with the ladies in long. The weather was mostly dreary (what else is new this winter?), but it was much cooler than the 80 degree weather of the previous day, thus Bruce built a fire, enjoyed by all. Fires are generally few and far between.

For the most part, I'm not one to buy things for myself while shopping for others. This year I made an exception. While looking for a big blue pot at Palmer's Garden Center for Bill, I came across a super cool vase that I just had to have. It is pictured on the windowsill, along with a fantastic card from J & A purchased at MOMA this summer while they were visiting New York. Alongside that are some adorable English egg cups from Matt and Tom. Will they be used for eggs? Probably not. Will they be used to brighten my mood every time I look at them. For sure.
After that it was time to head to Lisa's house for the extended family Christmas which is a post for another day.

Happy two days after Christmas 2014,
Gail

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