Xmas Eve was spent at our house. The kids came, as usual: Neal and Sonia, Sara and her friend Sky who we hadn't met before (he's nice). Also our friend Linda, who has spent so many holidays with us over the years, Sonia's brother Alex (ditto), and our friends from Hong Kong, Steve and Kathy, making their second consecutive appearance.
Dinner was a varied affair. Sonia made enchiladas, that was like the main dish, and I'd end up insulting people if I tried to list all the other food and left out some tasty morsel, so suffice to say there was a lot of food made by a lot of different people and it was all delicious. Then came the presents, and late at night, the traditional fond farewells.
Xmas morning saw Robin making breakfast for the kids ... they're all long since grownup, of course ... Neal, Sara, Sonia, Alex. And stockings from Santa ... speaking of which, if you can think of a word that rhymes with Santa, you'll know one thing Mr. Claus delivered: one can each of Fanta de Limon for the five of us who drank it in Spain back in 2000.
Then it was off to Davis for Rubio celebrations ... traffic was pretty bad, so we didn't arrive for a couple of hours. All the Rubio siblings were there, even Sue who showed up via webcam. Also the partners, current and ex, including Nikki and Robin and Karen. And many of the offspring: Sara and Jacob and Julie and Sean, plus Karen's mom Sally just to add another generation to the mix. There was more good food and more good presents. After that, although it was late, we detoured to Sacramento to see our ex-sister-in-law Petra and her kids Jason and Spenser, where there were more presents and tea for Robin. And then finally homeward ... we got batteries on the way so we'd have tunes for the ride, and the last song we heard was Bruce fronting the Max Weinberg 7 for a rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock."
As far as that crass thing you aren't supposed to talk about (schwag, also known as presents), there were lots of good ones, but I have to say, at our house anyway, the present that will have the most immediate impact is one I gave Robin: Season 8 of Stargate SG-1, which she is watching as I type this and which will take up all of her teevee time until she gets through the entire box. I got a lot of DVDs, myself: The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Apartment, In the Realms of the Unreal, Hoop Dreams, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Leopard, and the Criterion Lower Depths that includes both the Renoir and the Kurosawa versions (most of the above were Criterions, now that I think of it). Santa also got Season One of Battlestar Galactica for Robin, which is nice because now I can erase it from my hard drive. I also got a coupla sweaters, a jacket, David Thomson's latest book, and a book from Sara called Kooks. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, so my apologies there, and thanks to all the gift-givers, especially Katie/John/Ava (jacket), and Paul (Lower Depths), who live in other parts of the country and so didn't get in-person thanks.
And once again I'll thank Diana for the autographed photo of Christina Hendricks.
I'm remembering more presents now! A graphic novel by Harvey Pekar for Robin and I from Steve and Kathy, and another fine Doug Blanc original artwork from Robin to me. And hey, Doug and Jillian, we have presents for you here (Doug, I confess yours is still in transit, but it's supposed to arrive any day now!).
So there you have it. I usually hate Xmas, but this wasn't so bad ... maybe the meds helped. Certainly it was nice being with so many good people at one time. I can't say I'm sorry it's over, though ... what the heck, maybe I can finish grading those papers now. I'll finish off with one more image that didn't make the photo album. Not sure which sibling dug this up ... I think we decided it would have been taken in 1962, and despite the presence of Santa Claus, it was taken in the summer, at one of our occasional visits to Santa's Village down near Santa Cruz. Well, here goes: