I was all prepared for a quiet Christmas by myself, house thoroughly cleaned, decorations out, music playing, menu planned, shopping done, with several days to spare. And then I got a call from a nephew who moved to the Seattle area earlier this year. Was I busy? Could he come spend Christmas with me? We'd talked about him getting over here to see where his dad and I grew up, this part of Idaho he hadn't seen since a visit as a child. Just 5 hours away and the weather looked like it would be fine for driving so over he came. We've not had the chance to spend much time together over the years so this was such a gift to have a few days, just the two of us, to get to know each other better.
And it seems we have a ton in common, including sitting by a lake to think and meditate. When he told me about stopping to do that on his way home from work, and none of the people he works with quite understanding that, I knew I had to bring him down to city beach and show him my spot to sit and contemplate (which I blogged about here). Yes, it was overcast and pretty chilly! I noticed in the background he caught the big shelter I sketched back in September.
He also brought a present of a novel which he thought I'd like since it is set in Seattle, WA - a place I've visited often. Actually, I think he got it because he fancies I'm like that dame on the cover - must strike a pose with my cigarette holder before I settle in to read it!
Others remembered me this holiday with lovely little gifts. Food is always a safe bet, my sister-in-law knows, particularly as the nearest Trader Joe's is several hours away.
My brother passed along this mammoth 6-cd set of carols he received when donating to NPR. It's a nice addition to my collection.
A cousin surprised me with this set of Prismacolor pencils. She's been paying attention on Facebook and my blog! This will be perfect to throw in with my sketchbook when I'm out urban sketching.
And then there's this from a dear friend...delayed gratification as I nurture these amaryllis bulbs to bloom. I am so looking forward to that burst of color while winter still has me in its grasp.
Of course, there were many cards that arrived leading up to Christmas Day. I set them out on a big trunk in my living room where I can enjoy the many varied designs and messages. Without Christmas, I fear I'd lose this at-least-once-a-year contact with faraway family and friends. This was indeed a lovely Christmas.