Traditions: After my brother hopped around all afternoon waiting for it, we exchanged family presents last night and then went to midnight mass (actually 10 PM), which was less crowded than one might expect, and ran less than five minutes overtime. Pleasant surprise. I find church much more agreeable when I only have to go twice a year, which makes me almost look forward to it like a special outing. I enjoy the hour of contemplation time, anyway, although the things I generally contemplate may or may not have much more to do with fandom than Jesus. I continued to miss our former priest, who was genial and humorous - WTF is this nonsense about only being allowed to spend X number of years in one parish? - and be distracted by the fact that our new one, while perfectly nice, is disappointingly boring...and looks like Dr. Mark Greene with a beard.
Food: This morning, our parents woke up before we did (possibly a first), and Dad laid out a gorgeous breakfast spread with about as many choices as a restaurant buffet, including: omelets, bacon, toasted English muffins w/ jam and margarine, roast mini potatoes, mini croissants, and sliced apples & pear. Dad the Wonder Chef also later whipped up a proper Christmas dinner (which some might mistake for Thanksgiving), including turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, three bean salad, and creamed corn.
Materialism: In addition to the Kohl's gift card from my great-aunt that I got on Sunday, my family got me a couple of sweaters, a necklace, and best of all - a watch! I haven't had a wristwatch since mine literally fell apart in October, and even that one was sort of cheap and crappy. This one is pretty seasonal - red wristband patterned with golden snowflakes - but the face has a Scottish Terrier silhouette dusted with glitter, so I adore it.
"Santa" presents - more than I was expecting, honestly, with all the talk of a low-key Christmas - included even more additions to the wardrobe: gray slacks, a gray zip-up turtleneck, socks, and a pair of earrings. Also two dog books - one is an anthology of excerpts, poems and trivia that had cute old-fashioned illustrations, and the other is Jon Katz's A Dog Year: 12 Months, Four Dogs and Me, which is a nice one to add to my library - and the requisite chocolate/candy/gum in the stocking. And a ballpoint pen with a Christmas tree topper that lights up with the pressure of writing and has been amusing me greatly all day.
It takes very little to entertain me, apparently, since the greatest hit of all was my brother's pocket-sized game of Farkel. Farkel is just like Yahtzee, only better, because you get to roll SIX dice. And you know how addicted I am to rolling dice! Or maybe you don't, but to give you an idea, I spent some two hours this afternoon playing against myself after everyone else got bored. Keeping score with my light-up pen, of course.