When we awoke in the morning, we gathered by the tree and opened presents, with Christmas music playing. We lit candles in Katie's memory and prayed. It was good and difficult at the same time.
We spent the afternoon and evening with Gregg's family, at his sister's house. It was snowing lightly at our house, and the half-hour drive to Hansville was very pretty. When we arrived, the power had just gone out, but the food was already cooked and laid out on the kitchen island, so we just gathered together by candlelight and visited (until the generator got going -- and later, the power came back on). Gregg is one of four children, so it is always a treat to see and chat with siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. There are three little ones now, and twin boys on the way, so there is more fun to anticipate in the coming year.
It wasn't quite as happy for my side of family, as my dad has had a medical problem that prevented him and my mom from being allowed to fly home. We usually gather with my side of the family on Christmas Eve, and we did, but without Katie and my parents, it didn't feel right. However, we had a lovely dinner and shared a toast to those who were missing. A highlight was being with my nephew, Phil (who was home from college), and Caroline's mom (who was visiting from Chicago).
On a brighter note, yesterday we took David to the airport so that he could fly down to see my parents for a few days of sun, tennis, cribbage and movies. My dad isn't able to do sports right now, but David will have a lesson or two, and be able to swim, hit golf balls, cycle, etc. Gregg and I are going to use a certificate that we bought at the Ronald McDonald House Benefit and spend a couple of nights in Cannon Beach, while David is in California.
May we all continue to walk in the spirit of light and love, and with peace and goodwill toward all. Bless you!