Incidently, dinner was a metric ton of local Pierogies and a baked Ham. That was a nice local variant.
I did very well. I gave thoughtful presents, which were pretty well received. But I did not expect nearly as much of a take as I got. Tessa's mom is an even bigger fan of All-Clad than my mom. My collection increased by several lovely pieces.
The full impact of the holiday was offset by an awful emotional spectre. The Heller pets are getting very old. Barkley, their big dog, is 11 years old and visibly deteriorating. Their two cats are 14 years old. Or, cat is. Last week, one of them had a tumor removed from its rear end. Over the past couple of days, the cat has gotten worse and bled more. About an hour before Christmas Eve Dinner, Tessa noticed that the rear paws were not a healthy pink but now much darker. And then the cat bit her and her father. So dinner was delayed as her father delivered the cat to emergency room, and then delivered himself to the human version. He left the hospital soon after, the cat spent the night. At 6am this morning, the doctor called to say the cat was worse not better, and would not make it. Tessa had made sure I was spending the night, so we could get up early and run down to the tree and open stocking (one was hanging for me) gifts and the presents under the tree. It was not so that we could all get up and cry over a well-loved kitty.
All things considered, the holiday was still a festive celebration and it was an honor to be a part of a family who really takes the season seriously. My parents have tried, but it isn't the same as two generations of catholic school graduates. My parents, along with the rest of my family, flew down to the Cayman Islands yesterday instead. I will join them tomorrow morning.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!
(subject from Diesel Sweeties)