Though the warm weather over the past couple of days helped to get some things done, I was equally grateful when I awoke to chilly winds and sunny skies this morning. It felt a lot more like Christmas Eve. I finished out my annual reading of A Christmas Carol, then had shredded wheat and grapefruit for breakfast.
Made a pumpkin mousse pie for Jodie (the last thing I have to make for anyone for Christmas) while running Remember WENN's second-season holiday episode "Christmas In the Airwaves." The staff and cast of WENN is looking forward to a merry Christmas in 1940...until the arrival of the station's owner, a depressed singer who lost her husband the year before, and her obnoxious financier, puts a crimp in their plans. Now they all have to find a way to make sure their Christmas Eve variety show stays on schedule and show their boss that Christmas is a wonderful time to begin to heal.
(And for those of you who are fans of this show, here's the long-lost holiday page for my WENN site. Be warned, though, I haven't updated the fanfiction links in years; many of these may no longer work.
WENN Holiday Page )
I made crocheted star ornaments and watched some more animated and kids' specials and shorts before work. A Charlie Brown Christmas shows what happens when everyone's favorite "round-headed kid" looks for the Christmas spirit, and finds it in a tiny tree and the touching speech from his best friend. It's Christmas Eve On Sesame Street, but Big Bird's worried that Santa might not fit down those skinny New York chimneys. While he and one of the kids try to figure out how Santa will be able to deliver presents, Ernie and Bert sell some very special items to buy gifts, and Cookie Monster attempts to write to Santa..with limited success.
I also took a few more photos of my dolls tonight, so Jessa (modern Asian American Girl doll) could show off the beautiful blue holiday dress Lauren found at a yard sale in the area.
Christmas Eve at the Riverside Rest
As you can probably guess, work was very busy all day. Despite that, most people were in very good moods as they completed their Christmas shopping. They had food in the back room, too, three huge cookies with icing and an apple cake. In fact, our biggest problem had nothing to do with customers. The debit card system kept going down on and off. We'd have people signing debit cards or having to pay in 100 dollar increments. The computers were running slow, too. I was shut down 20 minutes early so mine could be rebooted and hopefully gotten up to speed.
There was an orange plastic bag (the kind used for newspapers on the front stoop) tied to my front door knob when I got home. It was a gift from my next-door neighbors. I got a lovely, rustic clay candleholder and a bag of what looks (and tastes) like home-made peppermint bark.
I ran a few more specials and shorts as I changed and prepared for Dad's party. The Looney Tunes short "Gift Wrapped" has Sylvester thinking Tweety is an edible present for him. He's really a present for Granny, who spends her Christmas trying to keep Sylvester from chasing Tweety and out of the mouth of Spike the Dog. Charlie Brown and the gang have more holiday fun in It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, as Chuck sells wreaths to buy a gift for the Little Red Haired Girl, Peppermint Patty and Marcie appear in their local pageant, and Sally discovers that learning lines is a lot harder than it seems.
I headed back out just as twilight was ending. It was windy and cold, but I didn't mind the walk. I just enjoyed being out and about and pushing a cart filled with gifts on Christmas Eve. I strolled around the neighborhood between the train tracks and the White Horse Pike, looking at lights. There were some really nice ones, from cute penguin blow-ups to flashing icicles. At one point, when I was passing the now-empty former Taco Bell, it even started to snow briefly. I sang Christmas songs as I walked; one man praised my Christmas spirit as I went by his apartment building.
I finally got to Dad's around quarter of 6. His house was already filled with people, and more arrived after I did, including Mark, Vanessa, and Brittany. I gave Mark and Vanessa, Jessa, Dad, and Jodie my gifts for them tonight - I'm afraid they might get lost at Rose's tomorrow. My sister Rose and her son Khai were there, too. Khai was happy as can be, chasing some of our neighbors' kids around the den, running into them and squealing and laughing and getting out energy. I ate tons of food, including turkey, pasta salad, lasagna, a pepper salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and several kinds of cookies.
Khai was worn out even before ABC started showing How the Grinch Stole Christmas. They left just as it began; I went home after it ended, stopping briefly around a corner to drop off one more present at my friend Erica's house.
If you're not going to be online tomorrow, here's hoping you have a really wonderful Christmas! Enjoy the holiday season, everyone!