Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

No one predicted snow.

Oh, it's not deep. You can't build a snowman out of it. But it surely adds a delicateness to the landscape.

A petticoat snow.

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This is our big day. For this we prepare. And prepare. And prepare.

An early breakfast. Just a tiny one for Ed and me.

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... because tradition has it that we all gather at Hubbard Diner for the big breakfast -- a mega breakfast that is to last us until dinner time.

Well, most of us make it to Hubbard. Snowdrop, who so rarely gets sick (having missed zero days of school for reasons of illness since she started attending a year and a half ago) falls a little under the weather. Her dad stays home with her as she recoups her strength. The rest of us eat enough for everyone.

(One thing to note from this photo: my daughter is wearing a dress that I wore when I was pregnant with her...)

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After, I pick up breads from my preferred bakery and then I head home.

(The farnmette, under a lovely layer of delicate snow...)

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We sweep the walkway, but the dusting of snow covers it again. And again.

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I set in on dinner preparations.

The table is set...

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The foods are scrubbed, prepped and readied.

The families arrive.

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(Parents of the little one)

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Snowdrop was to nap a long long time (after all, she is a bit under the weather), but she resists and clamors to join us.

Oh fine! Let's open presents!

Everyone has taken such great care with gift giving!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
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(Snowdrop hands over a picture she painted...)

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(Then there's the quilt for a soon to be born baby...)

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It all leaves us rather emotional...

... and outside, the snow continues to fall...

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Toward evening, the girl rallies. The giggles return!

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Full force.

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I finish off dinner preparations (with the usual help of my younger girl).

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We're doing our traditional Eve beef fondue --  which requires the making of five sauces and the preparation of the cooking broth  and, perhaps most important for those of us (Ed!) who won't eat beef -- a cooking up of a veggie platter: beans, spinach, wild mushrooms and braised endive, and separately -- potato rosti, a dish of shredded herbed potatoes, with a layer of melted cheese on top.

(The veggie platter)

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(Trying to understand the madness of cooking your meat at the dinner table...)

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And finally, the dessert: the yule log.

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No problem. Love it to pieces!

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At the end of the evening, we sit down for the yearly photo of grandma and her daughters and granddaughter. Or, we try to sit down for said photo. It's late. The little girl has no more oomph left in her. And still, it is a lovely picture of the four of us. I am grateful for it.

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I know that bloggers can exaggerate the upside of life. I know this. But for me, there is no hype, no fabrication: it was a most beautiful Christmas Eve. It will be with me always.

Many of you are just entering the holiday celebrations. Wherever you are and how ever you approach this set of days -- may they be filled with joy.

Happy holidays, with love.