Top to bottom: Withholding carrots from greedy Freddy Boy, the game “Things” degenerates into the same five silly answers, and the free sticky pad from Aeroporto Malpensa is a hit gift.
Sometimes it happens this way. You have one of those Christmas vacations where it rains almost constantly, where people get sick or are going through a hard time, and where the young people are saddled with so much homework that they hardly have time to visit. In general, the time seems entirely too short.
Still, you do what you can. You stay inside and build a fire, and pile blankets on the sick. You forgo the gifts or else become very creative with what you have on hand, and you play games, read Dickens, or do puzzles instead. There’s a Pileated Woodpecker in the front yard. You turn one of your homework assignments into an essay on the absurdity of having so much homework. You walk in the woods or feed carrots to horses. You laugh at the disruption of it all.
It’s still Christmas. We still get to see both sides of the family. We still get to visit the place (more or less) where we were all born.
It’s still a good trip. I hope yours was too.
Top to bottom: Talking around the tree, toasty hand warmers for the musician from my gift-creative sister, this year’s puzzle (my mom sends her regrets as she evades the photo).