1. Mom wanted to make her contributions to today's Christmas Eve dinner and tomorrow's Christmas Dinner, but the pain in her legs and hips (especially) was too much and I took over for her. Mom felt guilty that she wasn't doing her part and I suggested that she try to feel happy that she had good help with Christy and me in the house and I can't say her feelings of guilt dissolved, but her mood did seem to change a bit and she went back to resting her aching joints in her chair.
2. Each year, Carol and Paul host a Christmas Eve dinner with food from a particular country. This year's country was Morocco. Oh! My! I loved making (very tasty) sweet potato shepherd's pie which was, like so many of the other dishes, replete with cinnamon and cumin and other aromatic spices, all of which were spectacular: pomegranate beets, rice pilaf, carrot and lentil stew, cuminy carrots, a very tasty tomatoy dip for raw vegetables, green olive bread, and pita bread, stuffed dates, and even more than I've listed here. I love food from the Mediterranean and I see myself continuing to make dishes all through the year from this dinner tonight. (I think this was my favorite of all the Christmas Eve dinners I've been able to participate in at Carol and Paul's.)
3. Christy, Everett, and I returned to Mom's and had a quiet gift exchange together and now I am a little richer with a new sweater, a Univ. of Maryland hoodie, a pair of slippers, and bottle of Legacy Canadian whiskey. Most gratifying for me, however, was that Christy, Everett, and Mom all lit up when they opened the framed pictures I gave them, pictures I had taken near Christy's home and pictures I had taken of flowers I raised in the olden days in Eugene.