1. Slowly, surely, and a little behind the family's Christmas Day timetable, Debbie and I piled into the Sube and blasted over to Carol and Paul's for the family gift exchange. Christy contributed a delicious roasted vegetable breakfast casserole along with a batch of Morning Glory muffins and Carol made a fruit salad. It was perfectly light brunchy board. Then, for next couple of hours we went around the family circle, opening gifts and showing them off. I spearheaded a personal mission to get Carol, Cosette, Molly, and Zoe to explain any and all Roberts family inside jokes -- like what's the deal with calling Carol Mama Llama? -- and I sought clarification about any and all gifts that were related to Batman, Star Wars, the Marvel universe, and other facts of life in 2019 that contributed to a gap of experience between me and the youth in the room. Consequently, our gift exchange was replete with wise cracks, inside jokes cracked and explained, allusions to movies and superheroes, and a lot of laughter. I left Carol and Paul's with a St. John's Red Storm hoody, a set of martini glasses, a cookbook of recipes from Palestine, a DNA kit, a night at the University Inn in Moscow (Did I forget something? Sorry if I did. Please forgive me.), and a lot of good cheer.
2. Debbie and I lounged around the house for a few hours before heading up to the Inland Lounge where Cas and Tracy had set out a prime rib dinner for anyone to come into the Lounge and enjoy. We served ourselves some food, sat at the bar, and got to talk with Cas and Tracy. It was a splendid scene. People were enjoying the food and each other in good cheer. It's a very good and generous thing Cas and Tracy do every Christmas and Thanksgiving and gives a lot of people who might otherwise be alone a good place to come, eat, and get in some good yakkin'.
3. Back home, I happily served as the house mixologist and broke in the new martini glasses by making Debbie a couple of Chelsea Sidecars and then switched to cocktail glasses and mixed a Manhattan or two. I popped a batch of popcorn and for a couple or three hours Debbie and I exchanged easy conversation about things that have happened while we've been apart, The Crown, and what might lie ahead in 2020.