Christmas 2008 Print

Christmas 2008 was lovely in spite of the doom and gloom associated with the economy. We put our tree up and put all our decorations out on Thanksgiving weekend.  I never thought I'd say I love our artificial tree, but it's really nice to be able to put it up so early without worrying about it drying out, causing a fire and so forth.  It looks great and it holds all of our ornaments.

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Jennifer, Sue and I took Christopher to Disneyland so he could visit Santa Claus and we could all see the festive decorations.



I posted the photos from the Disneyland trips (yes, we went twice in December) in a separate album here.  Disneyland is a special place for us so we go often (annual passes), but the festivities at Christmas time were especially nice.

We went on a walk through the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood in Torrance again and the ferris wheel was up again.

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Duane's mom Toni (aka Grandma Tooni) and his brother Sean joined us for the walk.  The full album of photos from Sleepy Hollow is here.

Jennifer, Sue and I took Christopher to the 4:00 p.m. children's service at Neighborhood Church, which was always my mother's favorite service.   This is all still somewhat new to him (he likes Sunday school primarily because he gets to play with other kids his age and work on crafts projects) but the birthday cake after the service was hugely popular.  It has been tradition for years that Duane and I have oyster stew while everyone else has homemade tamales for Christmas Eve dinner.  Unfortunately, this year, Bristol Farms' fish purveyor delivered zero oysters so we had no oysters to add to the soup base.  So, Duane and I had warm potato and leek soup and tamales for dinner.  Hmpf.  Next year, we might order a Joe's Stone Crabs feast.

Once again, Papa and Tutu went over to Christopher and Brooklyn's house so we could watch them as they came down the stairs to see what Santa had brought.  We took new loaves of Cranberry Orange Nut Bread with us, which we all shared for breakfast along with bacon and good coffee.  Grandma Tooni had spent the night there so the five of us got to watch Christopher and Brooklyn.  At Jennifer's suggestion, we've decided that we'll spend the night there on Christmas Eve 2009.

It was huge fun watching Christopher work through his stocking and then his presents, and watching Brooklyn on her second Christmas.  We had spent a few Sunday nights at their house doing advent readings and singing Christmas carols while I played my old piano.  I'm pretty rusty since I haven't played it in over three years and my hands aren't as flexible as they once were.  But, it's all part of the season and we loved every minute.

Sue and I went back to our place after the morning fun so we could open our own gifts to each other and freshen up for dinner.  We made a few dishes to take with us for Christmas dinner at Jennifer & Duane's, where they had prepared a boned leg of lamb from Suzanne Goin's recipe.  We washed it down with two bottles of '95 Justin Isosceles, helped by Margaret McWilliams, our good family friend, and Toni's sister Babe.

Another lovely Christmas for the Petersons and Cassones.  Photos are available here.

Oh, and here is the C. H. Powell Los Angeles branch photo for this year: