It was an exquisite Christmas.
The family was scattered hither and yon - not in a bad way, as everyone was in their own house and no one had to travel. And there was much texting, with pictures of Christmas trees and meals and presents, and Skyping with parents, and none of this involved having to put on shoes, so I was pretty happy.
Berowne drove up the night of the 21st, so I could subject him to the reading of A Christmas Carol. He turned out to be a willing participant and we enjoyed it immensely. For five days we read, and ate, and watched movies, and slept late. He's a magnificent cook and handled Christmas Eve dinner (I did the dishes) and Christmas Day breakfast. We built a chair barricade to keep Darcy out of the kitchen when meat was cooking. On Christmas each of the dogs got a little piece of bacon to celebrate.
Reading-wise, I continue to slog through The Count of Monte Cristo, which is so odd and unsatisfying and yet I can't quite discard it; and finished All That is Bitter and Sweet, a memoir by Ashley Judd about her work with AIDS prevention organizations in Asia and Africa. It's not bad, albeit overlong.
But I confess I didn't throw myself into reading over the holiday, though there was plenty of lazy time on the couch. I received an obscene amount of books as presents and will have to pick up my pace in 2013, but I don't regret taking it easy. There were blueberry pancakes and dog walks and general snuggling, and those are very important things. The dogs haven't yet destroyed their new tug-toy, which is some kind of record. Berowne gave me a cookbook based on the life of a cannibal, because he gets me.
On Boxing Day I told anyone who would listen about how five years ago Claudio and I went to the animal shelter and found only two puppies left after the Christmas spree, and one was the cutest thing imaginable, and the other was gangly and manic and bit me on the chin and had the most amazing brindle coat I'd ever seen. Five years later, Bingley's filled out but is as manic as ever, and in my unbiased opinion is the cutest thing imaginable.
This morning I was gearing up to return to work, a tiny bit cranky about it, and took a few moments to hug Darcy and rub his chest, telling him over and over how much I love him, and his huge fluffy tail went wooshwooshwoosh through the air with delight. A sweeter sound than any carol, that.
I hope all of you felt as peaceful and as grateful as I did this holiday season. Best to all.