Our Funky Mellow Christmas

It's been a few days since we celebrated the Christmas holiday, but in case anyone was wondering how we spent it, here's a recap that hits the highlights.

On Christmas Eve we were invited to an open house hosted by Mark and Parni, former coworkers of Joe's. Their son Max is six and really into Star Wars, so he demonstrated his prowess with a plastic light saber and dug into the sweets while the adults hung out. Parni has a one-of-a-kind light-up display of Bedford Falls, Jimmy Stewart's hometown in "It's A Wonderful Life"...ah, if it hadn't been for him, it would've been Pottersville! This is the second year I've attended their open house and I'm getting to know the regulars. It will be interesting to see where they're all at next year.

After enjoying the yummy nibbles, we headed back to our neck of the woods for our tradition of strolling down Peacock Lane, Portland's premier street of Christmas Lights. Every year we bring a flask of something warming to take a few swigs of before braving the crowds on the sidewalk. There are always one or two people who are far more amusing than the displays on the lawns and in the picture windows, and this year was no exception. On our way walking down on side of the street, we were behind Japanese tourists and in front of some, I believe, Middle-Eastern fellows who had a bit to say (judging from the tone, not entirely complimentary) about the goings-on they were witnessing. On our return trip up the street, we were stuck behind a woman and her dog who took up 90% of the space on the sidewalk. This wasn't too bad, except that she stopped several times and tried to make her dog "look" at the light displays, holding his head and turning it to the attractions. C-R-A-Z-Y.

We made it home in plenty of time to hang out and groove to the festive sounds of James Brown's "Funky Christmas" album. Each of us opened a present and relaxed before heading up to bed.

The next morning was also very mellow. Life with baby is a bit more regimented and so there's a lot to do before opening presents. In fact, we started getting Christmas calls before we'd ripped the wrapping paper. Joaquin was more interested in scooting around on his belly and playing with ribbons than with any toys he received. Joe surprised me with a cd of ELO's greatest hits. (I'm sure this dates me far more than I would care to admit, but I was eight when I was running to turn up the radio every time "Sweet Talking Woman" came on, so I'm not that old.) There was also a lot of chocolate under the wrapping paper...yummayumyum. I made up some scrambled eggs and leftover roasted veggies, and coffee and we spent the morning returning calls, smiling at each other, and heading outside to walk in the snow...which, in Portland, is a Christmas miracle in itself as the White Christmas is like Sasquatch around here, rumored to exist, but seen by few.

In these days that have followed, I've loved having Joe home some of the time. And below, in our next installment, I'll have more of the holiday beers to report. Happy New Year!


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