I realize this will all be backwards as I posted these in chronological order, so this is forces you to read the other posts if you want to know why I'm reluctant, at best, to "do" Christmas this year. I don't really care for Christmas as I did as a child when we had lots of family gather and other children to share the joy. Other than once Christmas in 16 years, we have spent all of ours at home with, mostly, just Paul, Matt, Art, and I. It's been years since Lucas and Justin have been home for the holidays and my family is all the way on the other coast and it's not a good time to travel. My fantasy for years has been no gifts and a destination trip. Be careful what you ask for. So, because of all the trauma we've recently experience, we are going somewhere for Christmas-after Christmas actually. But not a to-do as usual (pale is usual). Justin finally piped up and said he wanted to have the first "normal" Christmas in many years so I scrambled and did very different decorating than usual (pale anyway). No tree; a birdcage stand with a small tree, lights, baubles. Did the whole mantle when I usually do just a little. Anyway, I like how it turned out. There is a bit of a theme; can anyone see it?
Have a wonderful holiday. Enjoy and embrace the family and friends who mean so much to you. Remember your blessings.