Mom keeps putting her purse in the dining room. We've not used it otherwise.
We have, however, cooked. Or rather she has. Casseroles from my childhood, two of them topped with cornflakes for extra crunchy goodness. We go fetch a plate when hungry, resettling in our places on comfortable living room furniture rather than setting a table.
The phone woke me this morning - Brother called on his way to work just after 6AM and Mom clomped down the stairs (louder than a herd of reindeer) to wish him a merry Christmas. I rolled over, patted Chienne as she remained huddled under the covers, and sighed before descending the steps.
I listened to her conversation while making coffee, returning from the kitchen with 2 mugs and the cordless phone.
After hanging up, Mom and I glanced at each other and shrugged. So I treated it like most other days and turned on the news while we sipped coffee.
"I would like to open a present," she decided. So I went to fetch one of her packages - decorated in dancing penguins - and bestowed it upon her. Wrapped in her new chenille blanket, she pursed her lips and selected a gift for me and one for Chienne, who blinked at the gift sleepily before her tail reached maximum wagging speed while she tore paper away from her new toy.
"Thank you," I grinned upon opening my new Xbox. It is the Disneyland edition with Kinect - suggested by Brother when I decided I wanted to dance around my living room and collect a multitude of points. Instead of dance-dancing though, I spent a couple of hours puzzling over the admittedly-simple connection and set-up.
"I can probably figure it out when I get there," Little One offered when she and her sister called.
"I'm almost 34 and have a doctorate," I told her sternly while Mom smiled. "I will do it myself." And - after a little more time - I announced victory and began to explore Disneyland by flailing my arms like a crazy person.
"Excuse me," I muttered repeatedly as I crashed into animated people, trees and fences. I dutifully waved at characters and completed tasks - finding Donald's hat and Minnie's autograph book and Ariel's dinglehoppers.
"Oof!" I yelped when I crashed into buildings while flying with Tinkerbell. Or tumbling down the rabbit hole for Alice. My avatar went transparent a lot. A lot.
But Mom giggled and offered advice and encouragement and I laughed breathlessly at the photos of me attempting to navigate my game.
We opened a few more gifts - I'll admit I'm relieved we went easy on our typical holiday excesses. Instead, we talked and jumped and danced in front of the television and fireplace.
We had egg salad on freshly-baked bread. Then connecticut beef supper with cornflakes on top.
It was merry. For which I'm grateful. And so I'm wishing you much merriment as well.