Christmas is finally here. As usual, the build up, the anticipation and preparations for the season tend to top the day itself.Robbie proclaimed he wasn’t really in the spirit at all while at college so it didn’t hit him until his return on Wednesday. That day, Deb and I were at a funeral and she didn’t feel like a lot of dinner prep so we did Chinese take out and watched her favorite holiday special, The Muppets Christmas Special. It’s great having it on DVD despite missing a few songs that couldn’t be cleared. After that, he proclaimed the season was finally upon us.Deb and I got out of work early on Friday and as she started prep at home, I was out doing the big grocery shopping. Saturday morning I was back at the supermarket getting the stuff we missed. She was a baking machine all morning, prepping pies and the like and then I started in on cookies. Between Saturday and Sunday, I baked four batches of cookies to complement her fabulous (and famous) almond cakes and biscotti.Deb’s parents arrived on Saturday to join in on the fun. They had to be north because of the funeral so weren’t quite ready for Christmas so we sought to change that. Late in the day we drove to Redding where her brother Jim lives. Jim and his gal pal Jennifer prepared a feast spotlighting a turducken (a duck stuffed inside a chicken stuffed inside a turkey – “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly….”) and some amazing cookies and pies.Sunday was more baking and swinging into the traditions outlined on a previous post. Most years that included a movie to help kill time but we stayed home this year, with Christmas tunes on the CD player. We had the shrimp and pasta meal and continued to relax and enjoy one another’s company (in between bouts of cooking for today and cleaning).The Christmas vigil mass was its usual splendor. The Choir (with Deb and Robbie) did some lovely music, accompanied by trumpet, drum, organ and strings) and I saw people I knew from all around town. Some had hoped Kate was there to cantor as she did last year but alas, she was having an amazing adventure in Bethlehem.We got home late and had to rush to sleep so there was time for Santa to arrive prior to getting up in time for an 8 a.m Skype session with daughter. It seems she had some lovely experienced with seminarians, attending a Lutheran mass prior to midnight mass and then being invited for dinner which led the college students to teach the seminarians the electric slide and the Macarena (who says we’re not one large global village?).Deb and Rob ran off to sing in the morning mass and finally, at 11:30, we got to open presents. He loved his Guitar Hero II game for the PS2 while Deb adored her new bathrobe, music and pretzels. Me, I got some much desired books, the new Diana Krall CD and some shirts for work – plus a NY Mets antenna topper!The turkey’s in the oven, the Christmas music continues to play and I’m here tidying things up since tomorrow is, alas, a work day.With luck, today was as peaceful, pleasant and relaxed for you as it is for us.