As I explained to David at the time, Christmas Eve is many, many times superior to Christmas Day. I may have used the word "gazillion"; even if I didn't, it would not be inappropriate. Christmas Eve afternoon, my father and I go shopping and get yogurt with fruit on top, or else a smoothie. (This year, a Julius smoothie. Yum.) We shop for last-minute extras for Mom and Mark, having finished our "real" shopping, and just take the time to talk and enjoy ourselves. We've been doing this for years now -- I think this was year 15 or so. Mom and Mark also go shopping, but up until this year they have shopped for Christmas Treat Items for Dad and Mark -- Christmas boxers, Christmas ties, Christmas socks, whatever.

This year I got socks, too! But I digress. (That's my Onie, there with me.)

So we have smorgasbord and the two youngest people pass out the presents. Then we open them, one at a time, youngest to oldest.

My grandfather takes care of the trash. He's very intent on his duties. Also, it keeps him from picking the corners of the wrap open while it's someone else's turn. He considers it fair play if he removes the bow and the tag and undoes all the tape but doesn't actually slide the package out until it's his turn. This Is Cheating.

Mark got a light saber.

Okay, so maybe it was a map of the internet. It was really geeky and cool, either way.

I got a Diane Ackerman book, A Natural History of the Senses, which I have loved.

This is my Onie. She's going to be 90 this year. She kicks butt.

Onie crocheted snowflakes for my mom for on the Christmas tree.

She also made us dishtowels. Mark thinks that we should save them for when we have a house worthy of them. I'm not sure I want to wait. They're nice dish towels. Of course, our previous dish towels were also Onie-made, so it's not like we've been suffering.

Dad got a shirt. And a few other trifles like a Palm Pilot.

Grandma, as usual, had to be reminded when it was her turn to unwrap on several occasions. It's not that she doesn't know she's next after Daddy. It's just that she gets caught up in everyone else's presents.

We got Grandpa (and Grandma) a Glenn Miller Orchestra Christmas CD. We figured their Eddie Arnold 8-track is going to wear out one of these years, and then where will we be? I don't like Eddie Arnold. I really don't. But it wouldn't be Christmas without that 8-track and song like "Will Santy come to Shantytown?" (At the folks' house, the chosen Cheesy Christmas Song is "Christmas in Killarney," which I like despite its being sung by an Irish tenor. I can't stand classical Irish tenors. But I like this song.)

We got Mom "foot duvets," big ol' one-size-fits-all down slippers from Restoration Hardware. They are soft and warm and muchly comfy. In the latter picture, she was goofing around doing quasi-Charleston moves after we were cleaning up the presents, and I took the picture. "You're not going to post that on the internet, are you? Oh, here give me that. Well, all right...."

(It's my favorite picture of Mom this Christmas.)

Then Christmas morning.