This is a good house for Christmas.

I just took this picture because I wanted to show off my Christmas cookies. Mmmm, pepparkakor. In such lovely shapes!

We had presents, the tree, and cookies out on the porch, out of the way and cold. (The porch is not heated and has a slat floor. It isn't quite as cold as outside, but it's quite adequate for chilling cookies and the like.)

And since the porch is glass on three sides (or four if you count the French doors into the house), the tree reflected back and back and back.

Mark wanted you to see the Most Important Ornament I have, which is the Grandpa Mouse reading to the Little Girl Mouse. My grandma mad it. I think I had a picture of it last year. It's the Most Important. I also have a few other ornaments no one else is to hang: an elf on a thimble, and a Hallmark ball where one side is the street outside and the other side is a toy shop and you can look through. But the Grandpa Mouse is the most important. (He's reading Kipling, in case you wondered.)

Here we are preparing for smorgasbord, before the cheese package viciously attacked me. There was to be a picture of the inaugural use of the butter dish, but one of my family members would not have thanked me for publishing it on the web; it was unflattering in a way that would have been difficult to alter. Still, we had a butter dish for four and a half years before using it. It may be another year before we use it again, or it may be more, depending on who has Christmas next year. We are apparently not really butter dish folks.

And here we force my frail old auntie to backbreaking labor. Oh, the cruelty of us.

We got all lined up for presents. We unwrap stuff in age order, first the youngest unwrapping one, then the next youngest, and so on up to Onie, at which point we start again.

Please note here that Grandpa is examining his package rather closely while Grandma unwraps. Grandpa cheats. He eases the edges of the tape; he pulls the corners of the wrapping label out; he occasionally goes so far as to take the ribbon off before it is his turn. This will not do.

The first thing Grandpa unwrapped was skivvies. Plain ol' unremarkable skivvies. It did get more exciting from there.