And now it was time for Mother to go down to the large parlor and light the Christmas tree. Then it was really Christmas. Astonishing, how it could see just as solemnly wonderful year after year, Mother thought. In the big fireplace a large blaze of resinous pine knots cast a flickering red light across the pine-paneled walls that were smooth as silk to the touch and mellow with age, and brightened the gilded pictures frames and the old brown bookbindings with the faded gold printing. The candles on the Christmas tree and the candles in the two old chandeliers that had once hung in a church were mirrored in the windows, where the night pressed blackly against the panes. There was the good odor of fir boughs and melted wax, of lily of the valley, and of hyacinth."
After a quick (but civilized!) breakfast, the Trio and I headed up to visit our dear family. We spent several hours driving and decided to have our lunch at the mall near our destination. Everyone chose something different: a medley of different Chinese foods, salad topped with apples, chicken, bacon, and feta, and a steaming dish of crisp french fries dripping with cheese and bacon.
We had a lovely visit with Grandfather Bear when we arrived, and then some friends came for dinner with their sweet little daughter. We had a good time catching up with them in Grandfather's cozy home.
Tomorrow brings another adventure: Brooklyn for our family's annual Christmas party!