We had a quiet Christmas this year with only the four of us celebrating. My parents had driven up to Kansas City to visit my sister and her family, and David's dad had flown out to North Carolina to visit David's brother and his family. As much as I love having my parents and David's dad around for the holidays, especially Christmas, it's also a lot of fun getting to spend all day in your pajamas and not having a set agenda. 

But I do hope we'll all be together for next Christmas. 

Christmas morning came pretty early because of David. As we were dozing off Christmas Eve, he told me, "I'm so excited about tomorrow morning! I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight!" He made it till 6 a.m., but held off in waking me up till 7 a.m., at which time we woke the kids up (that is a very odd phrase to write. It used to be the other way around on Christmas mornings . . .  and a lot earlier than 7 a.m.).

Langley was as excited and happy about the day as the rest of us, sitting right next to the person who was opening a present, her nose in their lap, tail giving polite tail wags. I've never seen a dog get so excited about the Christmas season. It begins with setting up the tree, decorating it and hanging our stockings. When she sees her stocking being hung, she knows that Santa is coming and sleeps by the chimney, ready to greet him and tell him all about her year. And Santa always leaves her treats in her stocking.

This year, there were books and shirts, new house shoes and a framed map of the world for Meghan's new apartment. I received a Manfrotto Magic Arm and photography books, which was just wanted I wanted. We ate breads and candy, laughed uproariously at a gag gift I gave Joe, talked to family members on the phone, opened up the windows because it was pushing 70 degrees, talked and laughed some more. 

It was one of the most relaxed Christmases ever. It was perfect.