Tuesday, December 24: We have another long-standing tradition of going to my mother-in-law’s house for Christmas Eve. She lives in Vienna, Virginia and on our way to her house, we drive past the most decorated house in Vienna.
My mother-in-law, now 87, is on oxygen and is very frail. Known as Nana to our children, she used to cook a feast of ham loaf and scalloped potatoes and other goodies from her Ohio past, but she’s too frail to cook these days. It makes me sad to see her in such poor health, and so weak, and such a shadow of her former self. She still has a big heart, though, and her poor health won’t put a dent in that.
My sister-in-law, Barbara, does most of the work this year, getting a ham and corn pudding and green beans from Whole Foods. She buys an array of cookies and decorates the tree and the mantel (along with help from my sons). She goes all out on wrapping presents in the most elegant and exotic paper imaginable. This year she’s decorated the tree with bird and animal ornaments.
Here are a few shots of our family gathering on Christmas Eve. Again, it’s been four years since I was home for Christmas, so it’s lovely to be with family again on the holidays.