After a busy week, things are finally slowing down enough to share some details from our Christmas celebrations.

My in-laws came in from Florida last Wednesday. This is their second Christmas since going to Florida full-time, so Saturday my mother-in-law and the girls had their second annual baking day. They baked three kinds of cookies and a coffee cake for Christmas morning. S and I escaped to the gym and ran some errands, but it seems like fun was had.

Sunday evening we all went to see the light display at the former Indianapolis Museum of Art, now called Newfields. The grounds are all decorated and you stroll through at your leisure. Although we were told to allow 60–80 minutes to make it through the entire exhibit, the crowds were rather light that night and we made it through in about 40 minutes. It was a clear, cool evening, but dry and not so cold you were freezing body parts off. And the displays were beautiful. Even the cynical 14-year-old seemed to really enjoy it.

Christmas Eve was the normal rush of preparing for the next day’s meals in the morning, then getting ready for church. Yes, after taking two or three years off from Christmas Eve mass, we finally made it. Amazingly, this was the first time we’ve ever gone to St. P’s. In the past we went to one of two other churches that were closer to where the family gathering would be after. We figured after nine years of being parishioners, we should probably check out St. P’s. We got there early enough to nab a great parking spot and claim good seats, so it was a success as far as I was concerned.

After that came family gathering #1 in our old neighborhood at S’s sister’s and brother-in-law’s home. Lots of good food and family hanging out. It is a little weird to have kids that you don’t have to worry about, while there are three two-year-olds running around that need constant watching. The days where I was on continuous alert at family events don’t seem that long ago.

Back home to wind down the night switching back-and-forth between A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation before bed.

Christmas morning, as always, was quick. The girls were all pleased with their gifts. M got a new Cathedral sweatshirt, an iPad, and a case and keyboard to go along with it. I was surprised she asked for the iPad, as we had to get her one for high school anyway. She said she wanted it now, though. C got a big makeup case, a hair-straightening brush, and a tripod for her iPhone. And L got Nikes – which don’t fit so we’ll replace them soon – a new headset for her XBox, and a pillow. Yes, she asked for an expensive pillow.

I think our girls are strange in their requests, but they were all very pleased. C even said this was the best we’ve ever done with gifts.

We also got, for our family gift, tickets to the Pacers game on New Year’s Eve.

After gifts came the two rounds of family gatherings at our house. First brunch, with the immediate family. This was probably the smallest one of these gatherings we’ve ever had. A few hours later some of S’s extended family popped in for dessert. Usually that visit tends to drag on forever. A couple years I’ve just gone somewhere and taken a nap, not because I don’t enjoy the company but rather because I’m exhausted. This year all the guests had cleared out by 3:30, by far a record.

The last three days we’ve been very lazy. The girls have spent hours watching shows, playing games, and communicating with friends on their devices. There have been a lot of lazy, eat-what-you-want, meals. Plenty of midday desserts. Lots of laying around doing nothing. S took the week off so she’s also been about as lazy as she can be. We’ve been talking about going to the gym for three days. We might get off our butts here soon and stroll over.

She took her dad and step-mother to the airport this morning. We took the leaves out of the table, put the high chair back into the basement, and washed all the guest sheets. I erased all the holiday channels from my SiriusXM favorites a couple days ago. We’ll keep the decorations up until Tuesday, but Christmas 2018 is officially over, I guess.

I hope all of you had excellent Christmases, and those of you who still have a few days off continue to enjoy your breaks.