Christmas title

            Here is a story for ‘ya… we had some excitement around here about chocolate.  Late Christmas afternoon, when everyone left, Lance and I took a nap.  Crystal decided to eat two large bowls (probably about 2-3 pounds) of homemade chocolate peanut butter balls and rocky road I had on the table.   See picture of table BEFORE she ate chocolate.  table with candyAmazingly, she didn’t die nor even get sick!  Must have a goat stomach.  Now every time she comes upstairs she makes a beeline for the coffee table…so she is nixed from unsupervised visits upstairs.  This of course makes the cats very happy as they feel she should never be in their space anyway.  Here are a couple of pictures of the rotten Golden Retriever *grin*

Crystal    Crystal

We had a nice time Christmas Eve and Christmas.  Christy and Dennis came over on Christmas Eve.  I talked everyone into caroling the neighbors (it never takes much prompting to get Lance or friends to sing since we do it all the time).  So we bundled up (a bit nippy at 30 degrees outside, but I have a fabulous fur coat that looks smashing) and with the full moon and clear skies above went to various homes and caroled.  We were invited in and every house begged for more songs, so I think we were a hit.  We had fun anyway. 

Then we came back to our house and we had a huge lovely dinner.  I made Mexican food…it was delicious.  We did Mexican because North Carolina has Mexican food but it is very different from California.  No heat and with an odd white cheese…so this made all of us happy.  Lance especially as there were plenty of leftovers. 

All Soul's CathedralAfter dinner we went to All Souls Episcopal Cathedral in Asheville.  See picture.  It was built by the Vanderbilt’s and is in the village they built outside their estate.  It is fabulous architecturally being an equal armed cross inside.  The vaulting in the interior makes for wonderful acoustics also.  They had a prelude for Christmas before the Mass that featured the Appalachian Brass, an amazing flutist and their great choir.  Then the standard Episcopal midnight mass full of pomp and circumstance and officiated by the Bishop.  We got to sing lots more Christmas carols and got home about 1:30 in the morning.

Lance eating wafflesChristmas morning Dennis and Christy came back to our house.  I fixed some yummy waffles for breakfast.  They all love them…especially this year with homemade blueberry marmalade.  YUM!  Notice Lance scarfing some down before anyone else, HA! After a leisurely breakfast we finally got to open a ton of gifts.  We were very creative this year with our wrapping.  Notice how Christy hid a Navy insignia walking stick for Lance in the Santa she created … pretty cool. 


We all got lots of wonderful things.  We are VERY spoiled.  Lance especially enjoyed his Eyore toys…he relates *giggle*

packages    Lance with Eyore

Christy liked everything, as did Dennis.  The cats, especially Coco, had a good time.  See Coco lurking in the photo with Christy.  I liked the snow boots Kim got me. How frou-frou!  You can almost see the pretty purple sweater Lance got me that I couldn’t wait to put on…so big and cuddly, love it!

Dennis    Kythera & boots    Christy & Coco
All and all a great Christmas. More holiday pics:

Christy    Christy & Dennis eating waffles    Coco
Coco    Coco    Coco    house decor
Dennis    Dennis & packages    Dennis    Dennis
Lance    Lance    Lance    Lance

Lance    Missy    Missy
packages    packages

We also did some other fun things during December.   We were invited to the Governor’s Western home in Asheville for their holiday open house.  It is a lovely home.  Each room was done for a different culture during the holidays.  The living room was decorated for Christmas, the family room for Hanukah, a meeting room for Solstice, and the entry for Yule and Kwanzaa.  It was great! 

In the Hanukah room I really connected with the ladies from the local reformed temple…maybe it was the cool Hanukah earrings I was wearing?  Anyway, we found out about a public Hanukah candle lighting event that was being held in Asheville.  Christy, Lance and I went.  It was held in the town square.  The local Jewish Center put it on in conjunction with the Reformed and Conservative congregations of Asheville.  The kids did a great job performing skits and songs.  It was very cold but fun and I’m glad we went.

We also attended the Solstice Celebration that the local UU Church had.  Our neighbor runs their educational program, which is how we found out about it.  Lance decorated his hat with evergreens and holly to play the part of the Green man…I put some greenery in my hair so they would know I had been cavorting in the forest with him *grin*  Of course we were a smashing success.  Dennis and Christy also came along…without greenery, being a bit more conservative than us.  The bonfire was great and I had fun helping ladies learn how to make wreaths.

One of the highlights of the season was the celebrations the town of Black Mountain had.  Click here for the news article with pictures of the Holly Jolly event we attended. 

We also went to a holiday candle lighting party they had at our local Lake Tomahawk.  There were hayrides, square dancing, hot chocolate and Santa.  Very quaint and nice.  We also went to Asheville’s huge Christmas parade.  They have balloons like the New York Macy Day parade!  Pretty amazing to watch people actually negotiate those things around streetlights and corners.

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