I can't believe how joyful it was. I can't even think of another word to describe it.
Forget "pleasant and agreeable"; this was awesome.
Well, I could have slept better last night. Then again I think I was kind of excited; I ended up taking half a Xanax when I saw it was almost 5 AM and I had barely slept a wink. Then I slept fine until 1 PM, barring the occasional wake-up attempt from a cat. Got up at 1 PM and got my butt moving.
After shaving and showering, I put the finishing touches on the house. I put a nice tablecloth on the dining room table and got out the angel chimes. (Similar product, overpriced. I got mine from Walgreens' and paid like $5.)
(LOL: One of the "Customers who bought this item also bought" suggestions: "Scandinavian Christmas Angel Chimes by Made in China". Still too much at $9.)
Got the presents wrapped; put a festive tablecloth on the dining room table; dusted the chairs.
I ran out of steam but didn't want to lay down in my bed, for several reasons. I didn't want to fall asleep and I didn't want to screw up my hair. Besides, I had two scented candles burning to mask/eliminate whatever scent might linger from the cat boxes and I didn't want to put them out.
So I was laying on the sofa in the living room, listening to Christmas music and relaxing, when I decided I'd light a fire in the fireplace.
It didn't take as much effort as I thought it would. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of building fires; but I only had to use the gas jets for maybe five minutes and from then on it was all wood. I used one log from the stack by the back door once I had a bed of coals. No bugs came out! Hurray!
When my brother and his family arrived, I perked up. My brother had made a pan of lasagna using Mom's recipe, and they brought components for salad; so we had a nice dinner of salad and lasagna and biscuits (they'd forgotten to bring crescent rolls and I hadn't bought any, not having even thought about them. But I had biscuits!).
Dinner was good, too. And after dinner, dessert; and then we opened presents.
I got my sister-in-law a machete for Christmas. I know I said no one was getting one but after I thought of it I just had to. (that's what the ellipsis "..." was for after I said, "No, oh no, no one's...")
The boys got hand-cranked flashlights; and of course I gave everyone a check for a certain amount of money. My brother got the Aurelio's t-shirt I won at the one cruise night I went to last summer.
Everyone was happy with their gifts, or at least gave a convincing simulation. My sister-in-law and brother were impressed with how clean the house is. But then again, it is much cleaner than it's been for about a year.
Me? My brother and sister-in-law gave me a sign: "WARNING: What happens in Ed's Garage stays in Ed's Garage". I'll put up a pic later.
They also gave me a couple nice sweaters and a very, very nice shirt. I'll wear that shirt to church tomorrow morning with a snappy tie. The collar got a bit gronked when it was wrapped, but I can fix that if I can only find the iron....
The gifts were nice, but they were a pleasant bonus to a joyful day.
The church service tonight was simply out-of-this-world joy for me. Unbridled joy. "Overflowing happiness" joy.
It can only have come from one place.
* * *
Also: my brother-in-law, who had a stroke on Thursday, has shown some improvement. He's able to talk again, at least a bit, and he's wanting to get out of the hospital and go home. (Who doesn't?) So, good news, considering the situation!
* * *
Via Og, Stacy David talks about "Cash for Clunkers". I haven't watched it yet--are you kidding? When would I have had the time?--but I will be watching it sometime soon. Probably Monday; I expect to have the time then.
* * *
The Vivitar camcorder appears to have recorded the entire church service. I haven't watched the video yet, nor will I tonight. I'm starting to fade out; soon I'll be brushing my teeth and hitting the sack.
So here's a badly-executed home-brew Garfield Minus Garfield:
No one can sleep on Christmas Eve!