Carmen's family traditionally celebrates Christmas on Christmas eve, while the Bears generally celebrate Christmas, Christmas morning. This normally works out just fine, and this year was no exception.
The evening started off with our entire family: Lila, Ceci, her boy friend Jay, Lina, Edgardo, Carmen and myself. With both daughters it is a rare occasion when even the four of us are able to get together, so we decided to take a picture.
Martha joined us along with her son Kike, and her boyfriend's family, including his mother. Our neighbor Jackie join us as well. We had a lot of great food and plenty to drink. Some of the presents that stood out where 16 x 20 framed photos of Jay and Ceci that were presented to Jay and Ceci, my cloth napkins and a copy of the movie "Writers Day".
If you are a regular reader of our blog, you will already know about the cloth napkins and the movie. They were on my birthday present wish list. It concerned me that I received them on Christmas, but it would not be the first time that Christmas and my birthday were merged.
We ended the evening at about mid-night playing the "Sponge Bob" version of monopoly.
The next morning we were off to Fresno to enjoy Christmas at my sister Susan's house in Fresno, but there was a hitch. After the arrangements for Christmas were made, Lila got a job through the holidays working at the La Quinta Hotel in Berkeley. She was scheduled to work Christmas day from 3:00pm to 11:00pm, so Lila was not able to go to Fresno with us. She did get to sleep in however and trust me she appreciated that.
Our neighbor Jackie was good enough to keep Lila company and go with her to her work.
My mother showed up about 9:00am with her homemade coffee cake. We all piled into Martha's mini van, which she was nice enough to loan us. We had one more person than would fit in out Ford Escape Hybrid SUV. So off we went, Mom, Ceci, Carmen, Lina, Edgardo and myself eating coffee cake as we rolled down the highway. It took us about 3.5 hours and while I drove the rest nodded off and enjoyed a good nap.
Other than Lila, everyone was there Susan, Willie and Jake did a fine job of hosting David, Charlie, Teressa, Bob, Reeva, Becky, Dad and ourselves. The food was great and there house was just right for such a gathering. Jake played the guitar as presents were passed out. Charlie looked pretty cool with his new sunglasses.
As we opened the presents. I noticed that everyone seemed to be getting presents but me. Finally the last present was taken from beneath the tree and sure enough, no present for me. I made the mistake of pointing this out.
Next thing I know, they pull out a 42 inch high definition wide screen television out of nowhere. I was floored. I had not expected this at all. The size is just perfect and will fit in our entertainment center. By the way, I think I heard someone mention that this was Christmas/Birthday present. Now just when I thought I was so spoiled, my sister Susan presented me with something I did not think existed.
It was my grandfathers railroad watch. My dad had been wrong, it did not get lost or stolen. Susan had it the entire time. Since she was not able to attend Fathers Day, we had no idea she had it. Susan declared me "Keeper of the Watch" and it is my duty to at some point in my life to declare the next "Keeper of the Watch", which she said should be a male. I have to admit, I had tears in eyes. I knew exactly what it was when she held up the sock containing the watch. As I reached for the sock, I touched it and my grandfather. I don't think I have ever been so spoiled at Christmas/birthday. It was very special and I want to thank all of you so much.
We ended our stay with a picture of the five kids of Laura and Jim.
We packed up our loot and drove back. We dropped Ceci off at her boy friends house and I was dropped off at Lila's work to spend the rest of the shift with her. Jackie caught a ride home and I decided to enter this into our blog and email a few high school friends to wish them a Merry Christmas