After the noon meal with my family, we did dinner with Carlos' family at our house. More yumminess! My brother and sister in law brought a scrumptious ham, green bean dish and dressing, Carlos' parents brought blackberry pie, my brother in law's parents (who are officially part of our family get-togethers; the kids think they are their grandparents, too :)) brought a gloriously decadent creamy, cheesy potato dish and green bean casserole, and I had made doubles of all of the mini-croissants from before.
Again, the best part was just being with people that we love and even like. We had a peaceful, pleasant time. My dear sister in law astutefully observed that because the main meal is so good and satisfying, we rarely do justice to the desserts (although personally, I always do my best). So, since none of us are Black Friday shoppers, we agreed to all come back Friday morning for a late dessert-breakfast.
We had more mini-croissants, including the wild blueberry ones; apple pie pancakes; some savory fritters with chicken, onions, celery and sage; peanut butter kiss cookies; quesadillas and plenty of coffee. (Walmart actually has organic decaf coffee for only $6!). My mom made it over, too, and we all had a good visit. We watched National Treasure 2. I like movies about smart people.
Later, Ariana and I had a special, just-the-two-of-us, run to Borders. It was so much fun. I am used to dividing my attention. It was so cool to be able to only focus on her. Carlos, Joel and Elena stayed hime and played super-heroes together (Joel cracks me up as he runs around making the appropriate sound effects for his webs [whit, whit, whit] or robotic movements and rocket noises).
Ariana and I read numerous cook books (her favorite) plus several stories (Fancy Nancy, assorted princess tales and Clarice Bean), sipped our delicious drinks, looked at maps and talked abour far away places, and laughed together. We were gone more than two hours. On our way back, she was delighted to see all the Christmas lights. "Mami, they look like roses about to bloom".
After we got home, we began our own peculiar holiday tradition of several years: Star Trek marathons. (It's OK to laugh). When Carlos and I first married, one of the few TV shows that we regularly watched was Star Trek Voyager. We have the series on DVD, and so we watch a couple of seasons worth during our month off from classes. The best part is all the snuggling on the couch.