...if only in my dreams.
Last night we had a lovely dinner at my in-laws, along with my younger sister-in-law and her boyfriend, and my older sister-in-law and her family. Her daughters are 10 and 14, and are so funny to watch. The ten year old was on fire, bouncing off the walls in anticipation of openning presents and dancing along to The Schtrumpfs (that's The Smurfs, to you and me) theme song as it came on tv. The fourteen year old is in that funny place where she's rolling her eyes at her sister one minute and fighting the urge to dance along the next.
Unfortunately, escargot did not make an appearance, but the fondue was yummy, I got lots of compliments on my apple pie and I didn't feel as left out of the conversation as I did a year ago, when I first met the family. Don't get me wrong, I still had moments of staring at the tv or outer space, but for the most part I was able to follow along. It was nice.
The ten year old does this funny thing where, when it's time to open gifts, she runs in the other room, dons a Santa hat, and comes back in as "mere noel" to distribute gifts. When it was all over, she left the room to take off her hat and returned as herself, and made a big deal over the gifts that were hers as if she'd never seen them before. This kid's destined for the stage!
It was very late when we got home (after 1am, I think), but we were invited back for lunch today, from which we just returned. We stuffed ourselves silly on pate, a seafood entree filled with scallops and crab meat, and a very good mutton. I was so stuffed it took some effort to get my feet up to stretch out! Steph is currently napping it off, as we're going to the Cathedral in a little bit to hear the organ (which I'm very excited about, since I've never heard it).
All of this is very lovely, but I must confess that for the first time since I've moved here, I am genuinely homesick. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without some certain elements - above all, not seeing my family. In addition to that, there were the little things: we didn't have cinnamon buns for breakfast, and there weren't peanut M&M's waiting for me in the stocking I don't have.
Well, I'll be calling my family in a few hours, so at least I'll get to talk to them. I'm very interested to know if the package they received yesterday was from us (how perfect would that be?). In the meantime, to all my family, friends, and internet wanderers who happen to land here, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!