Good times with both sides of the family, and I didn't have to drive more than a few minutes, to boot (viva la Tom!).
Christmas Eve was spent with my side of the family at our house. I am extremely pleased that we all made it through the serious conversations without getting inappropriately emotional (except for one moment when I started yelling about McCarthyism and "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance). It was amusing seeing my aunt, mom, dad, and grandmother (!) getting schnockered on eggnog. Took lots of candids with my wife's new digital camera (score one for me), and came away with some good memories. Christmas Eve service would have been nice had we not all been packed in like sardines. Some jerkwad sat behind us with his two misbehaving toddlers, one of whom kept kicking the pew and grabbing Ashley. Not a fun time. All in all, though, it was a good day.
On Christmas Day we went over to Ashley's childhood home, all of roughly 5 blocks away from our house. Excellent food was eaten and gifts exchanged. After letting our food settle a bit, Gene (father-in-law) and I went through a storage room in his shop, searching through old boxes and miscellaneous items for two old arm chairs and an all-wood World War II era filing cabinet that Ashley wants to restore for our house. Along the way I saw/handled several pieces of furniture and "stuff" from the Moss and Gipson families' histories. I always get a kick out of this kind of backyard social anthropology.
I am off work for the rest of the week but I fully expect to receive a few phone calls related to a major project that is due for completion the first week of February. I hope I do not get sucked into any lengthy conference calls (ugh).