Yesterday was a wonderful day. Sarah came over at about 10:00 in the morning. We exchanged gifts while sipping coffee and eggnog. After all the presents were opened and explored, the girls went over to visit their father, and I walked Gracie and watered my garden. We were expected at my brother's house at 1:30 for dinner.
Compared to other years, it was a quiet gathering. Without my mother, it was very different. My brother from the east coast didn't come over, and my sisters and brothers from up north didn't call, but we were eight all together and it made for a nice dinner party. Mary Anne and Norbert outdid themselves! The table was beautiful in seasonal colors complete with pointsettia-style napkin holders and gold-rimmed plates. The first course was lobster bisque! Followed by ceasar salad (with anchovies!) with warm, crusty bread. The main course was surf and turf - lobster tail broiled perfectly, and filet mignon on the grill. Norbert is an expert griller. Baked potato with sour cream and chives and green beans and roasted red peppers rounded out the meal.
After dinner we strolled down to the beach to catch the sunset. Shortly after, friends and neighbors came by and we brought out the deserts. I made a black forest cake that looked quite festive on a pedestal cake stand. Mary Anne made a chocolate cheesecake with fresh strawberries, Ollie brought a flan, Nancy brought cookies, Wendy brought fudge and suddenly there were deserts all over the place!
It was nice to gather with friends. Nancy and Phil used to live just a few houses down from my brother's house. They moved into town probably 14 years ago. They have two daughters the same age as my two daughters. Although no longer "beach kids" their daughters stayed in touch with my daughters, and Phil and Nancy would come out to the beach on occasion or invite us into their house for special occasions. Now, their younger daughter and my younger daughter are roommates in Tampa and both attend USF! Nancy made the comment, "I'm glad we do this every year!" Having friends for Christmas desert, a tradition that my brother and his wife have carried.
Today is clear and sunny and warm. I should wash my car, but I think I will go to the beach and get some florida sun while opening the pages of a new book!