The Family Stevens treked back to oHIo for Christmas, leaving Saturday and coming back Thurs morning. Had a wonderful time. Saturday night went to a party at Ron & Tracy Clutter’s house, in the same neighborhood that I grew up in in Geneva. They have a lovely new home built on land I used to bike and snowmobile on years ago. Was great fun to hang out with the Coy family and other folks.

Split our time between the Callahan and Stevens households as usual. Made several trips between Ashtabula and Geneva most days (about 20 minutes) which made the days a little hectic. Hopefully we can improve our scheduling next year so we don’t feel so rushed.

Christmas Eve was all about finishing shopping and getting ready. Poor Mom Stevens burned her left hand the day before, bad timing since a bunch of folk were coming over for dinner Christmas Eve as usual. MJ was around and helped Mom out a lot with the cooking I think. Heather and I were running around too much to be much help to anybody. The Christmas Eve lineup included Mom & Dad Stevens, MJ, Dan & Cathy & Emily, Al & Alice, Aunt Helen, Grandpa and Heather & me. Uncle Joe, Matt and Marc stopped by a little later too. Really wonderful to see everyone. We have lots of friends in DC, but there’s nothing like spending time with family to make you feel like you have a place in the grand scheme of the world. MJ and I did our traditional exchange of ornaments. She got me this neato skeletal leaf plated in some metal. I got her this egg shell ornament painted with the nativity scene that I got at Ten Thousand Villages.

Later in the evenin we moved on over to Chez Callahan for the Christmas Eve open house. The traditional cast of characters were there along with large quantities of the much beloved Callahan Punch. As usual there wasn’t enough time to spend with everyone. It’s heartwarming, especially as a relative newcomer, to see a group of longtime friends getting together like that and for the tradition to span generations.

Christmas morning started at Callahans. Santa was very generous! I got a toolbag with a complete set of tools for the boat (something I had hinted heavily to Santa I would like) along with a bunch of other good stuff. After opening gifts we moved on over to the Lodge and repeated the flurry of gifts with an equally wonderful haul of goodies. Back to Callahans for Christmas dinner, then back to the Lodge (missed dinner at Ernes’) for more food and hanging out.

Up at 6am Thursday to pack the car (can’t believe it all fit) and on the road at 7. At work by 2:15.

One of the best Christmases on record. Wish I could have spent more time with Mom, Dad and Grandpa, but we did a pretty good job of seeing everyone this year. We have great families, wish we lived closer. Maybe someday not to far in the future we will.

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