Just Nice

IMG_4166Trite but true: it’s better to give than to receive. The act of giving is what finally sparked a glimmer of Christmas spirit in us this year.

Here’s Donna with her dachshund wine glass, a present from Maxie and Mr. B. You can read the words if you click on the image to see the full-sized version on Flickr, but if you’re click-averse, they say “It’s been a long day.” As for me, I gave Donna books, socks, a monogrammed wallet, and a windbreaker. She made me a new bathrobe and an embroidered zip pouch for my GoPro camera and accessories, perfect to keep in the motorcycle’s saddlebag. My favorite gift, though? A DVD box set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all eight seasons!

All in all, it beat our first Christmas, when I pawned my pocket watch to buy her a tortoiseshell comb, only to come home Christmas Eve to find she’d cut off her hair and sold it to a wig-maker in order to buy me a chain for the watch. Oh well. Or should I say oh Henry?

Every year we’re invited to a Boxing Day party hosted by a wealthy couple we met through social connections, and that’s where we’re going tonight. Our hosts don’t have servants, so it’s a Boxing Day event in name only … the other guests are similarly wealthy people, plus, unaccountably, a few poor folk like us.

Speaking of Maxie and Mr. B, here they are unwrapping their presents: they each got a strip of bacon from Santa.

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Christmas was lovely, but Christmas Eve was even lovelier. Our dear friends Mary Anne and Darrell came over for our traditional clam chowder and shrimp boil. Polly was with us, bright and lively and participating, not hiding in her room as she so often does, and it was just nice.

You know, if you read this blog, that I’m not religious. I’ll take just nice, and be thankful for it. So should we all.

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