I have now celebrated Christmas in four different states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and California. The ingredients seem to be the same pretty much everywhere you go.
You start with good people – family, friends, loved ones – and you add food, conversation, and enough gifts to satisfy the urge to do nice things for the aforementioned good people (which is a variable quantity, really, and one that declines over time as most of those people acquire the ability to get things themselves and as you discover that really what you want to give them and receive from them is time spent together). You surround this with a comfortable place to be, and presto – you’ve got a holiday.
We celebrated Christmas Eve in San Francisco with a lovely meal back at Geoff and Dave’s place, where we were joined by their adoptive granny Denise, who lives upstairs, and their friend Cracker, who actually does go by that name. It was a festive and convivial gathering.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the rainbow measuring cups that Dave received. Not the measuring cups themselves, though they were brightly colored and likely useful items. No, it was more the reaction to them.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation that started with one small ridiculous observation and then snowballed from there, with each additional comment more ridiculous than the one before until finally you realize that you have spent the last half hour or so laughing maniacally over something as simple as a rainbow assortment of measuring cups?
The next morning we did much of it again, though the measuring cup conversation did not recur. This is probably for the best. Don’t want to wear out the batteries on that one.
Tabitha was not feeling very well that day, having come down with the winter crud that has slowly worked its way through most of us over the last week or two, so she stayed home for the next part of the celebration on Christmas Day, when the rest of us – including Denise, Cracker, and Dave’s nephew Ben – went over to a dinner party at Adrienne and Dan’s house.
Adrienne and Dan live in one of those neighborhoods that you only really find in San Francisco, where topography has never factored into urban planning in the slightest. This was the other thing we drove to in San Francisco, and when we turned the corner onto their street I genuinely wondered how the car would make it up that hill.
It was actually difficult to walk across the street to the front door of their house.
But once inside we were welcomed warmly and fed royally, and that is about all you can ask of a get-together I think. We had a very nice time, and we thank Adrienne and Dan for welcoming us into their home for the holiday.
It is nice to remember that there are good people wherever you go.