Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Christmas, part 1!

This is but part 1 of a Christmas post. We are extending the holiday in absolutely un-holy ways here in Cleveland. Daughters, parents and aunts arrive soon, so much of the celebrating (that is, present opening) will wait until we have critical mass. In the mean time, our core group of three have had a wonderful holiday so far.

I've enjoyed my annual read of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, something I've done for probably 30 years now. As we unpacked the box of Christmas books while we were decorating, my mother's copy of Delbert Lean's transcript of the version he would orate in Wooster every year (for over 50 years!) appeared. Lean was a professor of speech at Wooster for the first half of the last century. That was probably the first version I read as a young boy.

We also listened to Dylan Thomas reading A Child's Christmas in Wales, another tradition I've followed for years.

I'm also reading- for the first time- E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It is wild and fantastic! I'm reading Maurice Sendak's illustrated translation.

Christmas Eve we spent distracting Sam from his newly-erupting tooth. One thing we did was to try out his backpack. We loaded him up and walked up to the library to return some books. Despite his look of slight unease at being loaded into the contraption, he seemed to be awfully comfortable once we started walking- enough so to fall asleep!

Christmas dinner was roast duck. I followed Julia's recipe and it was delicious. Accompanying was maple bacon Brussels sprouts and a wild rice medley. (Christmas brekkers was Svenska pannkakor, lunch was leftover homemade pizza from Xmas eve!)

The tree and presents are being guarded carefully (though the guard does nap from time to time.)

Today we visited the Cleveland Museum of Art. Sam and I have seen the Treasures of Heaven exhibit several times, but Kim hadn't. We wandered some of the galleries, then saw the new exhibit of illuminated manuscripts, "The Glory of the Painted Page", from the permanent collection- really super! This one we'll come back to.

Our traveling guests are pinned down by snow on the east coast, but we hope to see them sometime late tomorrow. Stay tuned for Christmas, part 2!

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