I’m dreaming of a partially-cloudy Christmas…

This has been my fifteenth or sixteenth Christmas in California, but there’s a stubborn part of my brain that refuses to accept this fact. I guess I’ll be a Chicago boy no matter where I roam. So when I went outside to haul out the trash I half-expected to see some snow or at least see my breath. Instead I got a face full of sunshine. The temperature was in the mid to high sixties and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

I miss seeing the snow but I don’t miss cleaning a foot of it off my car in the morning and driving down icy roads. I don’t miss shoveling my driveway and front walk, and I certainly don’t miss stepping into an especially steep puddle of slush and having it fill up my galoshes with icy wetness. (Do they still even make galoshes?)

Our clothes dryer went belly up about a month ago and that took a big bite out of our Christmas budget, but Santa still managed to stop by with a generous assortment of books, DVDs, toys and other assorted goodies.

Dakota scored the biggest load. She got a nifty Bluetooth headset for her cell so she can now chat with friends hands-free, while she chats with other friends online. She also got a lighted make-up mirror (I never knew my pores were so huge!) along with some books, jewelry and tons of clothes.

I found myself a bit melancholy on Christmas Eve. Earlier that day Val and I had watched Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, which turned out to be a movie about death—sorry for the spoiler—and it left me thinking about Christmases long long ago, and all the relatives I’ve lost since then. Val and Dakota seemed a little down in the dumps as well, so we went to the movies and saw A Night at the Museum, which was exactly the bit of fluff that was needed to lighten the mood.

Later that night Val and watched our all-time favorite Christmas movie, Scrooge. I don’t know if it’s a letter-perfect adaptation of Dickens, but it’s a fantastically entertaining musical with Albert Finney and Alec Guinness absolutely knocking it out of the park. If you’ve never seen it you really should oughta.

I have to go get my teeth cleaned now. I don’t know what possessed me to make an appointment with the dentist for the day after Christmas. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. I’d best go brush a couple dozen times before I go.

Happy holidays all.

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