And besides the drive-through we did some couch surfing and watched a couple of the episodes of ABCs "Light - Fight" highlighting the efforts of several families across the country to create the best Christmas lighting event and earn a very nice prize -- $50,000 and it was obvious that some of the participants would not cover their expenditures if they won . . .
The light shows were spectacular and amazing to watch and fun. There were directions on how to enter for next year's event -- I suppose our one-strand would need some additional to have a chance since several of the decorated homes had beyond a hundred thousand lights . . .
The synchronized music along with the lights was very entertaining and to see all the participating families make it happen -- wonderful! I remember several examples of houses and even neighborhoods while growing up that had Christmastime displays.
From the Tree, Birthdays & Anniversaries
The coming week has many birthdays for our relatives -- some just before the end of the year and some just at the very beginning of the new year:
And then there are celebrations for anniversaries:
An Exciting Monday Before Christmas . . .
Gail and I enjoy watching professional football on TV, and it is always nice when "your team" gets featured on Monday Night Football -- and in this case the San Francisco Forty-Niners were set to play the Atlanta Falcons.
What made this game special as well was the fact that it would be the last regularly scheduled Niner game played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. While I have been to the "Stick" a few times both to see NFL games and also some MLB games I would agree with the sentiment that a major tradition was about to end.
The final game was played very aggressively, and while it ended up being a victory for the Niners, it nearly was not so . . . we watched intensely as the game clock ticked down and what looked to be an almost sure win for the Falcons suddenly changed direction.
NaVorro Bowman, number 53 of the Niners (shown above) a linebacker found himself in possession of the football in the final moments and outran number 19 of the Falcons (Drew Davis) to score the clinching touchdown AND a fitting end to the Stick . . .
Next year the Niner home games will be held (hopefully) in the new "Levi's Stadium" in Santa Clara. The 2016 Superbowl game is slated to be held there.
We attended the traditional Christmas Eve celebration at the Hiles' in town. There were about twenty in attendance (a few less than the thirty some at Thanksgiving). It was a very nice event, and we enjoyed the chance to visit and have some great eats and treats.
Above you can see some of the attendees and certainly one of the highlights was the traditional "white-elephant" exchange after dinner. In addition one of the after dinner treats was the home-made "Yule Log" that Gail prepared which was such a hit that by the time I went for some, it was gone . . . oh well, I did sample some of the ingredients as it was being made.
After the "Eve" we were quite satisfied to have a "quiet" celebration the next day at home. We three, Dino and the two of us slowly opened our gifts and took time to enjoy the moment.
Above you can see two of us three enjoying a gift -- Dino was really "licking" his chops over getting a new "antler" to chew on -- which he did intently for a great part of the day. Gail looks puzzled as well she should over one of the puzzles that she received (thank you Laurii & Gary) -- it is a very clever puzzle of the map around our home area . . . what makes it challenging is the fact that no picture is provided, and so many of the pieces are so similar -- but it will be rewarding to complete.
On the bottom left is a gift Gail gave to me -- a new fish aquarium -- that is in the process of being established and promises to be a lot of fun.
The Dilemma of Online Shopping
By now everyone has probably heard that the delivery services of UPS & FedEx both experienced huge increases in shopping orders for the holidays. These increases did seem to cause some delays -- but I don't think in our case. Gail seems to think that we may have been part of the reason:
I can relate to the above -- somewhat, along with our across-the-street neighbor who probably receives a couple more visits from UPS or FedEx than we do. But we absolutely love online shopping and don't see us changing that in the near future -- so many plusses . . .
The Last Post of the "Healdsburg Heritage Hound" . . .
. . . for this year anyway. This is post #52 for the year -- I wasn't sure that we'd make that number, but we did. And so now we look to a "New Year" -- 2014.
We are making plans to welcome the new year -- right! We've already purchased two steaks for the event, and we'll round out the menu in the next couple of days and be ready to "rumble" as they say.
And we wish the very best to all of you in the coming New Year. It is always fun "to start anew" in a new year, and this one especially looks like a good one.
We roasted a large chicken in our "fryer" the other night and after an enjoying meal we decided to make soup with the remaining chicken.
And so it is "Tortilla Soup" for dinner tonight along with rolls and maybe cole slaw -- yum. The spice of the soup goes right along with the chill outside -- which was in the 20s again last night . . .
Have a great rest of this holiday week, and we'll see you all "in a few" !