Because Mom was having "a procedure" (apparently not to be confused with "a surgery") a few days after Christmas, Chris and I drove down to Emmaus on Wednesday, making it in time to visit with Mom in the hospital for a few minutes before visiting hours ended. We were the last to arrive; Anne, Bill, and Ciara had driven down and were planning on staying for a few days, as were Patrick, Bronwyn, and Aidan, and even Justin had arrived last weekend. Since Mom was released a few hours after her surgery (procedure?) on Thursday, we were able to open more presents. (I didn't take any pictures of Christmas with Chris' family, but I did take pictures in Pennsylvania.) I had a really excellent time. Bill drove back upstate Friday morning; Justin flew back to San Francisco on Friday night; and everyone else left Saturday. Chris and I stayed until Sunday, in part to help clean up, take Mom out for a drive to see the Christmas lights in Bethlehem, etc.
And I did pretty well with presents, too: I got a copy of Bill Bryson's African Diary; The New Bloomsday Book; Joyce's Critics; some extremely nifty headphones; a glass teapot, hairbrushes (and nice ones - not the cheap ones that I wind up buying); some very nice minty bath soap that I had my eye on; a cookie baking mat; Aidan wrote a story that I got a copy of; Bronwyn had a recording of her fiddling; and a very soft plush sheep from Ciara. Not a bad haul - and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few items in there, too.
Today Chris and I decided to make pork and sauerkraut for dinner (this being an Italian tradition that brings good luck, and both of us being of Italian extraction). I'm not so much a fan of cabbage-related food products, but I have to admit that tonight's dinner was pretty good. (We made the sauerkraut according to Chris' mother's recipe.) Naturally, the experience was documented: