And now for something happy, damn it.
Now that I have (I hope) allowed sufficient time for packages to arrive at their destinations, I can write about my favorite part of Christmas: the gifts we gave. (If you missed it, a somewhat haphazard list of gifts received is here.)
Everyone received a gift bag. The idea was that it was something like a stocking, full of little goodies. Every bag had some candy, little toys, a little stachel of mulling spices, an ornament, and the 2005 Christmas Mix CD. Some bags then got coffees, while others received tea and scone mix (with clotted cream, lemon curd, and honey). One friend received a bag of assorted chocolates, as he is addicted. A couple we adore received a bottle of wine. Some people got handknitted items - primarily lacey little scarves in assorted colors and spa cloths with nice soaps. Folks with dogs got rawhide bones. A couple of bags had little airline-sized bottles of nice booze. Here and there was a CD or DVD or book.
It was a nice way to put gifts together (if a little stressful due to time constraints) and people seem to really like receiving them, so we may do something similar next year...or we may go with Will's feeling that cards will be plenty the first year with a baby in the house.