Here we are... the final Sunday Salon of 2009!
Christmas was wonderful, but this weekend is all about relaxation. We hosted Christmas Eve dinner for my family (a much-modified version of the traditional Italian Seven Fish Feast), went to Midnight Mass (which now takes place at 10 PM!), then came home for a champagne toast and 'Santa business'.
Gone are the days of the 5 AM present frenzy! I was the first one up Christmas morning, and enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee while waiting for the girls. When two of the three are up, the third one is awakened (along with my husband) for stockings.
Next comes our relatively new Christmas Breakfast tradition. This year we enjoyed Nan's Baked French Toast. You can find her recipe here. I used a combination of strawberries and blueberries - it was delicious!!
Finally, it was time for presents. Everyone was delighted with their gifts. The biggest round of applause and laughter came when Daughter #1 opened her Jane Austen Action Figure! There were lots of books under the tree this year.
A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen - Santa knew he couldn't go wrong with this one!
What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller - a recent addition to my wish list, thanks to Claire
The Women by T.C. Boyle (signed!) - Boyle, one of last year's 'discoveries', is fast becoming a favorite. This is his most recent novel.
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (signed first edition!) - Erdrich is one of my 'discoveries' this year. My daughter found this signed copy at her college bookstore.
A Year in Japan by Kate T. Williamson - both Eva and Staci loved this, and Santa must have heard me complaining about our library system not having a copy
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - I guess Santa got tired of hearing me whine about the non-renewable library copy due back January 2nd!
Later, it was off to my sister's for more gifts and Christmas Dinner.
A beautiful stack of new books, but you'll never guess what I chose to curl up on the couch with yesterday afternoon.... Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf!
I was feeling very relaxed and stress-free, and figured that was the perfect frame of mind to attempt Virginia Woolf. I just fluffed the pillows, threw the afghan on my feet, and let the words kind of flow over me... and do you know what? It's working!!
There are at least a couple of failed attempts at Virginia Woolf in my past, but I think this time will be different. And just in time for Woolf in Winter, too!
I'll be posting a year-end wrap up, my list of favorites, and a few resolutions later this week. But now, I must return to Mrs. Dalloway...