Friday, December 24, 2004
This year I didn't buy any presents for my family or friends. I didn't even get around to adopting a needy child through the Salvation Army and buying them presents. So I just dropped the cash I would have spent on presents into a collection bucket. Not exactly thoughtful, or particularly Christmas-like, but whatever.
You're never so poor you can't afford to help people.
Anyway, shortly after beginning this Christmas Eve waffle, Kara's [our house's token Canadian, and token woman (although Edouard does take lengthy showers)] sister's boyfriend (and yes, that did take about as long to explain on the phone as it did here - even allowing for the cheap shot) rang to talk to her because they were having a tape crisis. He passed on Kara's family's invitation to me to go round for the evening. Tim and Kara came home shortly later, and gave me another verbal copy of the invitation.
It was one of those invitations where there's that tiny bit of uncertainty in my head about whether it was merely pro-forma. I don't know if other people get that feeling or not, but politeness has a lot to answer for sometimes as far as I am concerned.
Anyway, because Kara is a nice person and her family seemed nice when I bumped into them at lunch on the hill one day (plus, they put up with Tim, so they must be fairly tolerant) I tagged along.
I'm glad I did - it was an hors d'ouevres evening (which is Canadian for finger food). The pickled herring and boiled egg on crackers (apparantly it's a Norwegian thing) were rather nice, even if Kara's mum saying "you only have to try a little bit" put us on guard.
One of the common jokes of the evening was that it will start snowing as soon as the family go home. It didn't wait that long, by the time I went to bed (just before Santa's cut off time of 11:59pm), little white splotches were falling from the sky.