Given this was the first time in 19 years I've celebrated Christmas without Angel, it really wasn't as strange or even depressing as I had anticipated. b and I combined many of our old traditions with a few new ones.
For the first time ever I had presents wrapped and under the tree by December 23rd. I even had his stocking stuffed. So on Christmas Eve I really didn't have a lot to do, other than prepare the cinnamon buns. This is no small feat as it takes about 10 hours total....and then they sit overnight. b had to work during the day but after he came home we went out on a dressed up date--which is rare for us--to SouthLite's fanciest restaurant (new tradition). We sat in the bar, drinking cocktails, eating appetizers, and talking. Then we went home to watch It's A Wonderful Life (old tradition). It was a perfect date.
Christmas morning we got to sleep in a bit (new tradition) and then opened stockings in bed (old tradition). When we got up we unwrapped our presents under the tree while drinking champagne (old tradition).
Without Angel, Pupzilla got a few extra presents. A new bed, a squeaky penguin, a rubber pull toy, and the biggest bone ever.
The Brute got stoned off catnip.
b did a perfect job with stockings and presents this year and I have enough recreational reading material to get me through the break.
After presents it was time for the cinnamon buns (old tradition).
Then we snuggled in bed watching one of b's presents. When we woke up we went for a run (old tradition) and the day was beautiful (over 60 degrees and sunny....have I mentioned how much I enjoy Christmas in the south?). b made some yummy eggs and we toasted up the bread I made the other day for brunch. Then we decided to go to the movies (new tradition). The theater was far more crowded than we expected. We saw this. I enjoyed myself immensely.
With all this activity, Christmas dinner was much later than normal, but b cooked us up a huge surf and turf spread: homemade crab cakes, pan fried scallops, twice-baked potatoes, sauteed asparagus, and fillet mignon (for him). I couldn't quite finish and we were so stuffed we never got to the hot cocoa.
I did check my email a few times during the day, in hopes of word from Angel but no such luck. Pumpkin called to wish us a happy holiday and this morning my sister, Jo, called and we gabbed it up for over 2 hours. Then finally, after brunch, I got a quick call from Angel. Overall, far more sweet then bitter.