On Christmas day, I felt like doing something low-key, without the large gatherings usually associated with this time of year, so I decided to spend it with Joel’s family. Hanukkah had already passed for them; it was just another day. Charlotte, who learns from Nigella Lawson, cooked a tremendous meal of roast beef, beans, and secret potatoes. Even the dessert was a fancy form of chocolate pot mousse, made from 70% cocoa Lindt and allspice.
We settled down with a little Gamecube, and I taught them Dutch Blitz, which we played well into the night. By the time I left, my spirits were up again.
It was a nice mixture of young and mature. A place where I could shut off my brain and be a kid, but have a thoughtful conversation too. They really made me feel like I was one of the family.
I arrived with handshakes and hellos, but left with hugs and kisses.