I started the New Year off with a bit of a change to tradition. Usually, Mom and brothers and sis-in-law and I get together for breakfast and bowling or a round of miniature golf. This year we were invited to Cousin Keith's house, where we had dinner and shared memories of his sister Laynie, who died of cancer in October just short of her 42nd birthday. Knowing how hard it is to go through the first holidays after a loved one's death, it was good to be with extended family and hear their favorite Laynie stories.
Nancy G decorated a theme tree this year, something she says she does every so often. I love her color scheme and the idea of a theme tree. Many years ago, I decorated a tree in a southwestern USA theme, using sandbakels tins that somehow really fit; looking like the silver jewlry of Arizona and New Mexico, I suppose. But I have now collected too many ornaments to leave any unpacked each year.
Another member of my cousin's family was there - their pet chinchilla (I have forgotten his name).