I do not like the drive into Los Angles, but yesterday I was happy to be headed east.
I was meeting these two very special people, my sister on the left and my cousin on the right, for a Christmas lunch.
This picture was taken last January and it was the last time I saw my sister because she has been working in London for the last few years and rarely in California.
I am so happy that her project is complete and she is back in California.
The first stop was Marcia's house where I managed to snap a few pictures - her Teddy Bear Tree in the family room,
some of her magical fairies and a fat old Santa.
We didn't have much time because we were meeting our cousin Vicki in the charming little college town of Claremont - it's the halfway point between Vicki and me.
We met at a favorite shop, Barbara Cheatley's, where both Vicki and Marcia purchased some Maileg elves, enjoyed a great lunch and exchanged Christmas gifts.
My absolutely favorite part of Christmas as a child was our stockings - mother went to a lot of trouble to select special items for each of our stockings - and Marcia keeps that tradition alive for me.
My bag was filled with items lovingly collected especially for me over the past year.
Mother always put a bear in my stocking and Marcia buys me a bear or two each year - the one on the left is from Budapest and she found the one on the right in Salzburg.
Marcia found fun gifts at this shop in Prague - notice the little angel in the window.
I now have a cute little angel along with a necklace made of cloth beads and a felted pin.
Marcia always find me sweet things for my crafting - these buttons will be part of the Valentine hearts I plan to start making next week.
And, she always includes something from our childhood - we shared a cherished fairy book and neither of us know what became of it.
A beautiful tea cup and some delicious Godiva chocolates will be enjoyed when I browse through Tea Time and Victoria magazines on my iPad.
I love all the wonderful gifts from my sister and her love of tradition,
but by far the best gift this Christmas is that she is back home and it won't be another year before I see her again.
I hope you are deep into the "traditions" part of Christmas with your family.