I spent it almost completely with family (there may have been some chatting on my computer :P) and it was pretty perfect.
Woke up at 5, came out into the living room to find my dad already up playing his guitar. A half hour later, my mom comes out too. And if you note the post date of this entry, I'm clearly still jetlagged. 9:00 we went to church, and surprisingly, my dad decided to come. I think it may be the last year for church for my brother, and maybe me too? I don't know. We'll see I guess. Next up: presents (yay!) I got some very thoughtful and neat gifts, all of which I appreciated very much. My bro got me a pretty necklace which I think will join the necklace that Bonnie gave me on the list of "things I never take off." This list also includes the ring I bought in Toledo which I don't think is ever actually going to be able to come off :P My mom got me a pair of new dancing shoes! Whee! Finally! My other ones are SO beat up.. they're quite dead, poor things. And my dad got me this awesome art of the city of Sevilla because he wanted to get me something that would remind me of the great time I had there.. :o) I also got some nice slippers - my other ones were being held together with duct tape, and not even very well at that. Then the usual random checks/gift cards from the relatives. Also my family as a collective unit has received SO much candy and goodies - I'll be eating chocolate for the next week, sweetness!
Next we sat down to a nice brunch, then went for a walk (Heidi was happy about that one), followed by me doing random organizational things with my laundry and luggage. I also talked to Pablo for a good amount of time, accompanied by my handy Spanish-English Dictionary. That's always an exciting exercise. I really like the whole "I correct you, you correct me" thing we've got going on though, and it helps me feel like I'm staying connected to Sevilla even though I'm gone.
I realized also (since yesterday I was writing thank-you letters) how much I appreciated my relatives who had taken the time to write to me or otherwise stay in touch with me while I was in Sevilla. Even just one letter made me feel that much closer to them, and even more so now that I'm in the states again. It's amazing how 3.5 months away can make you want to revive all the old connections to people you used to have, and then to make them better. I think when we get so busy and stressed out from school, we also concentrate too much on "what am I doing right now? How are other people going to fit into my life?" instead of "how can I help fit into another person's life?" I guess it really all goes back to that one Last Lecture speech that Morson gave, in which he reminded his audience that we must not only be the major character in our own lives, but also realize we are the minor characters in others' lives.
More and more I think about how small we are really, and how that makes the ties between us all the more important.
Lastly the Christmas dinner (followed by an awful performance that I gave of the flamenco I learned in Spain) and dessert, which was really lovely. Plus we had Sangria :D yum! Anyway the food was perfect, and the company better. The seven of us - my family, julia, and my grandparents - is how it's probably going to be for a good many years to come.
Well, happy holidays everyone. I'm going to go give sleep another shot :o)