Here's hoping everyone had as merry a Christmas as I did. For the second year in a row (does that constitute a tradition?) the whole family met for lunch on Christmas Eve day at the Greathouse at Loch Nairn Golf Club (wonderful food and service), and then on Christmas day we went to my brother's house for a marvelous feast (lobster tails, roast beef, just-picked Marlboro Mushrooms and Champagne) prepared by my sister-in-law and her mother. After dinner we played a cut-throat game of "Greedy Santa."
My parents' welcoming new neighborhood has a festive tradition of setting out luminaries along the entire length of the cul-de-sac, including around the center island. We put them out as directed along our stretch of the lane, and father and grandson went out to light them just as it started to get dark. Of course, the snow then promptly extinguished them.
A few nights before Christmas I went to a very nice neighborhood open house at Dick Hayne's Doe Run Farm here in West Marlborough. We sampled the delicious cheeses that are made there and got to peek into the underground stone caves where they are aged. Mr. Hayne's cheesemaking staff were there explaining the process of turning milk from his animals into the award-winning cheese, which is sold at the Country Butcher and Terrain. I don't know a lot about milking parlors, but the man next to me said it was the cleanest one he had ever seen. I had fun visiting with not only a lot of my neighbors but also a Jersey calf named Henry, and two energetic goat kids, who jumped up on visitors and walked up and down the back of a woolly black sheep.