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The week of Christmas flew by in a rush, with so much activity. From solar events, to family events, planning and wrapping, visiting with friends, there did not seem to be enough hours in the day.

On Tuesday, we celebrated my son-in-law’s birthday with a special dinner.

It is always important to celebrate birthdays, and we are blessed that we are close enough to do so with each one.

Then it was on to more cooking, wrapping, some shopping, and last-minute preparations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,

plus visiting with various friends and family members. We were lucky that we got to be together as a family for both days.

The day after Christmas was a relief, with nothing officially planned and time to rest, relax and play with some of our gifts. As a foody and a gadget queen, I always get some new tool. This year it was an air fryer.

For those of you who have one, what is your favorite thing to make? Yesterday I made homemade empanadas and taquitos. The empanadas tasted great and were cooked thoroughly, but they didn’t turn brown. The taquitos were outstanding, even with old corn tortillas! I need some pointers from those of you who have been using one for a while.

As a special treat, today I took a friend to see Jim Collin’s house in Russellville.

Since there were no parties this year to show it off, we were lucky to still see how beautifully he decorates his house.

It was great to catch up with him and enjoy his decorations. Carol was just as impressed with his house as I am!

If someone wants to sneak in and get the large colorful garland on the fireplace for me, I won't tell!! Jim has an eye for the eclectic, and he loves color as much as I do. There isn't a room in his house that is not decked out!

Since he started early this year, he will start taking things down this week.

My decorations will stay up through next weekend, then I will start the clean up process. One week of the holiday season to go. It may not be as party central as normal, but I am enjoying the holiday season, albeit a bit more tame. This will be a quiet New Year’s Eve for us.

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