We left the house about 2:45 pm and headed towards Elk Grove for Christmas Eve Mass at Good Shepherd. We got there about 3:30 pm. We were lucky to get a couple of seats in the last row. This is the first time that we have been back to Good Shepherd since 2014. Unlike five years ago, we didn't see very many families that we knew from our long history with the school and the church. Leaving Mass after communion, I was shocked at the number of people standing in the vestibule.
From there, we headed to Sharon's brother Tim's house. We have hosted Christmas Eve five of the last seven years. While it is nice to take a break from hosting, both Sharon and I lamented not being able to share the house and our Christmas decorations. I think that I am going to push the idea of a Christmas Open House next year. We really haven't done a large holiday open house since 2002.
The group for Christmas eve totaled nineteen, including Tom, Eric and Ashley, Kevin, Leah, Lydia and Amelia, Terry and Steve, Tim and Kathy, Eileen and Will, Erin and Cromac, Jim, Sharon, Jack and I. Tim barbecued a tri-tip for dinner.
After dinner, we exchanged gifts. The Tims gave a number of Irish themed gifts in commemoration of their trip to Ireland. Eric and Ashley made individualized pillows for everyone!