I went back to work in the week between AGU and Christmas, but all I did was submit travel expenses, deal with all the email I'd been ignoring while out of the office, and organize my conference notes and my to-do list. Which felt like a significant accomplishment, given all the travel recovery.
We went and saw the new Star Wars movie on Tuesday of that week. I liked it! The tone was weird in the first half, but I think the movie did a good job of what it was trying to do, and I think it was the right thing to do. (Interestingly, I realized recently that I don't really think of the Ep. 7 & 8 as being in continuity with the original trilogy; they feel like one timeline over to me, which may be part of why I don't mind some of the big changes that bother other people.)
On Thursday I went by Grandma's house to pick up some things for sibling that I will store until they have a chance to come get them. Ended up bringing home some miscellany, including fancy cloth napkins. Not sure which ones we actually want to keep, but as I said at the time: we can donate the extras to Goodwill as easily as my aunt & uncle.
Solstice parties at Mike & Kari's that night and Kent & Belinda's the next. Early Xmas festivities with the Kumagogo household on Saturday (played a round of Illimat with Jon), then a Star Wars session that I failed to get prepped, so we just recapped and discussed what they want to do next. They decided they wanted to steal a Star Destroyer, so that should be fun.
I don't think we even left the house on Christmas Eve, just stayed home and warm (it snowed and was very cold) and made food for Christmas dinner at the Nevilles'. Jerry roasted veggies for me, and I fancied up the brussels sprouts with a paprika vinaigrette. I also made a mint chocolate cream slab pie (which is to say, layered pudding-ish dessert in a glass casserole dish). Had to make the crust twice, because I made the first one with nuts in it before I thought to check if nuts in general were poisonous to any children in the household (and they are), but that was fine because I just mixed it with the extra mint-chocolate pudding we had and then it was a sorta-trifle.
Also, we dyed our beards for Christmas! I dyed mine green, Jerry dyed his red, and we wore red and green shirts, respectively.
Jerry's turned out a little more magenta than red (especially as it faded over the next few days), but it was fun.
Christmas Dinner at the Nevilles': standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding (which failed to inflate, so it was more flatbread), creamed spinach, the roasted veggies we brought, pickled crabapples, and probably something else I'm forgetting. Excellent company (Thomas's family were there, too), and a very enjoyable evening. Thomas gave his brother a copy of Spirit Island, so we played a game of that to teach him and break it in.
Did I do much the following week? Not a lot. Had a dentist appointment to get fitted for a crown for the broken tooth (sneaking it in before my deductible reset at the end of the year). Board games at Tom O's on Friday evening. We played a couple rounds of Dominion, and a game of Spirit Island, and some Polynesian-exploration game that I wanted to like but decided was just too random. (It may be better with fewer than 6 players.) Adam from New Orleans was in town for the holidays and came over on Saturday; we introduced him to Dominion and had a good time.
We spent New Year's Eve at Craig's. I made a dozen Japanese deviled eggs, using wasabi, J-mayo, and miso. They turned out really well. Jerry made the stuffed tofu pockets. As with many bear parties, the host said "bring something small to share" and ended up with an absurd amount of food. I played a game of Carcassonne with Craig and a couple other guests, and there were many rounds of We Didn't Playtest This At All, plus some of Exploding Kittens. We stayed there much later than we intended. Also, Craig's cat Bosco has the most adorable little vampire fangs! He got much attention from us.
On New Year's Day, we got up (much earlier than we wanted to, given how late we got home) and got dim sum at Star Kitchen with David V. and Mitch. Om nom!
Otherwise, we just got a lot of downtime and tried (mostly successfully) to ward off colds.