This morning, the youngest grades at J's school performed the annual holiday concert which was, as always, darling. Imagine the angelic voices (as well as those less so but, nonetheless, earnest) of little ones singing Silent Night, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and so forth. It was a balm of sorts and a happy, welcome one. This afternoon was a lazy one, also good and welcome. We read books and then, while the boys watched old-school superhero cartoons, I made the Reine de Saba, or Julia Child's chocolate-almond-rum cake with a chocolate-butter-rum ganache frosting for our festive fete on Saturday. This cake freezes beautifully and is now doing so, waiting to be thawed later. The boys and I agreed that post-Thanksgiving, we just didn't need any more turkey, so beef stew on Christmas it shall be. Other requests were blackberry pie, lemon green beans, homemade Parker House rolls and the rest is TBD. An excellent start!