We drove about an hour and a half to spend the afternoon with Doug's step-family, not far over the border into Michigan. Shortly after crossing the state line, we saw a large bird in a snow-covered cornfield. Originally thinking that it was a large turkey, we drove on by. As we did, though, Doug realized that it wasn't a turkey, but a golden eagle. That's a pretty rare sight in these parts, so we circled back to get another look.
The bird was still on the ground when we drove by, and we were able to confirm Doug's identification of it. We turned around again, heading back in our original direction, and I was ready with the camera. But two other vehicles had spotted our friend in the field and had pulled over to watch. All that attention made the bird nervous, and he flew to a distant tree before I could get close enough to get a photo. Of course, I still tried, but the image wasn't good enough to share here.
The tradition at the gathering with Doug's step-family is to have a pot luck meal, followed by a ten-dollar gift exchange...the kind where numbers are drawn to establish the order in which each person selects a gift; then each subsequent person may choose to take a gift from the pile or to "steal" a gift that another person has previously opened. It's entertaining, not expensive, and makes the fun of the gift exchange last longer.
Doug's brother lives about a half-hour away from where the step-family gathers, but he doesn't attend that function. So we went to pick him up and take him out for supper at a Chinese buffet, which was just about the only place in his town that was open on Christmas Day.
After our meal and enjoyable conversation, we went with him for a drive around the area to look at Christmas lights. Doug's brother told us of a place he had heard about, way out in the country, that had a fantastic light display, so that's where we went first. Here are a few images of that:
Then, we drove through a neighborhood that goes all out with Christmas decorations. This is one house from that neighborhood:
The last stop was at a house that has "dancing" lights, complete with music that can be listened to on a special FM station on a car radio. There was even video showing on the garage door that went along with whatever song was playing at the time. Here are a couple of images from that house:
We thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas Day and hope all of you did, too.