The inn is a true gem, and I am always delighted to visit. Temperatures were a chilly 13 degrees, unusual for this part of North Carolina. Despite the frigid air, I managed to snap a few photos before my fingers began to freeze. I then loaded Delilah’s presents into the car and brought her down to join in the holiday cheer. The cold air really contributed to that nippy Christmas morning vibe and the light pouring in from the inn’s many French windows could only be described as glorious. What a beautiful morning to be alive and share in such an exciting moment for a child. I remember so many of my Christmas mornings as a child and in a way recapturing that experience from a different perspective is the entire point of having a family. We don’t go on forever in truth, but in some small ways we do. Life is so beautiful in moments like this.

My mother even came by to witness Delilah’s glee as she tore into the wrappings. Delilah was so excited, fueled by all the candy at her disposal, that she took breaks between gifts.

Eventually, we finished unwrapping and packed the presents back into the car. We headed to Carthage and a favorite Chinese restaurant, The Golden Dragon, to join Delilah’s mother, my daughter Summer, and her beau, Patrick, for a festive meal.

My mother seemed to thoroughly enjoy the exceptional spread at the well-maintained buffet. I highly recommend it.

With serotonin levels boosted by the delicious food, Delilah returned home with Summer to fully embrace the true spirit of Christmas. We had gifted her a giant kitchen set complete with electronic appliances and stainless steel tools – a present that Summer reports took her five hours to assemble. Apparently, Delilah didn’t take a single nap, playing with her gifts until she collapsed at 9pm.

Grandma Nancee returned home to tend to the animals and rest, while I spent some time at the office completing 3D work.

We returned to the Badin Inn at 8pm, finding the mansion-like Inn all to ourselves for the evening. We dined on curry and retired to the Maple Suite for a film, “Glass Onion: Knives Out,” which I greatly enjoyed. The night drew to a close at 1am as we checked out at 8:30 and locked up, heading off to work at Albemarle Nutrition.

It is with great joy that I can say our mission to create enduring Christmas memories with Delilah was a resounding success. Be sure to peruse a selection of the 400 photos I took and the weekly vlog videos for a glimpse into the festivities. All in all, it was a grand Christmas, a touch chilly, but grand all the same. I am grateful to God for this wonderful life and my loving family.

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