Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Very Merry

This Christmas, as always, my family spoiled everyone else and was absolutely thrilled to be spoiled themselves. And the best gift of all was the gift of each other and always working so well together to make each other merry. A great deal of food was consumed and it was all that lovely food stuff you don't buy (or make) under ordinary circumstances for ordinary eating days. Summer sausage and specialty cheeses, plates of assorted crackers, delicate cookies, big hearty breakfasts, bowls of candy, platters of fruit, sirloin steak deep fried individually in fondue hot oil, fresh breads. And to go along with all those delectable treats and eats, smiles and laughter and hugs. (I was thinking why shouldn't we treat ourselves to these goodies more than just on Christmas? Aren't we worth the indulgence more often? We work hard for a living and we should enjoy the fruits of our labor more often. Reward ourselves doing what we do every day and for being the good people that we are!) We have our lazy traditions, we have our hectic, crazy traditions. Hopefully we not only preserve old, but also create new traditions. Dad and I go shopping Christmas Eve to finish his gift purchases. We've done this since I was a child. Hopefully we will do this when I, too, am retired. We make several stops, have discussions of optimal stocking stuffers, and engage in the same argument every year. Don't ask, that is between the two of us, and it's always in jest and lighthearted and ends in belly laughs. It's our tradition and darnit, we will keep the fight going. Mom and I prepare cold salads to be eaten with the fondue and all sit around and share stories of Xmas Eves past and enjoy the feast. We usually follow with games and laughter. There is always laughter when the family is together. We've added members to the family and still the traditions and laughter continue and grow. I look forward to many years of traditions with these people. I look forward to bringing in new traditions. There were a few traditions of Christmases past that were missed this year, but they will be included the next, I'm sure. I would like to start a new tradition for my family. Knitted socks. My Mom, Dad and brother were finally (FINALLY) the recipients of knitted socks from me. It felt so good knitting them, knowing that they would finally be receiving the one knitted gift that they've asked for all these years. It felt so good, I forgot I don't like to knit socks. So, knitted socks...find your way into our traditions! The young one was a challenge to buy for this year. He's at an age where toys are no longer important, but what he is interested in is way too expensive. Based on his expressions, I think we got it right! The 26th everyone went home and I was left reflecting on how hectic and nutty the pre-Christmas days are. All the planning and shopping and knitting and shopping and planning and knitting and shopping and cleaning. Add to all of the family stuff the fact that I teach and need to do all those classroom Christmasy things as well. There is planning and shopping and executing for that as well. And then, suddenly, in 24 hours, it is over and won't happen again for 364 days. I was left in the house with glitter covering everything, tiny bits of paper floating about, snow tracked floors, beds to be made, gifts to be designated new spots, decorations to be dismantled and the echoes of the laughter and lovely that was my family at Christmas. Almost makes me wish it came more than once a year. (It's a used riding lawn mower, but he was thrilled to pieces! I was heartbroken that he couldn't get on it and ride, as it is the middle of winter in Illinois. ) So I'm thinking that maybe we spoil each other more often. Set out platters of fruit on an ordinary work night and indulge in a game of Farkle or Yahtzee. Knit someone a pair of socks and give it to them in a lovely package for no reason other than I love them. Buy a more expensive bottle of wine and turn the lights out in the living room and enjoy the falling snow. The year has not yet turned, but I do believe that this will be my resolution. To have a very merry ordinary day/week/month/year/life!

To all of my family and friends: thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for the warmth the very thought of you creates in me. Thank you for the love and the laughter. It's been a good year, but let's make next one a merry year!

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