Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Past

Three days after Xmas, and more holiday to come:

  • Thursday New Year's Eve party, complete with fireworks, out in the COLD;
  • Friday Dinner with Little Sister and family;
  • Saturday J family reunion.
And then, End of Holiday. Sometimes I think it's easier to stay up all night than to get up in the middle of it, but we do plan to get *some* sleep on Saturday night, the better to get up Sunday "morning" at 2:30 AM to get M to the airport for his 6:01 flight back to West Point.

On a related note, I am still writing "Xmas" cards, only technically I have now moved on the "Happy New Year" cards. I still have miles to go, but I am sooooo far ahead of where I was at this time last year! And, after talking with a number of friends, I am pleased to note that I am not the only one in this predicament. It's a pandemic!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Continued

No kidlets in this house on Xmas morning. That is a first for us in the last 35 years. Not a happy first.

This year, my very first not to host Xmas dinner at my house, C and I are sharing the kitchen favors. My duty is to make the classic green bean casserole and the dressing for the turkey, which C is going to cook, and while I am busy not cooking the turkey, I am answering a series of phone calls from C.

Once we get everything ready here, we are off to the second shift of Xmas at C's house, where she and De have cooked their very first turkey. Everything is well in hand, the turkey is eminently edible! and, unlike last Xmas, this dinner goes off uneventfully.

C's extra guests include their sweet little neighbors, a young army family with two small children. Having gone home to Utah for Thanksgiving, they are, or would be, spending Xmas alone at home. They are pleasant company, and ever so appreciative, repeatedly expressing thanks for the invitation.

We eat, we visit, we open presents, we talk, we play games, we clean up. And eventually it is time to call it a day. So we divvy up the leftovers and head home, to our Xmas-less house. Well, Xmas-less it would be, but our cadet comes home with us, so we are happily blessed.

Another Xmas goes to memory, and another year. 2010 is just ahead. 2010??? Now if someone would tell me it was 1999 coming up, that I could believe!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Week Before Xmas

Sunday ~ Xmas tree is leaning forlornly against the side of the house, waiting, waiting, waiting to come in! I give C instructions to take the turkey out of the freezer today. I start thinking about writing Xmas cards. But just thinking about it.

Monday ~ Today is spent last-minute tidying. M is due at 8:45 tonight, but his plane is early, of all things, and we find him standing on the sidewalk in front of the terminal. On our way home we stop briefly at C's to disrupt their bedtime and then hit the Taco Bell drive-thru.

Tuesday ~ Dark and early I am up to put Cajun Beef Stew, at M's request, in the crockpot, my very favorite kitchen servant. Ordinarily M spends his mornings at home sleeping. But today he gets up early-ish and brings in the Xmas tree! Then we go out for last-minute Xmas shopping and other errands. After lunch we head to C's to make Xmas cookies. Then we come home to eat and run. It's Xmas caroling night! When we get home M dresses the Xmas tree with lights, half of which don't work. They worked when we put them away last year, so....????

Wednesday ~ Another dark and early morning. M goes off with the chimney sweep. I stay home and write a couple of Xmas cards. The guys come back for lunch, and later C and crew come over for dinner. And Xmas-tree decorating. I may start a "Twelve Days of Christmas Tree Decorations" tradition.

Thursday ~ Xmas Eve! Snow flurries!!! Early morning grocery shopping. And that's it! Positively NO MORE shopping before Xmas!!!! More writing of more Xmas cards, and this afternoon M is off to spend the night at C's. Guess why? Because he doesn't think it's proper to wake up on Xmas morning in a kidless-house? I must say I agree. But, he is the kidlet of this house, so What? About? Us??? Except for the first Xmas we were married, we have never had a Xmas morning without kidlets, so I guess we are getting ready to find out what that's like.

Still to do
~ dressing and green bean casserole to cook, presents to wrap, still Xmas cards to write and plenty more where those came from.

We have to share S with his in-laws, so we had Xmas with his family last week; D, alas, is off in the wilds of Kansas, trapped, thanks to Global Warming, in the Blizzard of the Century, so we will not be seeing them anytime soon. But tomorrow, M and C+...

Christmas coming up!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas, First Shift

S and G and the Blue-Eyed Boy live in a maze in some remote part of the county. Every time we go there it's a whole new world, and we can't remember the way. Or maybe it's that we always come from a different direction...? In any case, yesterday was no exception.

We knew which exit to take off the highway, but...then what? When the road dead ends do we turn left? Or do we turn right? What to do when we get to the high school? And which way is the church that we have to pass in order to get to the bridge? Time to call S for directions. Again. The same way, I'm embarrassed to say, we have to do every time we go to their house. Too bad he isn't answering the phone...

Fortunately, the Chimney Sweep gets around, and after a bit of wandering like the lost tribes of Israel, he saw something familiar and got an inspiration of how to proceed. YAY!! We arrived just minutes after C and D, the BB's, and the Other Princess.

Dinner strayed a bit from the usual, all in a good way: fried turkey, green bean bundles, peppermint cheesecake. Oh, and what was left of the mashed potatoes after the crockpot tipped over in the car at the stop sign.

Presents, too, anything anybody could possibly want...

  • pj's
  • legos
  • books
  • games
  • scented candles
  • soft, fuzzy gripper socks
  • puzzles
  • gadgets
...and the first shift of Xmas passes to memory.

D is still off traipsing the wilds of Kansas and will not be home at all this year, but next year lurks on the horizon getting closer by the minute.

M, happily, will be home tomorrow evening. So...Xmas, Part II, coming up!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bah Humbug/Merry Christmas!

This morning found my Man and me cooling our heels at the post office in possession of a little orange slip informing us that we had something to pick up at the window. The line was long and slow, affording lots of time for endless speculation, but the little paper gave us not a clue, and we could not imagine what it might be or whom it might be from.

We eventually were next, and we handed it over to our Favorite Postal Clerk who scurried off to look for it. He was back right away with the news that we had a postage-due letter.

Did we want it? he inquired.

Well, we don't know...Who is it from? we asked.

He showed it to us, and we were no better off than we were before. There was no return address, but it was quite obviously a Xmas card. Having received only a dozen or so cards so far this season, and since my Man (quite out of the ordinary) had a $ in his pocket, we decided to spring for another one. AHA! Light bulb moment!

Xmas cards are/is? one of my favorite traditions of the season. They are sometimes our only communication all year with a faraway loved one, so I love getting and sending them, but the price of postage, higher every year, is frankly starting to suck the joy out of it. I hate spending untold $$$ on postage, but I also hate not sending the cards, so in recent years I have resorted to cost-saving measures such as spending a few cents less to mail postcards instead of regular cards with envelopes.

But this!!!! This is waaaaay better! If you send the cards with no return address, the post office cannot return them to you, and if you send them with no stamp, your victims friends will have to pay to get them! How can you beat that? Well, I do have one other idea for you: instead of spending $ to buy postcards, cut the fronts off the cards you receive and use those for postcards. Voila'!!! Free cards, free postage. Now, that you can't beat!!!

My Man forked over the $, and we were on our way. Back in the car we could not wait to see who it was from, so we opened it right away, and TA-DA! Nobel Prize for Economics, Holiday Hints Division, goes to none other than T&E!!!! T&E are two of our very favorite friends, so we were just the happier.

Bah Humbug no more! Given the state of the economy, in any economy at all, 44c for good wishes from good friends is a bargain indeed, and a tip like that...PRICELESS! Merry Christmas!