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28 December 2010

Lazy days of Christmas

Happy 4th Day of Christmas!  I meant to post "Happy Boxing Day" the past 2 days - it is officially the 26th, but in countries that make it a bank holiday, it was on the 27th - but somehow i never did.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve.  We attended St. James Church (where we were married) for late mass.  It was one of the most beautiful services i've attended there, the music was fantastic.  We had had an earlier celebration with Duane's parents and brother.  We had a fairly simple meal and then opened gifts, which were also rather simple.  It seems everyone i know is fed up with the commercialism of Christmas and looking to do "something else."

We were awake early on Christmas morning, but stayed in bed.  I was reading and Duane was on the computer.  A friend had texted me and i called him back and we had a long conversation.  His nieces and nephews are grown now, except a couple of little ones from a cousin (yes, he belongs to such a small family that his cousins' kids become "nieces and nephews").  He is disgusted with his now-grown relatives for never giving any thank you for the things he has given.  Now, i know a gift is intended simply to let the receiver know that they are loved, but years of gifts with no gratitude is not something most folks can continue to do with good grace.  

And, i'm coming to believe that time together is the thing to be really thankful about.  And of course, i struggled with the same issue this year, that is, giving to children who already have so much.  

I think that i've somewhat solved the issue for me for in the future.  I don't have the plan entirely worked out yet, but i'm leaning toward doing something for the children thru Advent or thru the 12 Days of Christmas (which, BTW, start ON Christmas Day and run until Epiphany on 6 January; several folks at FB were posting "the 12 Days of Christmas" posts before Christmas had even arrived).

This will be a big project, if i choose to go that way.  I'm thinking of simple things, like a card in the mail, an ornament for their tree, whatever - but it could turn into quite a projects.  Twelve days of things to send?  What is more, we sent gifts to 14 nieces, nephews, and cousins' kids this year.  That is 168 things to be sent!  I don't even want to think of Advent - if i began it on 1 December (Advent officially starts 4 Sundays before Christmas, usually about 28 days).  Twenty five days for 14 is 350 projects.  Even just a card at current postage rates, that is $154.  I think Advent is out. 

 Of course, i can pare that number down a little bit.  Of the 14 is my married niece, her husband, and their daughter.  If i do this, i will send one project item to the entire family.  

But what this also means is a lot of thinking and planning for me.  I can't wait until, say December 1st to have this ready to go.  It means that i would have to have Christmas be part of my year the whole year thru.  I rather like that idea, too.  We'll see what comes of it.

We got a call Christmas morning saying that the folks we'd invited to dinner had decided they would come.  So we got up and rushed out so that we could get home in time to get the brisket in the crockpot!  Not my idea on the perfect planning (and i likely won't let that happen again) but it was a good day.  The food was simple and almost entirely crockpot cooked, so it wasn't difficult.  We got home in time so the food was done when they arrived just before 6.  We had a lovely evening.  The kids enjoyed the food and gifts.  It was almost a "traditional" meal with brisket and crackers.  We all got paper crowns from the crackers, and had a lot of fun.  

Duane has been fighting a cold.  We are hitting it heavily with large (30,000 IU) doses of Vitamin D3, also Vitamin C, quercetin, and astragalus, and of course, Manuka honey.  He said he thinks he is feeling better today.  It has been a mild cold, he hasn't felt very sick, just not quite right.

I'm still knitting things.  I didn't finish the placemats for my MIL (tho i had other gifts for her) and need to do that.  The whole house feels like a mess to me right now and badly needs some reorganization.  

 Years ago a friend gave me the book, More Hours in My Day  by Emilie Barnes - about the way we do housework.  I don't know what happened to the book, but i remember the premise.  It suggests that we break tasks down into manageable pieces and do some every day to keep up with the house rather than having one long, awful "cleaning day."  I need to implement something like that again.  It is NOT how my brain works.  Not my style.  However, i need to change "my style" in order to be more productive and better utilize the little energy i do have.

 I think i'll re-order a copy of this book.  I do remember it being a bit preachy (about the "proper role" of a housewife, or something), but the info in the book is good.

You can't see it all.  This was from our first married Christmas, 2004.

It was my intent to put up the Nativity scene this year.  But the place i put it is one of Jazz's favorite play spots.  So i need a background (it is against our stairs) to keep him from getting up there when the Nativity is up.  So it didn't get done this year.  By next year we may have a different living room arrangement (i'll write about that soon), so i am not sure what i will do then.

 The "front" way of our highway up and down the mountain is closed indefinitely.  This isn't very high up from Redlands/San Bernardino.  The 18 across the mountain is fine.  This won't do good things for the ski slopes closer to the valley, tho.

I've always more to say, of course, but i think it is time to stop.  :)  I love the ornaments we have.  Each is special, and many have a story behind them.  I've marked most of them with the year they were acquired.  I need to take pics of this year's ornaments.



lisa said...

I sure agree with you on Christmas, the hubbies family, most of us can't afford to buy for everyone, so of course we make baked goods. The kids got some candy and just little things and the adults we made fruit breads and cookies, I did the table runners on the loom and made jars with mixes in them and decorated the jars. They all loved them. We are of course lucky enough that there isn't too many really small children in the family now. You also have a great idea and I loved all your ornaments. We received even homemade jellies! I love that kind of christmas.

Kathryn said...

Hi Lisa. :)

I'm so glad that you are happy with your Christmas. It makes it so much more pleasant that way.

Happy New Year to you!