Saturday, December 26, 2009

Twas the night after Christmas

The night after Christmas. Whew, it was a whirlwind of holiday activity around here. My work week was absolutely insane, cramming all of December's work in preparation for a very busy new year...into two days or so. When it was finally over, and I was just kicking a touch of the flu, it was Christmas Eve.
How did it get here so quickly? The days on the advent calendar flew by. Regretfully, I found myself shopping on Christmas Eve. I blame my brother, who was doing about 90% of his shopping that day. A mild day turned into full blown winter as I went to Ross in search of a tin for baked goods. Kids screaming, a 20 minute wait in line, and the store looked like it had virtually been looted. The redeeming point of the day were the two Santas I spotted, one the jolliest Christmas crackhead ever strutting in his green pants, red t-shirt, santa hat, and leather pimp coat. The other was a lady Santa wearing a red jumpsuit almost cut to her naval, and black knee high patent leather boots. Classy. She was clearly shopping for more than gifts.
This is the shopping list of a person with a craft problem. I had a few last minute crafty things I wanted to do before the holidays, and a few that I will just have to file away for next year. My family comes over to my house on Christmas Eve for dinner, so I had a table to set. I tried to do it mostly with things I had around the house already.
I had every aspiration to make a tablecloth or at least napkins out of this pink floral fabric for a Christmas table. The best laid plans often go awry. In the end, I found a red floral tablecloth at Ross for $9 on clearance. It would have been $80 at least at Anthropologie and looks almost just like one I have been eying there. I used the snowflake doilies again, reused the votives from Hanukkah, and got some new green napkins. It has been Project Kitchen Upgrade around here. I feel like I'm too old to still be using the hand me down utensils and worn out linens anymore. My stocking was stuffed with spatulas, a fancy basting brush, and serving spoons. We survived the shopping, and went to the candle light service at church, which was lovely as always. There was a flamenco dancer in the service! Back at my house, we ate the traditional Italian sausage and fried potatoes and had the obligatory screening of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. This an essential holiday tradition.
My brother and I slept in and made our way over to my parent's house. We opened presents, had lox and bagels and my dad's insanely strong coffee for breakfast, and cooked meat and sauce and lasagna all day. It was a feast.
I got wonderfully lovely and thoughtful gifts. I am so very blessed. I also learned that a dear friend is going to have a bambino, and my best friend got engaged over the holidays. Many wonderful milestones to come this year.
My favorite gift was the one I gave my mother, a print of this photograph she took of my grandmothers hands. I played with the coloring and put it in a beautiful frame with a mat. It was so gorgeous I wanted to keep it. She really loved it.

I have promised myself that I will not work until Monday at the earliest. I am on vacation until the 4th, and I couldn't be more in need of a break. I have a to do list that I have to accomplish to be ready for the new year, but I have a whole week to do it. Until then, I'm turning off the alarm, may unleash the crafty beast a time or two, and generally taking it easy.

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