Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy. Did I/we/me and mine have a wonderful, joyous, celebratory Christmas and New Year celebration. Thankful I am. Grateful I am. Stuffed-to-the-gills I am. And oh-so-glad it comes just once a year!!
Truth be told, the month of December is utter madness in our home. Has been ever since my beautiful daughter decided to pop into the world two days before my birthday (Dec 5 – which also happens to be a national, Dutch Christmas Day of sorts as well). 22 years later we’re still trying to work out a way of making the month a little less… manic.
Of course it’s all good fun and there are huge globs of happiness thrown in, with both of us wallowing to our hearts’ content in what we’ve dubbed our ‘birth week’ (steadfastly refusing to acknowledge anything Christmassy until we’ve exhausted ourselves and everyone around us with birthday-making jollities). We decorate tables for early morning delights, hang up themed stringers and balloons, wrap gifts in glistening paper and do everything possible to make the days special. It’s a thrill (and hubby almost faints with relief when it’s over). But by then Christmas is gasping for a look in so I shift gears – fast – to catch up.
Lists I’ve compiled over the years with recipes (traditional, iced Christmas cake: check! Mince meat filling for pies: check!); addresses for REAL cards (I can’t stand e-ones – must get the ones for abroad into the post before 8 Dec!!) and gift ideas are yanked out of boxes covered in dust. Ribbons, gift wrap paper and pretty bows are hauled out of drawers. Candles (red of course!) – lots of them – bought in in BULK. Not to mention a thorough review of the table cloth, Christmas dinner service and glasses to see if anything’s missing or cracked and last year’s wreath for the door…
Geez. I’m even running out of breath writing this! And that’s before I started buying actual gifts – both for my own family and the extended one in Ireland. Plus surprise, small treats for those who’ll join our table over the holidays. A huge bone for the dog – wrapped tightly so he can join the merriment on Christmas Day and have his moment of ‘unwrapping’. Mulled wine and snacks for after Christmas Eve midnight mass (or was it before??!).
This year, because I was hugely thankful to be out of a wheelchair (knee problems a year ago), I kept reminding myself how lucky I was to be able to shop repeatedly in mega-filled streets and over-stuffed stores. Smiled as I hobbled slowly around the stores, mouthing “on my own two legs” to my mirrored reflection when my feet began to shriek in protest. I do believe I may have fooled myself quite well.
But it all came together in the end. The tree went up, glorious and golden. The turkey fitted into the oven, the ham baked divinely. We ate, we drank, we made very merry and revelled in the joy of doing so together.
Roll on next year. Who knows, maybe I’ll have grown wings by then…
Happy New Year, everyone.