Down East 2013 ©
Yikes! I can’t believe it: Christmas is Saturday! How did that happen?
Gees, Louise, I’ve still got heartburn from Thanksgiving! Or maybe it was from my book group’s potluck and Yankee swap, the first Thursday in December. Or from the Heavenly Treats booth at the St. Hyacinth’s Christmas Bazaar, where I couldn’t stay away from Sister Henry Georgiana’s Holy Fudge. Then at Charlie’s Christmas party this past Saturday, Lois Philbrick brought her famous Chinese noodle cookies. They’re made with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, cashews, and those Chinese noodles you get in a can. Charlie and me are just suckers from ‘em, and they’re addictive as all get out. Anywhoo, the waistband of my favorite jeans had a message for me the other day: Ida, you can have too much of a good thing. And my spanky seconded the motion!
But wait, things are just heating up! This week, we have our Christmas party at work. Plus, I need to finish wrapping presents. Then I’ve got to clean the house good, do a big grocery shopping and start prepping for dinner because Christmas Eve’s at our house this year. (My sister Irene and me take turns.) She’s in charge of appetizers and dessert and I’m taking care of the main course. Oh, I also have to remember to pick up one of them Hickory Farm cheese logs. You know, the ones with the little nuts on the outside, for Charlie, and my pork pie from Labrecque’s Bakery. My mother used to make them from scratch, grinding the pork and everything. But who has time for that? We always have the pork pie Christmas morning for breakfast, with “homemade” piccalilli (least that’s what it says on the jar). That and cranberry nut bread, which I make. And yes, I use a mix. During the holiday season, you got to chose your battles!
Along with all that (if I’m to believe the emails that have been showing up in my inbox) I’m supposed to remember to breathe, take time to gaze at my Christmas tree and appreciate it’s beauty, to put self care at the top of my list, make cookies, a snowman or a snow angel with a child (I’d have to rent one at this point). And I’m forgetting something. Oh, right: simplify, simplify, simplify.
Yes, the holiday spirit is upon us with its heady mixture of urgency and obligation, adrenaline and exhaustion, and memories of Christmas past. It’s those memories, I think, along with the sequins and tinsel and glitter and lights, that get me though. Come on, you gotta love it! What other time of the year can you wear hats and earring that light up, a sparkly sweater, glitter on your eyelids and your fingernails and not look tacky. No, you look festive!
So, my tips for the coming week? Wear something that makes you smile when you look in the mirror. Every time you see a Salvation Army bell ringer, put a dollar in the bucket. Give blood. It’s an easy way to help someone and costs nothing but a little of your time. And sure, bring food down to the senior center (or wherever). You can’t go wrong with that.
And when you start feeling the “bah humbugs” creeping in, take a moment to remember what Christmas was like when you were a kid. You, way back in the early Paleozoic, when dinosaurs ruled the earth and there was so much snow it came up to your neck! And you knew the best place ever to go sledding. And were absolutely positive you heard sleigh bells on the roof last night. Positive! Are you smiling yet?
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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