Did you enjoy Black Friday?
We had a traditional family Thanksgiving with the fried turkey, baked squash, canned cranberry, whipped potatoes, gravy and stuffing. Then we enjoyed the old standby, chocolate fondue for dessert. We were going to have an all fondue supper, but that will have to wait for another time. Something about little children, hot oil in pots and dangling cords. Nothing like 10-12 people double dipping to start the season off correctly with the transfer of gross germs and what not.
I like this season. I like it for many reasons, I like seeing people, I like watching the lights and trees go up. I like the parties, the cards (so rare anymore) and the general feeling of good will.
I hate the shopping and the commerce side of it. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for the extravagant presents, like the new car with the giant bow, or the fabulous month long trip to where ever it is that I want to go and such like. I hate the rushing feeling that if I'm not up at 3 a.m. to shop for the best deal I've missed out. That I have no business being asleep at midnight when the stores have stayed open "for my convenience". As if.
I suggested we make our presents this year. Well, talk about your blank stares and the who farted in church looks. You know what would make me happy? High tea with just the girls at the St Francis. I want to spend the day baking cookies with the children and maybe make a gingerbread house. I want to go to the "paint your own pottery" place and spend the afternoon with my darling children. One of the best presents I ever got was a butter dish and cover from Megan that she painted and fired for me. I love it to this day. I love the paintings that Lindsey did of the sisters and me which hangs in my office and the big floral with the scary stalker guy hiding in the background which hangs in the hall. I love the photographs Alison has given me. Those things are priceless.
I also love the things we've done for Christmas as a family, the Nutcracker, Cirque de Soleil, crazy dinners at home. A thing will last a certain amount of time, but a memory is there, for good or for bad, forever. And even the bad memories have a tendency to mellow with time. But a thing has to be sent to Goodwill.
I'm not particularly religious, but I think I could take some time every year to be happy to have a family and friends. That I live in a house, that I can eat everyday, I have a car and go where I want (mostly). That I am healthy and the ones I love are healthy. I am happy my children have loves and that they love me. I am also happy that I have the opportunity to go all the places I go, and that I have met some really fantastic people. I am greatful for my spouse, with all your warts (and mine) you have been there for me when it counted.
I am not grateful for the dogs though. They destroyed the garbage last night and to add insult to injury they tore apart the used coffee filters with the used coffee inside and smeared them all over the white carpet. Not feeling the love. Be assured they will wear the festive and over the top Christmas collars all season. As they will then be sulking under the bed en masse they will have no opportunity to knock down the tree or open the presents under same.