Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What happened?

During the years that my daughter was growing up, my house was super decorated for the Christmas season and I started around 8:00 AM the day after Thanksgiving. I was at it until bedtime. Then the following week I cut fresh greens, made table centerpieces, swags for our two doors and the couple next door.

I made all of the teacher gifts and I don't just mean for one or two teachers. My daughter had gifts for every teacher she had, the school custodian, receptionist and ice skating pros she took lessons from. It took two of us to carry in all the gifts to school the last day before vacation.

Some years I also made quite a few of the presents I gave - like hand knit sweaters for my mother and MIL or crewel handbags. Add to this all the decorations I sewed or crafted for the house, Christmas tree and gifts.

Every December I hosted at least one dinner party and one or two ladies' luncheons complete with china and silver in the dining room. My family came to our house on the 25th for an elegant dinner with turkey, 5 or 6 fancy veggie dishes and 3 or 4 desserts.

It wasn't the holidays without the green cream cheese spritz cookies that I made shaped like wreaths with red cinnamon candies to decorate them. I also made sugar cookies and some years I was part of large cookie swaps so made LOTS of both cookies. Many people received my cookies as gifts along with what else I made for them. One year when my daughter was in college and overseas for the holidays, I baked the cookies in early October and mailed them (which would take about 6 weeks) so she'd have them like she did every Christmas.

My dining room table was set the weekend before Christmas and several days ahead I started cooking. By the night of the 23rd, I was prepared as we were up early on the 24th, lunch and cocoa was made and the car was packed with our skis, clothing and lunch and we headed off to Butternut Basin in the Berkshires for a day on the slopes. It was a wonderful day to ski as hardly anyone was there. One year we shared a table with another family and shared my Christmas cookies with them as she didn't bake them as they were Jewish.

After a fun day skiing, we'd come home, shower and get on nice holiday clothes and sit down to our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of chili followed by a Friendly ice cream holiday log sitting at the kitchen table but set with Christmas china. Once the dishes were done, it was picture time before we changed into jammies and sat by the tree and opened some gifts from each other and friends.

The next morning we came down to find that Santa had been and opened those gifts. He filled our stockings and also left presents. My mother, aunt and family would come around noon and we had our holiday dinner. Once we rolled into the living room after all the food, we exchanged gifts and just visited before they all left around 6:00. We all changed back into jammies and my ex and I would hand wash and dry all the china, silver flatware, silver stemware and serving pieces. Big job but well worth it.

Now to what is going on this year. How come it's only a few days until Christmas and I have not finished shopping or wrapping? I don't do all the stuff I did years ago and I am still not ready for the 24th. My fall yard prep for winter was delayed because of Storm Alfred on 10/29 and I was working with clean-up until a week ago with twigs and leaves. I have never been so behind as this year - it's just not who I am. Being very busy at work adds to it as I am tired at night. This week I've been busy evenings as it's getting down to the wire with only tomorrow to get things done as I'm out Friday night. Guess I'll be up early Saturday morning.

Annie emailed me that I need to blog more so Annie, this ones for you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy 9th Birthday Natalia!

Tomorrow you are turning 9!

When your mom told me she was pregnant, I thought about it for a bit and said it would be really nice if the baby were a boy since she had a girl. Deep down though I was hoping for another girl. Of course the main thing was that the baby was healthly. You gave us all (and especially your mom) some concern but further tests showed that you were fine.

I was anxious to meet you and couldn't wait for you to be born. You were due a few days into January but were going to be born on December 26th. When you mom called me at work on Friday the 13th and told me she was in labor, the first thing out of my mouth was, "You can't be having a baby today as I have the week after Christmas off." Your mother told me that was too bad but you were on your way. The plan had been that I would bring your sister home with me after Christmas and keep her for the week so your mom could have you, come home and have alone time with you. You had other plans.

I was on pins and needles and watched the phone waiting for a call that you'd been born and all was well.

I packed up the car that night and Streusel and I were on the road around 6:00 AM the next morning. I think your father was surprised to see us so early. Your sister was sitting on the living room rug watching TV with a spilled yoghurt. I got her bathed and dressed, put Streusel in her crate and off we went later in the morning to meet you and see your mother.

You were just perfect!

Happy 9th birthday Little Boo!!!!


Grandma Streusel