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.


  1. Well,thank you very much! But, I now feel like a complete failure, holiday-wise.

    My mom never did a LOT for the holidays....I have the distinct feeling that she experiences "decorations" as "clutter"...and she doesn't liketo cook or eat. So, really, while both my parents always loved life, they got so much pleasure out of the day-to-day events, that they sort-of resented "holidays"....with the exception of the simple ones - Thanksgiving and Independence Day.

    My situation is more complicated since when holy-days approach my work load increases. It is not as bad now as it used to be, but let's just say -if I put half the work in on the family Christmas as I did on the "Mothers and Preschoolers Advent Morning" (which was held last week), we'd have a more spendiforous time.

    I did make some pecan tarts this morning, though.

  2. Merry Christmas Tina! It's great you're blogging again. THANKS Annie! :-)

    Wow! You went ALL out for your family when your dd was at home. I know it was a lot of work, but it sounds like you made many a wonderful Christmas for your family and friends.

    You're cookies sound devine. Yumm-o

    ~ PattiLynn

  3. I did all of this through my daughter's first year of college and then stopped. Not worth doing it for myself.

  4. I use to be so busy before Christmas and before the kids grew I tapered back as the years went on. Now if I am having company for the Holiday, I will do it up, but we aren't this year so it is back to simple. Merry Christmas.

  5. Wow, ambitious! Must be nice to sit back and relax a little.


I love comments! (But, don't forget to sign your name.)