Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas; a report

I've been quiet the last few days, but here's what we've been up to.


Christmas dinner was a fun affair. We held it a few days early, because of people's work schedules; one is a nurse, who always works Christmas Eve or Day; another manages a store that opens 365 days a year. But meeting early only increases the fun, since those who have other family can take in two or even three family gatherings.

So this year, about thirty of us gathered in my daughter's new home, in the back half of their antique church/wedding chapel (so it was a house-warming, too); all ages, from a babe in arms to several great-grandparents; old friends and new in-laws. The usual mix-ups: the last-minute notice that, after all, the stove would not be delivered on time, so several of us brought hot-plates; the waiting for late-comers, while we early birds demolished the appetizers and sampled home-made booze; the non-functional lock on the new bathroom door: it all contributed to the feeling of family pulling together. What it's all about, isn't it?

Tree in my daughter's formal living room, made informal by misplaced chairs and stacks of gifts.

But it had its edge of melancholy, too. Laurie was not with me this time. The long drive to Chilliwack, coupled with a late night, was too much for him, because of his injured back, still not completely healed. Two of my sons are in Mexico, this year; we missed them and the kids. Others have health issues. Time goes on, and it's not always kind.

Oh, but the unalloyed joy of the little ones! The excitement of a toddler stumbling after her running older cousins! The serious conversation with said toddler beside a Christmas tree about balls and trees with little boys crawling underneath! The delight of plates and plates and plates of crackers and cheese and gingerbread! With no-one supervising little hands except tolerant grandparents! The mounds of rattling, torn Christmas wrapping for an 8-month old girl to rustle!

Back to earth. Yes, it was a good Christmas.

Laurie made me a card, with his own poem, and gave me, among other things, an antique Japanese ceramic cat.

She already has her favourite spot picked out, on an antique cheese box and reproduction rag rugs.

The 24th and 25th, we spent quietly at home. It was probably unwise to get a flu shot almost on the spur of the moment on Christmas Eve, but then we shouldn't have put it off so long, either. Usually, the shot has no noticeable effect, but this year, both of us were wiped out by it. I couldn't stay awake through a whole conversation all day Christmas. It was almost as if I'd overdosed on trytophan; I hadn't. I ate leftover chicken soup, because I wasn't up to cooking.

But the family and friends Christmas celebrations went on, and I have been following them on Facebook. Every hour or so, there's a new batch of photos and comments, mostly of the younger set. I don't know how we ever got along without this marvellous web before!

And now we've got the preparations for New Years Day, and after that, Dia de los Reyes, January 6th, to think about. The Twelve Days of Christmas have barely started.

I'm thinking about making pozole*, since for Christmas dinner, we did more or less traditional Canadian. (I made my grandmother's sweet yams, with brown sugar, butter, and mini-marshmallows. Yum!)

*Recipe #28 in this list. Or maybe, if I'm energetic enough, I'll make green chile tamales. (Recipe #32.)

I hope all your Christmasses were as good!

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1 comment:

Powell River Books said...

A belated Merry Christmas to you and Laurie. We had a nice quiet family Christmas with Mom in Bellingham. Pozole is one of my favourite meals. I love your list of recipes, the pozole and the albondigas both look yummy! Maybe I'll make some tomorrow as we wind down from the heavy holiday meals. - Margy