Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Tradition

It is currently the day after the day after Christmas. I believe my body is trying to go through sugar detox but I keep layering on new levels so I think it will take some time to clean out my system.

How it all came out:
I finished the socks in early hours of Christmas morning, wrapped them and gave them away. There was no time for pictures. They looked a lot like the first completed sock only there were two of them. I think I did pretty well with the rest of the gifts. I have determined that my nephew Colby was the easiest and therefore my favorite: he was very happy to get two two-liter bottles of Coke. The iTunes gift card was secondary. As a devotee of the Diet Coke, I think he probably  has his priorities solidly in line.

The house...after a push of superhuman effort, I think it was pretty presentable. The tree got better, the kitchen got better, I actually got a wreath up on the door ($15 at WalMart with a $2 bow and an ornament made and sent to me by a looks all handmade and stuff. Yay!) that most of my family didn't use, preferring to come in through the garage, into the laundry room, past the hanging ironing board, and straight into the storm of the world's smallest kitchen holding approximately 32 people. Since only 10 people were invited, I have no idea where the others came from. I should have hung the wreath in the laundry room.

The food was a mixed bag as usual. I managed to make peanut butter fudge and pralines on the first try. (Note to future self: go only to almost soft ball stage on the thermometer, otherwise it's all a little crunchy, crackley, breaky.) I had to. I ran out of time and it's an important Christmas tradition. As you can see from the photo, it's only important to me. That's a shot of the leftovers. And then I was shown up by the real Christmas baker. It's really enough to discourage a not-really-a-cook-but-trying-to-keep-up-what-we've-always-done person. I'm going to have think longer about this next year, because if I'm the only one eating this stuff, I'm not sure I need to pursue it. The skin on my arm will thank me. But the turkey....oh, the turkey. I. Did. It. All. By. Myself. And it was really pretty. I have no idea how it tasted, but it was pretty. (Note to future self: follow the bag instructions but leave it in for 4 hours. And I let it thaw for 5 full days.) Last year, I had to break out the still-frozen neck and pull it through the carcass end. That was disgusting. Watching the neck slither out, fully defrosted, was no picnic either. I resume my plea to turkey packagers everywhere: please, please, please sell us a neck-free, giblet-free turkey! The squeamish everywhere will thank you! And since we added one (who became a fiance on cool right? No. Not mine. Thanks so much for asking), I felt we needed to add about seven more servings of mashed potatoes. I have no idea why. As a result, I have also attempted and made potato it was kind of a nice accident.

Our whole Christmas celebration lasted 3 hours, from the time the first person arrived until the last person left. Is it worth the time spent dusting lampshades (dogs with fine's amazing really how fuzzy lampshades can get) and the money spent on on one short meal (never mind the gifts which is the part of Christmas that I really enjoy, giving and receiving and wrapping and tearing open and surprise, and it gets lost in the stupid housecleaning and cooking), never mind the post traumatic stress of the turkey preparation flashbacks?

It's really nice to remember my nephew, who I struggled with for weeks to decide on a good gift, exclaiming over his Cokes, knowing my sister-in-law got something that she wanted, giving my grandmother and the only person I know who really appreciates hand made stuff some new socks, pulling that beautiful turkey out of the oven all by myself, having the chance to say hello to an old friend of the family who dropped in, and having the candy that I love but is only made once a year (even if it is now by me)...I guess this is why I hold on to tradition instead of heading for a beach, a book, and a drink with an umbrella.

Although, a beach, a book, a drink with an could be a new tradition, right? And so much easier to

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