Friday, December 19, 2008

Preparations

Here are some things that, from the beginning of my married life, I have done in preparation for Christmas:

--Sewed shirts for my husband's father and brother. This was when men--some men, anyway—wore attractive—to me, anyway—peasant shirts with decorative trim at the neckline and at the bottom of the (loose, flowing) sleeves. Not having much money to spend or experience shopping for men, it came to me that Ed's father and brother might enjoy some funky shirts. I was a mere child at the time, which is why it never occurred to me to think about these two men and what kinds of shirts I had ever seen them wearing. I remember staying up way past midnight at my sewing machine to finish those shirts so we could send them in time for Christmas. I remember my husband getting a puzzled look in his eye when I showed him the shirts. I don't remember ever seeing his father or brother wearing them.

--Stayed up (again) stuffing a large Snoopy-like dog I had sewed for our firstborn. My husband helped with the stuffing, and by the time we finished our arms were sore but that dog was as solid as a rock. Unlike the shirts, the dog was a success, and both our girls drooled on it, slept with it, and hugged it for years, until one day it disappeared from our lives.

--Made from scratch every crumb of food for a party of seventy-five guests, fellow faculty and administrators at the college where I worked. I still have the long-range planning document that I drew up a couple of months ahead of time, detailing every step of the process. Can't remember much about the food,, besides some pates and dozens of petits fours. What was I trying to prove? Amazingly, the party was a success, and I stayed up having fun till all hours.

--While grading final exams, made breads and cakes and god-knows-what-all in preparation for the Christmas guests...lovely and loved relatives who came from afar to spend the holidays (a week or two) at our house. One year we hosted twelve people and nine dogs....

--Fell in love with all things herbal and decided that everyone on my list would receive a basket of herb-related products made with my own hands, from my own herbs: bowls of potpourri, jars of herbal teas, lingerie sachets, sleep pillows, bottles of herbal cordials, pomander balls, and bags of herbal bath salts. Our relatives are probably still sneezing from all that grassy stuff.

Ah, the days of wine and roses, the snows of yesteryear....

And now?

Our descendants and their beloveds are due in just a few days, and here I sit, blogging.

12 comments :

  1. Oooo, but think what you're doing for all of us.

    "until one day it disappeared from our lives..." Ominous...

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  2. Don't know what happened to that dog. I think it went the way of the snows of yesteryear. Can you tell I've got snow on my mind?

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  3. Ah, how times change as we grow older, eh? I remember, too, the crazy things I did for Christmas, to make everyone happy. And now, yes, I am more inclined to let things be, and let life unfold as it will.
    Hilary

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  4. Isn't it nice to finally realize that we are NOT Santa Claus, or Kris Krinble, or the Three Wise Men?

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  5. commenting is not working for me..... can you change it to a simpler method?

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  6. ah, ok, that one finally worked. that was my sixth try, and i had to switch browsers...

    anyway, i meant to say that when i was in my early 20s i once recreated a thanksgiving feast from the pages of Gourmet magazine, down to the homemade cornbread for the pinenut stuffing. dinner was served at 1 a.m. because that's how long it took me. several guests had to be awakened to eat.

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  7. Hi Anonymous,

    Sorry you're having problems. You're not the only one. Believe it or not, I switched to Blogger because it was supposed to be more user-friendly! Maybe you can switch to a different browser?

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  8. Laurie, all kinds of people are having trouble posting comments! Switching browsers seems to help, as you found out.

    Somebody should do a compilation of insane hostessing events through the ages. In my 100% whole wheat phase, I tried to make gravy for the Christmas turkey with whole wheat flour. It doesn't work! At all! I stirred and stirred while everything got cold, and the gravy never did thicken. And Ed's family lives for gravy.

    Pine nut stuffing made with homemade cornbread sounds like something worth waking up for.

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  9. i found that i can comment in safari but i can't in firefox. for what it's worth.

    gravy made with whole wheat flour made me laugh!

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  10. Thanks for the browser info, Laurie. Somebody else I know is having trouble commenting in Firefox. We use Firefox and it works fine. Go figure.

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  11. Firefox works for me (but your old blog didn't...). Anyway, I would say, that this year, you have definitely chosen the better part...

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  12. Bridgett, that phrase of yours (...chosen the better part) bounced around in my head for a while. Then it hit me--isn't that what Jesus said to Martha, referring to Mary's choice to sit and listen as opposed to running around doing housework? A great reminder to obsessive compulsives in this season.

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