Checking it twice. Christmas is almost here and it is time for the final lists: groceries, gifts sent, gifts still in the waiting, cards? yes or no. All the little details that go with this season. After two weeks off while I traveled to Florida, I now have two weeks working full time in order to prepare for our two weeks coming up in Desert Hot Springs. Something about this plan isn’t working that well. It seems as though all my time is spent working or traveling.
Where oh where do I find the time for the baking, the wrapping, the decorating? the Open House? All those special little pieces of the Christmas holiday that make me want to spend it at home in Rocky Point. The snow?? A mixed blessing, of course, with icy roads and shoveling always a part of it, but this year the snow has evaporated and no new snow is on the agenda before Christmas day. Nights are clear and cold and days are brilliantly sunny. It is gorgeous, but surely doesn’t look anything like Rocky Point at Christmas.
We even had the amazing gift of a perfectly clear dark morning to view the total eclipse of the moon. I packed up the camera and the tripod and Mo drove while we searched for some open sky among the trees. The temperature gauge in the truck read a clean 7 degrees F and my fingers had a hard time finding buttons on the camera in the dark. Still, we watched in awe at the heavenly sky treat, punctuated now and then with a shooting star to make it all the more dramatic.
So far, I seem to have at least managed the decorating part of Christmas at home. Mo and I have a lifetime of accumulated Christmas “things”, and as usual her collection is much smaller than mine. We agreed that anything that we couldn’t find a place for this year would get passed on, either to my kids if they want it or to Goodwill if they don’t. Needless to say, there are little treasures that have been tucked into places where we might not think to put any decorations, just because we want to keep the particular item. We are sticking to the rule: If there isn’t a place for it, it goes!
Case in point: all the Disney decorations that Mo had tucked away for at least 25 years. I put them on the little white tree with white lights and we set it in the laundry room next to the cat food. Works just fine with the white appliances and I think that Jeremy likes the lights while he is eating. Lucky for me, we also have porches where things can go. We have managed to eliminate several boxes of “stuff” and when we get back from the desert in January, the packing up of Christmas should be easier than it has in the past. Yeah, I still have my village, but am giving away a bunch more stuff when Christmas is over. I still have a tree inside the house, with my pears and partridges and special ornaments, and Mo still has all her keepsake ornaments from around the world on the green trees on the front porch, protected from weather and lit up at night. It all works.
I will have at least part of my family here for Christmas. Oldest daughter and my grandson are coming south from Portland for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. Youngest daughter who lives in Klamath will be here with her family. Sister and niece might drive out if the snow continues to wait till January, she has 2 wheel drive and is scared to death of snowy roads. Middle daughter is hauling jet engines around the country with her husband in their big rig and will be here in spirit. Holidays off are not part of their trucking life right now. Son and his wife are tucked away in Missouri and a trip west in the winter won’t be on the agenda any time soon. Grandson and his wife and my great grandkids will be in Texas. Other grandson will be going to his father’s family up in Washington State. I have no idea when or if I will ever again have my entire family in one place at one time. I’m just grateful for the internet, email, and telephones to make keeping in touch with everyone so much easier.
I returned home from Florida just in time to attend the traditional Rocky Point Ladies Luncheon, where many of the men of our community volunteer to cook a special dinner for all the ladies, and some of the ladies volunteer to dress the tables in Christmas finery. It was a lovely day spent connecting with the folks who live out here that we don’t often see. The joke was that we show up now and then between travels to take a nap before we head off to some other destination. The favorite comment we get is, “Where are you two going next?”
In the midst of all this fun, I am finally knitting a sweater for my trucker daughter. I have had the yarn for almost two years now, and this time the promised sweater may get finished by her birthday at the summer solstice. Ah yes, I am NOT a fast knitter, especially with all these other projects in waiting. My quilt is sitting in a bin in the closet waiting for another chance to set up the sewing machine. Cookies and tarts are waiting to be made, and I found an online recipe for my favorite goodie from Starbucks, “Cranberry Bliss Bars” that will find their way into my Christmas pile of sweets and savories to share with the family.
I love Christmas. I plan to keep knitting, keep cooking, play some carols on my piano, and enjoy every single minute that I have with family and friends and sparkly lights in my living room.