This Christmas

  • I made a largely successful, but not universally loved trifle.
  • My husband found one first edition, one British edition, and one other very well preserved book to buy me the whole Eliot trilogy, by Elizabeth Goudge. And not satisfied with that, he also found and bought for me a very unusual pearl bracelet!
  • The newest consensus on Christmas stockings is this: "Having a stocking is not the important part, Mom. If not having a stocking means less candy, I want a stocking. If having a stocking means less candy, I don't want a stocking." (Santa used bags this year. Momma needs newer, larger, more manly stockings to hang.)
  • A person who attended Midnight Mass put a drawing into the offering plate and told my husband, the usher, "This is all I have."
  • I got a hand painted cross from one of my Sunday School children ... wrapped in the most amazingly spiraled gift wrap, stuck together with bright blue duct tape.
  • The next day, I got a handpainted wooden tulip from another of "my" girls ... I feel very loved, and both handpainted wooden items are now part of my growing Fontanini nativity set on top of my piano. (I got camels and camel accessories this year.)
  • After getting past the initial surprise that my 23-year-old son would rather go back up to school a week earlier than classes start because he has reading to catch up on, I realized that I am relieved to have a week's space before my classes start. I need to do some weeping, and I can only hold it together for a couple more days.
  • My daughter has spent "Christmas" in a convoy in Afghanistan. (Hence, the necessary weeping time.) And that same daughter pretty much provided Christmas for us this year. She shopped online, and the nice delivery men have been greeting our dogs every few days for the last couple of weeks. The ... uh ... "tavern puzzle?" Uh, yeah. Now everyone's irritated by it, and the youngest young giant took it home with him, determined to solve it.
  • I bought some Armagnac soaked prunes stuffed with foie gras for my husband. He has only eaten one of them. We have two Christmas crackers left. I figure we'll crack the crackers and eat the earthy, fragrant, permeating, gorgeous, rich, decadent little bits of amazingness on our first evening alone in our house again.

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