We are two days into 2018 and I am still nursing a case of the post-Christmas blues. I have always suffered from this seasonal affliction. I love Christmas. I love the dark greens and the rich reds, the smell of burning wood, the dressing up, all the amazing special food, the gift-searching and buying. I love making my annual Harlow-themed Christmas card and this year, while it was different, is no different (I still like doing it. I wonder if people are sick of her?)
I was also proactive this year about getting into the Christmas spirit by going on a few outings. First to the Union Square Holiday stroll with Dori…
Ben and I went into Boston one night to enjoy the sights, as well as went shopping in Salem where I found some great items for friends at the Salem Holiday Fair (no pics from that)…
I enjoy a few really great parties as Christmas approaches, and have dinner with friends and my parents on Christmas Eve. I had all that fun this year too.
Christmas morning, I loaded-up my car (and joked later that I really need a husband because the ten trips in the heavy snowfall was a drag), and drove, verrrrry slowly through the storm, to my parents’ house a few miles away.
Mom, Dad and I had breakfast together and opened presents. I was spoiled rotten this year, but the gift that pops into my head at the moment is Pete Souza’s “Obama; An Intimate Portrait”, because I unwrapped it and then couldn’t really look inside too carefully because I’d burst into tears because I miss him so much.
In the late-afternoon my brother and sister-in-law joined us. We opened more presents and had an amazing meal of steak, potatoes, and broccoli with brown butter sauce together. We all stayed at my parents house for a few nights as is tradition, and we spent our days hanging out by the fire, reading, maybe watching a movie (though we didn’t this year), and playing games.
This year we had such a severe cold snap that the annual walk we take with the dogs (four pups in total) was cancelled. When I took Harlow out, it would only be a few minutes before she would start limping from the discomfort of the raw cold.
This year was a bit different from years past. Mom and Dad decided to take the year off from throwing their annual tree lighting party. It is a massive amount of work and I’m glad they decided to take a break. They also decided to give our tree a break from ornaments this year. We enjoyed a simply lit, ornament-free tree and it was lovely!
Also different was that I made the glogg (Swedish mulled wine) this year. I actually made it slightly wrong by adding the sugar too soon. I laughed as I realized it before adding any alcohol and painstakingly tried to remove the sugar to add again later. This is tricky when your ingredient is granulated. It was very tasty though!
Christmas makes me sentimental, not surprisingly. I don’t really like when it ends, although I know that what makes it special is the rarity of having us all under one roof for a time and it wouldn’t be as special if it were a frequent occurence.
I feel sad when Christmas ends because I worry that we all won’t be here next year. Morbid, I know, but that’s the truth. I’m thoughtful about our child-free Christmases and debate whether or not it’s a good thing. Do my parents miss not having grandkids? Do I miss not having kids? While Christmas is a bit of a kids’ holiday, I do love the peacefulness that comes with it just being “grown-ups”. But then I go down the rabbit hole with thoughts of our family dying out with my brother and I because neither of us have kids and WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE!?
(OK, rein it in, Cyd)
From a personal standpoint, 2017 was really great. I learned about landscaping, traveled a lot (Florida, Croatia and Amsterdam), and spent a lot of quality time with family and friends (including NYE with Shannon and her husband in their new home in VT!). On a national level, well, let’s hope 2018 brings some improvements.