Today and tomorrow are full of Stuff To Do. I'm delaying doing the rest of the clean up from last night's prep. There's time. The lasagna is in the fridge waiting to be cooked; my pal Kathleen will be here later and we'll holly jolly it up. Tomorrow Stevil will be here and we'll have our White Trash Christmas Dinner. I don't go all-out as I used to; there won't be cakes on cakestands and a bowl of punch. Funny how as I get older I do the shortcuts my Mom did, buying a cake and letting guests assemble desserts themselves, simplifying the fare. But you really must as abilities and energy lessen or you won't do it at all. Good thing our appetites decrease, too. I'm not up to cooking multiple-course anything these days!
It's clear and sunny today and seasonably chilly, 24'F right now. Doesn't look like snow, again this year. Last year we got a white Boxing Day. Fine by me. But I do kind of miss it.
The weirdest thing this year is the decrease in Christmas cards. Only a dozen hanging on my doors. And many of the ones I got have somber notes in them. Seems it was a tough year for so many. No funny stories, no bragging or big accomplishments. As people die, contact falls away with their spouses and children. Many just stop writing out cards. With no contact, their fates remain unknown. Yet I'm cheered by the phone calls. My mother's best friend Rosa, whom I've known since I was 13, just called. She was an opera singer back in the day, a Julliard graduate. I remember seeing her sing at the Met when I was a teenager and how thrilled I was, like it was just last month. Going backstage there for the first time was so exciting I hyperventilated. She's in her 80s now, widowed, but her children stay close even though they're scattered around the country. It's good to keep those ties. And there's Bruce, an old family friend who was the perennial card-sender, who now just sends emails. Things change, we must roll with it.
Okay, I've put things off long enough. There are dishes to wash and things to finish. Maybe I'll get back here before it's all over, maybe not. But I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope Santa is extra good to you this year. Have fun, relax and enjoy it, whatever shape your holidays take. I'll be toasting you. xxx