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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blitzlebahs and Waazzlewahs

In spite of the Daily Horror (there's at least one every day now), I'm feeling very holidayish. Didn't think it would happen this year, but something is back. Maybe because the house is a shambles of decorations and odd foods that are only here in December... bits that make up traditions. Doing those things- the cards, the foods, the gift wrapping, the decorating and decisions, the budgeting, the shopping- makes things feel hopeful. Thanksgiving with Billy was great, and then bang! it's Christmastime. Haul out the holly! It's a longer process; the decorating I used to do in 2 days now takes at least a week, but slowing down has its benefits.

Hanging the ornaments on the tree is more of a marathon than a sprint these days, but every one of those bells, balls and tchotchkes have a story. So many people that have been in my life, and every year I take each piece out and remember something about that person. Kevin Destein's little china Pan and choirboy. Ian's Mom's straw figures. The old glass balls that have been in my family longer than I have. I can still hear my Mom sputtering when I picked up the ancient blown glass bell in 1968. NOBODY touched that but her! The angels that my brothers and I got, one each, after the elders died. Some of the snow frosted ones my Dad bought for his own sad, artificial tree when he and my Mom split up. Ornaments friends have given me through the years. I pull out Woodstock and wonder whatever happened to Jenny. The bagpiper that Cam gave me years ago is the second heaviest ornament. The heaviest is a Lennox china ball that MaryAlice had bought for me just before she died, almost 2 years ago already. I try  to put groups together, the rock band pieces, the Peanuts gang, the ones family members made. More than a hundred ornaments, each with its story. So it takes a while.

And food! Since I made mincemeat last year, I'm doing a fruitcake this year. A drunken one, and a big one. I've put off making the Irish cream, because if I make it when you're supposed to, it's gone by the Solstice, much less the rest. But it's got to be made soon so it tastes like something. So does the fruitcake. That's my weekend. There's no citron to be found, but raisins and currants will have to do. And I'm not doing brown paper around it, either. So there.

Today was a challenge. Hanging garland was at the end of to-dos, and when I reached up, my arm and hand shook like I was 99 years old. That wigged me out a bit. And I couldn't stop it, either. I hate when that happens.

And there's been a real-life Santa miracle. A couple days ago, I ordered a nice but not expensive art supply set. Ostensibly for myself, cuz I'm trying to teach myself to draw with my left hand and thought a new hand deserves new instruments. Then on FB today I see a mother asking for help getting her 15 year-old daughter art supplies for Christmas. Perfect fit. It was delivered tonight and mom will be here tomorrow afternoon for it. I also made some jewelry this year for gifts and have a spare silver wolf necklace. Happens to be her daughter's favorite animal. Tell me Santa didn't have a hand in this here.

So it's slightly nostalgic in the Shire, I'm feeling like Mrs. Cratchit putting the holidays together again. I really don't think Billy will be coming up with the weather we've been having, and he's driving to Florida 2 weeks after New Year. He was just here. I'll see him in the Spring. I also won't see Strider til the Spring. She has surgery and recovery time coming up, then it'll be deep Winter. She's happy as someone can get in this day and age, that's all I care about. And I've freed myself from obligations. Which leaves me free to have a huge debauchery episode a la 1978! Woohoo, bring on the holidays! 


Elephant's Child said...

How wonderful to see a post from you. A largely positive post.
I love your Christmas miracle, and I too am making boozy Christmas cakes.
Fruit soaked in rum and brandy and then the cakes watered with a cap of each on alternate nights. By the time Christmas arrives they will be the cake you have when you are having a drink.
I hope your debauchery is blissful.

Geo. said...

I can't think of a brighter joy than to see your post pop up in my dashboard. Your busy, reflective Yule elates me --I am imbecilic with delight. Also, I've been up since 4 a.m. when the wind and rain woke me last night announcing an end to our 8-year drought. Two beautiful gifts in one day! Thanks, Austan.

Anonymous said...

So nice to see you here again and still enjoying the preparation for Christmas....may it be a bright and sparkly one for you.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

The holidays get harder to put together, but are more sentimental each year that goes by. How wonderful to see your post and know that you are doing well.

Merry Christmas, Laura.

MoonRaven said...

What a lovely post.

In spite of all the awfulness going on in the world, there is something wonderful about the season.

A joyous Yule to you!

Rory Grant said...

Merry Xmas to you my dear friend :)

Austan said...

EC- Boozy cake is sitting on my counter. It'll be so boozy by Xmas we won't need to drink! Happy Everything, hugs.

Austan said...

Glad you had rain, Geo. it's been scary to watch out there. I think I'm up for blogging again. It's good to be back.

Austan said...

Lawless! It was your last comment made me get my butt back here! I hope your holidays are merry and bright!

Austan said...

Merry Christmas, Arleen. I think this is why we used to call old people "softies". ;)

Austan said...

Joyous Yule, Moony! Good to see your posts again! xo

Austan said...

Merry Xmas, Rory! D