I’m the first one up this morning. It’s three degrees outside, though it sounds better in celsius: -16. My husband got up during the night to put more wood on the fire so the house isn’t too cold. I love cold weather. The hunkered down feeling is so satisfying.
We didn’t do our normal Christmas tree this year. I’m a little weary of spending so much money just to cut down a live tree — it almost feels sad. So instead I picked up a holly bush at a local nursery. It’s the size of a small tree and it’s kinda shaped like one, though the branches poke out at weird angles in places. We strung it with white lights. I was thinking strands of popcorn would be nice, and my daughter wanted to add slices of dried citrus, but then we didn’t get any further. My son was in an uproar that we didn’t cut a real tree, but then he pronounced it good so I guess it’s okay.
Our traditions are changing. We spent the first few years establishing them, and then the next few years maintaining them, and now we’re shifting. Paring down. Reevaluating. Since the kids are older, they can take on some of the responsibility. Example: I don’t feel like making iced butter cookies and they’re bummed about that so I say, Why don’t you make them? And then when they don’t, it tells me they don’t actually care about the butter cookies enough to go to the trouble of making them so why should I? (Of course, that’s not completely true — they do have an emotional attachment to the butter cookies. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessary.)
Part of me misses carrying the full weight of making the Christmas magic, but another part of me is quite happy to let go. I know if I kept pushing myself at this stage in the parenting game, I’d probably end up resenting everyone. So tonight we’ll go to church for the Christmas eve service and I’ll wear the extremely warm dress I wore for last year’s winter wedding, and then we’ll come home and have our cheese feast. I scaled back on the cheese part of it since I’m (temporarily) a little cheese fatigued. But yesterday I realized that one of my Bries is ready to eat, and then my daughter-in-law agreed to bring her killer sticky rice squares with shrimp and seaweed and I made meatballs and a double batch of eggnog and my mom is bringing cut veggies, so I guess it’s not really scaled back after all.
We still don’t know what we’re having for Christmas dinner, though. My younger son wants a ham. My husband says hamburgers. I’d like something basic yet fancyish like a caramelized onion galette and a salad. What are you having?
Merry Christmas to all. xo
photos from last week’s ice storm
This same time, years previous: wedding weekend: the officiation, chocolate bourbon pie, or something like that, 2018 book list, ludicrous mashed potatoes, sex for all creation, 2015 book list, 2014 book list, fa-la-la-la-la, toasty oatmeal muffins.