Join Our Mailing List
It’s that time of year, you know, where someone is making a list and checking it twice. I realized just a few days ago that I don’t fit into either category. I’m certainly not naughty (darn it) and it depends on who you are asking when it comes to nice. People I don’t know well would be quick to point out all of my best qualities. Unfortunately, some of those closest to me (okay, I won’t beat around the bush – my husband) might have to think on this one awhile.
A perfect case in point – my continuing quest for holiday cheer. As I’ve mentioned to anyone paying attention, I always want to be the Martha Stewart-type – the woman who makes everything from scratch, well ahead of time, without breaking a sweat (or getting flour and powdered sugar in hard to reach places)!
Way back in July I started thinking about doing something special for friends and family this year. I am so over the commercialization of all of our holidays that I was yearning for something old-fashioned. Mind you, it can’t be too old-fashioned because then people look at you like you’ve lost your mind. Not everyone sees the holiday spirit when you present them with a dried apple doll head or hand framed E-Ticket from Disneyland (don’t they realize recycling is all the rage?)
With that in mind, I began my search. I looked at the ease of making flavored oils. I perused the possibility of homemade pasta. I pondered my potential for creating handmade ornaments. I even contemplated being crafty (had I been really crafty I would simply have gone online right then and there and bought something for everyone)! In July, all of these things seemed not only doable, but just a tad premature. Certainly, I could wait until a bit later in the year to begin my good works.
In September, I faintly recall thinking I might want to get started. I was just too busy doing something else. And, no, I can’t tell you what it was because maybe I was making your gift. Okay, I wasn’t, I just can’t remember what was so darned important that I didn’t get a head start.
In November I once again visited the idea of getting started, but my daughter-in-law and grandkids came for a week-long visit and when I wasn’t frantically chasing after a giggling three year old trying to get him to stop before he: (a) was run over, (b) was abducted by strangers, (c) scared my dogs to death, (d) fell out of a tree and broke every bone in his body, (e) was killed by his older sister for taking her favorite toy — said toy could change at a moment’s notice, I might add, or (f) was in some other horrific way hurt and/or maimed because of grandma neglect… I was having way too much fun watching Brave, Wreck It Ralph, or My Little Pony. I have to say, I was pretty depressed when I realized that, unlike me, even Pixar-created characters manage to accomplish their goals and live happily ever after.
This brings me back to my poor, long-suffering spouse. Every year he gets the joy of watching my meltdown. I’m amazed that he doesn’t simply put duct-tape over my mouth in July when I begin chirping about my plans for the upcoming holiday season. Perhaps he has tuned me out for so long he thinks I’m talking about Independence Day!
Anyway, as I’m sure is the case with many people who’ve been a couple for a long time, there is a lot of “yes dear” served up at our house, often followed by a course of “I told you so,” regardless of the time of year. I used to resent it when he would smile knowingly at me, and then turn mindlessly back to whatever game happened to be on at the time. Now I am grateful because it means he won’t chastise me when I make a mad dash mid-month to try to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.
So, have I solved my holiday dilemma this year? Well, let me just say I am sitting here looking at the food dehydrator I bought last month fully intending to make my own jerky, or at the very least some dried fruit. Now I’m definitely thinking about making some mulled cider with a splash of rum. I’m pretty sure that would definitely cheer me up. (And I said I wasn’t naughty!)