For years I kept journals -- in composition, spiral bound, and French graph paper books. This blog is an attempt to get back to writing and documenting the world around me using photos, newspaper headlines, and other articles.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Recap

Christmas didn't sneak up on me, exactly.  I mean, it is a holiday that happens on the same day every year...but for some reason, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed short.  I don't think my week in DC helped my cause.  I came back excited about the material covered and exhausted at the same time.  I slept much of that first weekend home.  That left only a couple of weeks for the magic to happen.

I did get my baking done on schedule.  Having a big freezer helps.  Selim and I baked citrus rounds, lime coconut shortbread, ginger snaps, almond jewels, mint chocolate crinkle, chocolate espresso stars and trees, and cranberry orange drops.  I handed out five plates at work.  I kept a container in our freezer.  I brought the rest to the Ashram where we had some on hand for the holiday and then I made a big platter for the Schongalla family event.

I got most of my projects and shopping done on time.  I didn't have to send my boxes to California overnight mail like I did last year.  Selim and I made the ornaments in time to put in the boxes.  We had a lot of fun with that craft project.  We used Styrofoam balls, craft tape, and beads to make ball ornaments.  We made a huge mess on the dining room table and laughed the whole time.

Christmas itself was sweet.  Nedim came with us to the Ashram on Christmas Eve and that meant a great deal to Selim.  Robert had inflated the air mattress and put it in Mom's room where we were sleeping.  Selim didn't want to sleep on the inflatable.  With Nedim's back issues, he wasn't going on there.  So I happily went to bed there.  Both of my guys had trouble falling asleep.  Selim kept waking up during the night and verbally checking in with me.  Around 5:30 I suggested that he come on down to the floor with me.  He fell back asleep within minutes.  So there I was, pressed up against the desk, not sleeping, while my little one finally, totally relaxed.  As I watched the room lighted with the sun rise, I smiled, remembering that I found my sister and JT in the exact same position last year.

As usual, I made scones and a pot of tea for us to nibble on while we opened presents.

They took a bit longer to bake this year.

Flaky, cranberry scones

Pretty china waiting for the tea to be poured.

 In our stockings, Santa left three identical scarves.

Under the tree, we got what we wanted: sweaters for Nedim, fun things, a new electronic device, and a new hat for Selim, pretty earrings and other things for me.

From our family in the North, thank you Uncle Tyler.

Did I mention pears?  Dad and Valerie sent us a box of pears that taste like Nirvana.

The thing that we will remember about this Christmas for years to come is the weather.  We enjoyed mild days.  The forecast for Christmas Eve was the 60's.  There was too much fog for us to hit that record.  But Christmas day we did reach the upper 50's.  The boys played outside in short sleeves and even I walked around the track in a summer tee shirt and light vest, and shoes without socks.

The mild weather held for our drive down and back to Sudbury to attend the Schongalla day-after get together.  Not all the extended clan could make it.  We missed those in Oregon and California.  I'm grateful for the lack of heated political arguing.  I wouldn't have been able to take it this year.  I enjoyed the flow of conversations and catching up with those that I don't get to see very often.

Max in his festive sweater.

Electronic sharing

The evening ended with their variation of the Yankee Swap.  Malcolm ended up with Robert's contribution, a book on Tropical Diseases authored by the US Military.  And Nathan ended up with the ceramic lady with her big skirt cake dome that has been in the rotation for the past three years.  Selim drew for Robert and ended up with candles in the shapes of chocolates to which he said, "Mom, if these had been real chocolates with wicks in them, they would have been epic!"  At least he didn't get the tropical disease book.

The re-gifted cake dome cover.

This Christmas had many of our usual traditions: cookie baking, Robert and I tag teaming for mashed potatoes for the Schongalla dinner, opening an ornament present on Christmas Eve, scones and tea, family photos while we wear festive headgear, beautiful Christmas trees, and love.  No matter how the gatherings happen, the love of family is front and center.  May we continue to feel the love and grace that comes our way.

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