I had a truly good Christmas this year.
Despite my grumbles about the weather, there was very little stress, and only a small amount of guilt.* The kids had just the right amount of excitement, gifts, and food,** we spent the afternoon with good friends, and the evening with good family both in person and on the phone.
Gift giving, as I mentioned before, was scaled back this year, but it seemed like we were each a little more selective about what we chose. Santa, we’re proud to say, nailed it this year for the kids. As Janie said with a wink and a hug, “Santa knew just what to bring us . . . and so did you, Mom.”
I have to say in all honesty that this was a good year for receiving as well. My MIL gave me a pair of waterproof boots that I’ve been loudly cursing myself for not buying since November turned vicious—she ordered them a month ago, which tells you how familiar she is with my brand of procrastination.*** Duck boots may not seem glamorous or exciting to you, but they’re exactly what I need.
My other gifts were also exactly what I needed, though in different ways. Here are some highlights:
From my husband, who knows that I work in a basement archive and essentially breathe damp, crumbling history all day:
A green-glazed, hand-thrown neti pot for my chronically aching sinuses. Note the Om symbol on the snout.
This is the most beautiful thing I will ever shove up my nose.
From my sister-in-law, who is one of the cooler people on the planet:
Yes. It’s an Enterprise pizza cutter.
(and no, I have no idea how I managed to get the nacelles to light up like that)
From my mother, who told me that she was sending me something for my sixteen-year old self:
A purple unicorn doily.
I don’t feel the need to explain this one. Mom and I know.
From my friend, Grace, who finally got tired of waiting for me to knit her a pair of socks^^ and taught herself about a year ago (seriously):
Handknit animal puppets, modeled by Janie.
Okay, these aren’t technically for me. But it’s still a gift to have such a talented friend who takes the time to make things like this for my children.
And from my Dad, who shares with me a love of haiku and an . . . eclectic sense of both secular and sacred humor:
Full title: Episcopal Haiku: The Church, Its Ways, and Its People, Seventeen Syllables at a Time
A random sample:
To sell at the fair
they bring junk that Jesus would
have trouble loving.
When on the vestry,
friends you’ve known for many years
suddenly go nuts.^^^
It’s easier to
pray for your enemies
with your eyes tightly shut
Anyone have a great gift—giving or receiving, person, place, thing, or thought—you might care to share in the comments? Because I’m more than willing to extend the happy!
*Again, I’m really sorry, Mom—I vow you will have your special Christmas gift by St. Swithin’s Day at the latest.
**Which is my genteel way of saying no one threw up.
***She also picked up my usual winter stash of ultracheap gloves, as I hadn’t done that either. Every year, I buy five dollars worth of these gloves, which nets me about five or six pairs. And every spring, an average of three gloves remain in my possession. These are carefully boxed up for the next winter, and promptly escape to meet up with the others. I wish them well.
^Yeah, I know. I don’t buy boots and I don’t finish socks. But I’d like to mention, should any agents or editors chance upon this post, that my lack of follow-through does not extend to finishing manuscripts or edits. I’m just saying.
^^Interesting note: in the last thirty-six years, Dad has held every possible position on the vestry. I’m just saying.