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This morning I awoke to big fluffy flakes decorating the deck and the truck. Which told me the storm is here. It’s getting late and I don’t think we will go anywhere today. Just a peaceful day in the holiday season, which makes us look like minimalists on paper.
Must-dos for the holidays
I just finished all the Christmas cards we’re going to send this year. The presents are all bought. Two are in hiding because they’re for my husband.
Next we have to send said Christmas cards by dropping them off in the post office, several miles and a big hill away. And another hour from there is the cheapest place to get wrapping goods and olive oil, both of which we need real soon.
The olive oil goes in, among many other things, the family’s favorite cookies. Seriously. Everyone loves them, from the older ladies at the DAR to the kids in the family. We will bake them Christmas Eve.
We have to wrap the presents before Christmas too so we can take them to the family gift exchange session. A couple of gifts are still in the process of becoming. They’ll be felted in the next wash. When they’re done I will have two sets of rug mugs to give away.
Last week I went to the clinic with a bag of assorted knit accessories like hats, scarves, and mittens. They have a Giving Tree where they put these out for free to people who need them. I had been meaning to do this for a while as I knit evenings and enjoy making these small projects, though I don’t need them all.
Around Thanksgiving my husband downsized his shirt collection. He has become (ahem!) a little too prosperous around the middle for some of them. We put them in bags, along with things I no longer need but are good, Those will go to the Helping Hands shop.
In our area thrift shops operated by nonprofits or churches are all we have. No Goodwill or Salvation Army stores exist, and no collection boxes. So we give some stuff to the thrift stores to pass them on.
The Helping Hands store uses the money from clothing sales to buy food for those who can’t get by on just the food pantry offerings. They also give new mothers baby gear and will help seniors who are struggling with basic needs. I have found some great buys there and the people who work there are committed to helping. If they don’t have what it takes, they can refer people on.
Next year I will see if the animal rescue organization needs things too. This year they are building a shelter so they mostly need money right now.
Our house is undecorated again this year. In the past, my work always connected me to sources for wreaths so I’d get one and put it up on our main entry. They were fresh and hand-tied. I could make one; I learned how years ago. Hardware stores all have the non-woody parts.
In fact, we used to get the wreaths and send them to relatives for Christmas. Most of them couldn’t get a nice Balsam wreath any other way. I quit when a new member of the family complained about the smell. There’s no accounting for tastes.
Why don’t we decorate?
It’s because of these things:
- I can’t find the decorations,
- There isn’t room to set any up.
- We don’t celebrate here anyway.
The Christmas box disappears into an alternate universe periodically, only to surface at inopportune times. Then it disappears again. True story. We did find it briefly when we moved and confused it. It hung around till Christmas, when we accidentally got a tree for $5 because it didn’t get onto the truck going south in time.
It was a really nice tree, too, not a Charlie Brown tree at all.
That was the tree that, when I set it up, the cats came and watched quizzically. When I finished it, they looked at me like I was crazy. We’d never had a big, live tree before and they seemed to think I’d forgotten that such things should be outdoors. Then they went off to have a peaceful day napping in a sun spot.
Since then we’ve accumulated stuff and no longer have room for a tree, or cats to wonder about it.
We don’t entertain because we never have. Plus the Border Patrol would end up screening everyone and the parking would be impossible. So the logistics are wrong for entertaining.
I have been given notice that I am expected to come to the Christmas Eve Brunch at Mental Health this year as an honored guest. They do that for people who retire or move on to well-paid jobs. So I will bring something, as it’s a potluck. Then I can do last-minute errands in town, such as any grocery shopping.
Fortunately, there aren’t any other big Christmas events for us to attend this year. We like it low key.
A peaceful day
So right now the snow falls and I’m all for letting it do that. Time enough tomorrow to get all wound up and shovel that stuff. Then we can get the mail out and resupply at the supermarket.
Oops. We hit 4″ in depth and had to shovel. Tomorrow will bring its own shoveling.
And NOW for a peaceful day! Time for some hot tea and soup.
Wishing you all some time for peace amid all the stresses and joys of the season!