‘Twas the night before Christmas

5:20 PM Christmas Eve

The kids and grandkids have gone – driving back to Phoenix so that the little ones can wake up at home with presents from Santa under their own tree.  (My tree here, this evening; all of my presents were opened this morning.)  A touch of panic set it, the house morphing from controlled chaos to silence as their van pulled away, and I was alone.  But why is this night different from all other nights?  It’s not. 

I busied myself cleaning up from our large dinner (which, because we ate at 3:00, when the temperature hovered around 70, we ate on the outdoor deck) – standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, cranberry sauce, romaine/orange/ avocado salad, cauliflower with Swiss cheese and prosciutto, and for dessert, the pièce de résistance, Christmas cookies, with eggnog. Luckily my son is an excellent chef and did half of the cooking while they were all here. 

And I must give kudos to my son, daughter, and son-in-law, J, for always helping with the cleaning up until this last meal; I shooed them off as they had promises to keep, and miles to go before they’d sleep.

The plan had been for a day of making Christmas cookies on the 23rd.  Over-scheduling intervened. First,  J had planned to donate blood in the morning, so he and my daughter and the baby arrived late. 

Next, my son (who had come the day before with my two oldest grandchildren, 5 and 2) still needed to do his Christmas shopping.  So he and I braved the Tucson Mall.  Two days before Christmas was probably not the best day to shop.  Not as bad as today would have been, but bad.

Consumer groups report the Saturday before Christmas is usually the biggest shopping day of the year, so with Christmas falling on a Saturday, this Christmas Eve Friday is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year.

Then friends of my daughter’s, who live in Tucson and also have a new baby, stopped by for a few hours of “baby talk”.  Anyway, I made three batches of cookies with the grandkids, but we had to frost the sugar cookies this morning.

The highlight for these few days was my daughter’s Christmas gift of a large photo album plus hours the evening of the 23rd and the morning of the 24th of her and my son going over a huge box of miscellaneous family photos (pre-digital) with me.  They ruthlessly tossed shots of scenery, and even though the years jump back and forth from page to page, it’s well organized.  And we had a lot of laughs over the memories.  J and the grandkids got a good kick out of seeing us all so young too.

I’ll be driving up to Phoenix in a few days to deliver the very large painting I did (from one of the photos I took in Tanzania) for my daughter and J, as it wouldn’t fit in their van with three adults and three kids in car seats.

Christmas Letters

Thank all of you who sent me your Christmas letters. 

My cousin (Mom’s side) who I visited in hospital in San Diego at Thanksgiving is doing well at home with therapy for the broken leg.  My San Diego friend’s mother-in-law took another fall (20 minutes after I left), but should be getting out of the hospital for Christmas. The husband of the couple I vacationed with in Peru recently tore a muscle while lifting logs and was bed ridden for a week; now he’s hobbling around on crutches.   And sadly, the husband of another cousin (Dad’s side) passed away a few weeks ago.  My heart goes out to her.  She also has the Blair family curse of macular degeneration, as does yet another cousin.  (Three of my father’s four sisters had it.  Will the curse hit me?)  I thought that slipping into my 60’s was bad.  All these infirmities, and the death, happened to friends and relatives in their 70’s (‘cept for the mother-in-law, who is 97!)  Aging is not for sissies, but better than the alternative.

So I will exclaim, ere I turn off the light,


2 Responses to “‘Twas the night before Christmas”

  1. Lynn Shore Says:

    Merry Christmas Lynn, and a very Happy, Healthy New Year!
    SC Lynn

  2. Jim Says:


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