Thursday, December 26, 2013
Til the Season Comes Around Again
I am having trouble finding the words to even describe it. We spent Christmas Eve pretty much as I said we would. I felt like I worked myself like a dog up until the very last minute. I won't do that next year. It made the few days leading up to Christmas completely draining and it was hard to want to do much more than curl up and let it all pass. But I knew that wasn't an option and I didn't want to anyway. I just felt like I needed an extra day or two. This was especially true when the spice cake I always bake for Christmas day decided it was going to stick to the pan and break in two. There was no salvaging it in cake form and I'll be damned if I was baking one more friggin' thing. So I was forced to make cake balls. Do you know how NOT FUN that is to do when you're already at the end of your patience rope? I made up new curse words.
Ones that would make sailors blush.
Then like some sadist, I decided to make Frosty Hats which aren't hard but cripes man, did I really need to serve another dessert the family would think was wicked awesome and give me that look that says "make these every year!" (They loved them, of course. I made it VERY clear never to expect cake balls again and Frosty Hats were a maybe but only if there was time.)
We got ready for my mom to come over and we were done just in time for the festivities to begin after a long day already. I made up our appetizer spread and we enjoyed picking the things we wanted and gabbing at the table. We opened presents and mom seemed to like everything we got her. One of those things was a 1966 edition of Tiddly Winks she had as a kid.
We must've played that for at least an hour. It was really fun, I forgot how much I loved playing that. I'll have to see if I can find us a box from our childhood as well. I got a lot of new tops from Old Navy that, as I look at my sodium bloated, doughy gut-line tell me with some hard work I *might* be able to fit into them by spring. I got a Cuisinart personal blender system to replace our waning Magic Bullet. It's been good to us but it's time and I'm glad it wasn't money out of my pocket. That's what wish lists are for! ;-)
It was also a time to be updated on what else dementia is stealing from my grandma and while I held it together in front of my mom and the Mr, inside I was dying a little. As I looked at the lights of our tree, all I could think of was her and her teaching me that tinsel was to put on tree branches one strand at a time for a beautiful, uniform look. I do two to four strands at a time just to speed things along but never without thinking of her. Or remembering the special spot on her tree for her ornament with her name written in glitter like it hung on her parents Christmas tree. I looked over at the gumdrop tree of hers that they gave me last year and wondered how it all was coming down to memories, as life often does the older we get. Memories, she no longer has. Ones I have to keep alive for her. The Mr and I snuggled on the couch and took a little nap in lieu of heading upstairs. Because going to bed would mean the night would be shortened and I wanted it to last just a little bit longer, even if I was asleep for it. When we went upstairs at 12:15am, I managed to find a yule log on TV and the Mr laughed when he saw it.
"You always find the yule log," he said.
|Note yule log|
When we woke up that morning to the last of the previous day's dusting on the ground still hanging on, we said the phrase we say every year from Home Alone 2..."it's Christmas mornin' man." As the Mr went to the bathroom before heading down, I readied his take under the tree with a special gift tucked in our angel pup's stocking. (Yes, we still hang it.) I plugged in the trees, started our Christmas music and he brought down my gifts. We opened our stockings and presents. The good thing about shopping so early is everything is a surprise all over again even if you knew a few of the things you might be getting. I asked him what was in our dog's stocking and he opened up a box wrapped in Santa paper with a jingle bell tag from Santa. It was the 1979 Lamborghini Countach model he spotted at an antique mall a few weeks ago.
Santa must've remembered! It was good to see him smile like a child for that minute when his knee wiggled back and forth, his tell tale sign that he's pleased. (Kind of like he's doing now playing his new zombie video game. Lucky me to get this black death to listen to Christmas night.)
I got a new Leslie Sansone workout video (yes Shannon, that one! Finally!) and we did it before it was time to go. I will do the other workout and do a formal review but when you're pressed for time, it was a good burn at 515 cals for 30 minutes. Then it was time to rush around wondering where the hell the morning went and grab everything to head over to my aunt's place. My grandparents were there and she was having a good day. She was conversational (for her, these days) and even a little sassy. What a gift from God. We cherish those days more than ever before. She had on a little blinky necklace her friend got her and I was glad to hear that she stopped by. They were such good friends before and I don't know that since this happened she's been by much. Funny how that happens. Her meds have given her quite the appetite and she is SO funny to watch now. I made my cheeseball and the Mr went to get some and grandpa asked if she wanted some and she said yes so the Mr made her five crackers on a plate. When my other aunt got there and brought pumpkin pie, Grandma said "I want THAT!" and her eyes lit up. My aunt (the host) said "for dessert?" and she looked at her like "hand it over, woman." She said "now." We all laughed and she said, "how about I save this piece back for dessert?" and she agreed. When we went in to eat and my uncle was fixing her plate, he asked which meat she wanted, ham or beef roast. I walked in behind her and to egg her on, I said "or both?" and she smiled and said "BOTH!" We all cracked up as my aunt cringed a little. Hey, life is uncertain...eat both Grandma...we don't mind.
We decided to take family pictures of each branch of the family tree and I pulled Grandma and Grandpa in on ours because I couldn't help but wonder if this picture would look different next year. Would she still be here? Would he? Dementia takes just as much toll on the caregiver and when that caregiver is a stubborn, proud man in his 80's that relied on her to do everything, it's not the best situation. I had to leave the room when we were done, I was tearing up and had to just distance myself a little while everyone else took their pics. We got some nice gifts that our parents all helped pick out from our wish lists and we stayed until the conversation well ran dry. (Note to self: bring board games or something next year.)
We stopped by my mom's house so the Mr could take in her presents and this song came on the playlist and I lost it. I bawled halfway home.
Today, I'm going to relax a bit before we have to clean up the gift bombs that went off in here over the past few days before I entertain for the last time for the season tomorrow.
Every year I say I'm doing it different next year and I rarely do. I need to refer to this post to remind myself of how much self imposed stress I put on myself as it gets closer and make a real effort to not repeat it. But we'll see how it goes because it's a nice thought til the season comes around again.
How was your holiday?
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