Saturday, December 23, 2017
Today felt like Christmas Eve: it was an all-day baking day, neighbors were delivering cards, the house was getting cleaned up (slowly but surely). Best of all it snowed this morning! The snow is melted now but there is a promise of more to come tomorrow!
A few neighbors gathered for tea this morning -- an hour out of our busy days that few of us could afford but we wanted that rare connection with each other, and we had it! We sipped tea, enjoyed Christmas treats, talked about what we were cooking -- the four of us at the table represented four different countries of origin so that meant quite a few different Christmas traditions and foods.
Back at home the baking loomed like a dangerous mountain I had to climb but didn't want to. Because of our allergies and sensitivities if I didn't bake we wouldn't eat. There is no popping in a shop and taking the easy way out. At times I felt the drudgery of it but there were also moments that were special -- the ones when the kids came in the kitchen for a few minutes to lend a hand.
The Christmas pudding went into the pot before the morning tea, so it boiled away most of the day while I baked the cookies. One child was bribed with computer time to make the mince pies while I was away. There were tea rings and gluten free tea rings and a million meat pies for our traditional hike. I also found myself babysitting a jello salad which I needed to try out before my class begins next week. You would think making jello was easy, but not when you have to wait for layers to partially set and then almost fully set, etc. I'm so done with jello molds -- but I'll have to make it all over again for the class!
I roped two children into wrapping all the stocking stuffers which helped a great deal. I can hardly believe that by 8 p.m. all the baking was done and the table nearly set. Michael suddenly got the idea to have a White Elephant gift exchange on Christmas with all our visitors so he volunteered to go to Walmart to get what we needed (I was very impressed). Andrew was checking on me every five minutes begging for a haircut so we managed to get that done and then James was patiently waiting for me to finish sewing his new stocking which he designed (it includes leather). Maybe we will get to bed at a decent hour tonight!
I think this will be the last of my "advent calendar" posts. Tomorrow we enter that blissful day of no to-do lists. There will be church morning and evening and we've been invited to lunch with friends which will be a huge treat. I think maybe we'll read Becky's Christmas for Laura's tea time and then after evening church we have some goodies set aside for our Christmas Eve family pow-wow. And then it will be Christmas.
A very Merry Christmas to you all!