I texted my kids yesterday, “I don’t try to be annoying, it’s just a gift from God. I’m thinking I’ll bestow my talent on you this Christmas.” One son shot back, …
I texted my kids yesterday, “I don’t try to be annoying, it’s just a gift from God. I’m thinking I’ll bestow my talent on you this Christmas.” One son shot back, “We wish you had a memory because you shared that with us last Christmas.” I sent back, “Well, it’s that or hemorrhoid cream. Pick one.”
This is the season when we lose sleep buying for family, friends and neighbors, but a word of warning: 3 a.m. shopping is usually the time of artists and writers, but for purchasers, as our grafted-in-daughter points out, “Those are dangerous hours.” One morning last December, I woke to the thought, “Was I dreaming or did I actually place a $498 order to Eddie Bauer last night?”
This is also party time. I have a few thoughts on attending get-togethers. Eat. Eat a lot. The West wasn’t won on salads so avoid every carrot or celery stick, every cucumber and don’t even go near the cherry tomatoes. No, it’s the time to enjoy indulging. No matter that you did this a couple weeks ago for another holiday. That was for one day. This is for a whole month. Go crazy. Skin is around 20 square feet on an adult, so what are you waiting for, stretch it. The world is going to judge you anyway, so do what brings you joy. Eat those high calorie cupcakes. Take seconds on roast beef and ham. Let those office workers talk about how much artichoke dip you scoop onto your chips. Who cares what they think? You’re doing their job half the time anyway (Says the woman who doesn’t have an office job because she never found a boss who liked to be bossed).
I love fudge, but I don’t make it throughout the year. It’s prepared only in December, and for good reason. My name is Trena Eiden and I am a fudge junkie. Starting on the first, I get going at dawn and stir up a batch. At breakfast, I eye the pan of brown deliciousness and wonder how early is too early to partake? Attempting self-control, I shy away, but by midmorning I’m twitchy and begin to sweat. I have trouble concentrating and become irritable. I tell myself I have to wait until after lunch, but then I lose interest in doing what I have planned for the day. I take to wearing an apron so when I cut a chunk, I have a place to conceal it if I hear Gar coming. No matter how much I eat, I develop a tolerance. I have to make more batches. Several more. When Gar asks if I’ve had any today, I lie. I tell myself I’m only going to have a little, but then eat twice that much and start sneaking into corners with a stash. I rifle through Gar’s pockets for change to buy more ingredients. I’m a wreck. When Christmas is over, I quit cold turkey. Oof, be glad you aren’t there to witness it.
Last year when I flew to meet Gar and our kids for Christmas, my checked bags, between the two, totaled 98 pounds, and another 15 pounds for my carry-on. I’d already wrapped and shipped the presents, but my suitcases were crammed. Besides clothes, shoes and cosmetics, I packed stocking stuffers, white elephant gifts, antelope jerky, frozen heart, tenderloin and rhubarb, three kinds of jam, homemade pastries and most important, fudge. As I boarded, I texted Gar and the kids, “If this plane goes down and that fudge is ruined, God has some answering to do.”
With our children all over America, we fly for nearly every holiday. I recently read an article on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space line. I personally feel going to space is a waste of effort other than giving us Tang, but Richard said he wanted to “transform access to space for the benefit of life on earth.” He didn’t say what the benefits would be and he didn’t ask my thoughts, which was probably for the best because I’d have snarked, “Why don’t you work on getting us from Wyoming to Florida in a timely manner, and with most of our luggage intact?”
With the Christmas Day meal right around the corner, I’ve made a decision. I’m not an alcohol imbiber, but this year I’m going to walk around giving people flasks of liquor so after they sip for an hour, I’ll seem like a much better cook.