Stale Nuts and Fragrant Balls

This season is SUCH a double-edged sword. Last night we bundled the kids up near bedtime and took them on a walk around the neighbourhood to look at Christmas lights and wrestle each other into the snowbanks. It was so cold and still and clear. I loved Christmas.
Then we came back home. The living room is full of boxes of decorations and the kitchen table is covered with Christmas cards and the little wallet-sized pictures that I always order way too many of to go in the Christmas cards and there's flour all over the floor and baking sheets and cooling racks everywhere. I hated Christmas.
photo credit
creative commons license
We're going to my sister's for Christmas because she has the cousins, and my kids have basically professed that Christmas without the cousins sucks, and I know it's going to be fun, because they have a big old house and a beautiful attic play room and the kids will have fun and the my parents will be there and we'll all be together with good food and lots of liquor and no major family skeletons or issues so Christmas Eve doesn't usually culminate in a four-letter-word-strewn orgy of recriminations, which I understand does happen in many families. But right now all I can think of is that I won't be in my own house and I won't have my own bathroom and what if I look weird in their mirror (I look weird in a LOT of mirrors) and my mother doesn't like it when I wear gigantic sloppy clothes around the house and even though I'm pushing forty and theoretically should be able to wear whatever disastrous vomitous ensemble I bloody well feel like it makes me self-conscious so I keep having to call my sister for counselling and she just keeps saying, don't worry, we'll just start drinking at breakfast, it will be fine. And then we went over to my Mom and Dad's for supper on Friday and my Mom was freaking out because she made this pan of almond chocolate toffee to take over to their friends' house the next day but she thought the almonds might have been rancid so she wasn't going to take it and then she and my Dad fought over whether the whole thing fell apart because she put the tinfoil wrong side up or not. And I realized I might as well just stop fighting it, because clearly decking the halls with boughs of crazy is just part of my genetic make-up. We reminisced about the year she took all these courses on how to make Christmas decorations. One was bow-tying, and she said she wasn't that happy with it. Matt said "did you learn how to tie bows?" She said "well, yeah". And he said, "what, were you hoping it would make you a better lover, too". Another course had a hand-out entitled Fragrant Balls. Then we ate the toffee, which was pretty good, stale nuts and all.


Anonymous said…
I'm pretty sure that decking the halls with crazy is in EVERYONE's genetic make-up. It's part of the charm of Christmas. It's a Jekyll-and-Hyde sort of a holiday that is equal parts angsty guilt and magical wonder. Ho ho ho and all that jazz.
Mary Lynn said…
I'm sorry...I had to laugh. Horrible of me, I know, but manohman who can't relate to all that? I know I can!
Julie said…
Ooh, I like Amber's Jekyll and Hyde description. Pretty much bang on. I get he crazy but without the alcohol. Yep, my in-laws' house is DRY!! That's why we always stop at our friends place on the way home for a night, where they great us at the door with chocolate martinis. Gotta loev good friends!

Happy JekHydemas!
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