Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Superlatives

Photo: Geralt via Pixabay
Happy day after Christmas! For my friends celebrating Hanukkah, the holiday continues, but at my house, the festivities have wound down, and striking a balance among after Christmas shopping, relaxation and the list of "on vacation" projects has begun. At church, Christmas continues into January, which is reason enough (some might say a good excuse) for me to keep the house decked out in its finery. At home, best part of the holiday celebration continues as the much-hyped lead-in to a holiday with longer checklists than any other has given way to a long-awaited break between semesters. My husband is on vacation. My daughter is home. This is perhaps the most wonderful time of the year that Johnny Mathis sings about.

It's a rare holiday that proceeds as expected, and ours was no exception. Still, sometimes the things you didn't plan are the best part. Here are a few of the highlights.

Best Christmas advice: (and I wish I could remember the source!): Make sure you have two pairs of scissors and two rolls of tape when wrapping presents.

Best Christmas attitude: A little bit at at time. Early in December, I resolved to try to make just a little progress each day -- and be satisfied with that. While there were definitely moments when I thought perhaps it was not as smart an idea as I'd initially hoped, in the end, it worked well. A few more things were downsized, a few left undone, still more done later than anticipated, but all in all, this was the calmest Christmas I've had in a long time.

Best Christmas present: the presence of a family member diagnosed with cancer last summer, and her stated desire to keep fighting.

Best discovery: there really is an age where it no longer matters what's under the Christmas tree with your name on it.

Best lemonade from lemons: impromptu time spent with my sister and her family when both of our travel plans changed at the last minute.

Christmas songs I'll miss: "Feliz Navidad" (Jose Feliciano) and "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," (Bruce Springsteen), neither of which I heard often enough, despite the all-Christmas-all-the-time radio stations.

Christmas song I'd heard more than enough of by December 15: "Christmas Canon" (Trans-Siberian Orchestra). By Christmas week, this song had become the proverbial fingernails on the chalkboard.

Christmas songs I managed to escape this year: "Christmas Shoes" (sends me screaming from the room) and "Dominic the Donkey," which is actually okay the first or second time around.

Photo: Condesign via Pixabay
Worst thing for a writer to do on Christmas night: Watch made-for-television Christmas movies. Most were exactly what I expected, but one (which shall remain nameless) was so incredibly bad....Had it been the first in our movie marathon, I'd have gotten up and done something else, but it was saved by a couple of good actors (one a child, of course) and the fact that I was already very comfortable under my blanket on the recliner. Let's just say I know why I don't write in the romance genre -- and my admiration for those who write it well was magnified tenfold.

Best gift of the season: Time.

How about you? What are the highlights of your season?

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