Sunday, December 25, 2011

a magical christmas (m)

We awaken at 8 a.m.  Harrison is up and ready for action.  Sam cannot be roused.  I put the kids' gifts under the tree (usually do it the night before, but they stayed up later than we did last night).

 I make myself a cup of green tea and eat half a grapefruit.  All is calm. 

T turns the lights on the tree and the garland on the stairs.  He lights the fires in the fireplaces.  All is bright.

We are blessed.  I do not take this for granted.

At 10 a.m., my friend Mary calls.  "Go to your tree and look behind it."  I do.  It's a gift from her.  I open it up while she is on the phone and gasp: It's a Queen's Jubilee Cup and it's gorgeous!  I thank her profusely and immediately put it in my display cabinet, along with my William and Kate cup and Sam's Faberge egg.  I am addicted to British Royalty.  I was a huge Diana fan (I did not blog about the party I threw at 4 a.m. for William and Kate's wedding but I have lots of pictures I could show you.)  This is one of my top 3 gifts of all time.

The four of us exchange gifts. Everyone is pleased.  The boys know I only want cards from them.  Sam and Harrison each get me a sentimental card which brings me to tears.  I burst out crying and they indulge me.    I miss my own mother who normally would be here at this moment.  Maybe she is.

Sam gets me a Kindle light.  Harrison gets me a pearl drop necklace.  I am expecting the Louis Vuitton scarf with the leopard print from my husband.  I cut out the picture, called the store to make sure they had it and reserved one so that he would find it when he got there.  He was having none of that.

Instead, I get a trip to Foxwoods to see the Princess Diana gown exhibit.  I am thrilled.    This is a wonderful surprise.

The guests arrive at 2 p.m.  There are 14 of us.  I serve shrimp cocktail, carrots and hummus, hot bourbon meatballs, spinach dip and pita and a platter of cheese and crackers and grapes.  Not quite Patty's, but plentiful.

My sister-in-law's sister brings drink mixes and alcohol and mixes up cosmos and whiskey sours.  My face is flushed from one drink as I pull the buffet together. T roasts tenderloin on the grill outside.  I serve salad, squash, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and some nice dinner rolls...and the traditional pasta course (gnocci this year).  More than enough.

The best part of the day had nothing to do with food.  We did a Yankee Swap this year which was very revealing.  The gift limit was $10.  It was interesting to see how people spent their $10.  As predicted, most of the people in this crowd knew how to stretch a buck.  Phillip bought silver-plated salad servers which retailed for $29 (sticker on the box).  Some others bought joke gifts (my mother would have had a fit, squandering money that way).  And then there's my husband.  He bought a $50 gift certificate to Kohl's while doing his Christmas shopping at Staples.  The room stopped when the person who got his gift opened it up.  Why $50???  He'd forgotten what we said was the limit and didn't feel like calling to ask.

The dessert buffet was obscene.  Homemade cookies and cupcakes and the world's biggest chocolate cake with ice cream.  Blueberry pie and a large fruit bowl with lemon sorbet. 

Everyone stayed until 9 p.m. and T and I cleaned up.

We looked at each other and said "Back to Weight Watchers....asap."

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