Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017

It's quiet this week in my office, so I have more time to think than at other times of year.  I'm sitting here typing with two burns on my fingers from grabbing a hot pot.

With that said, I'm not upset, but happy.  Even though they burned for hours after it happened, they were such a minor part of a lovely day that I shrug and say, "shit happens." 

Last Christmas was my first Christmas with my husband, David.  We both surprised each other with quite a few really nice gifts.  We probably spent more than we should have on each other, but neither of us will ever forget that first Christmas as a married couple.  After opening gifts, making waffles in our new waffle maker, and having a google chat with my family, we laid down to rest while poking around shuttefly to make a wedding album with our newly delivered wedding photos.  What we didn't realize is that we left a candle burning resulting in a fire.  Fortunately, no one was hurt and most of our things were saved.

This year, we planned a much smaller Christmas together.  We have a friend visiting us from Nigeria, so we picked up a few gifts for him to open.  We also bought each other a few nice things.  My mom and dad sent us quite a few big boxes along with gifts from other family.  We woke up at our own pace and laid a blanket on the floor to open gifts from each other next to our tree.  Our friend, James, joined us.  We each opened some fun gifts.  My favorite was the three foam dart guns from Santa.  A toy like this for three grown men brings quite a bit of laughter (and that laughter continued throughout the day).  Even when one of the tail fins came off the dart, it still flew with a big curve.

After we opened gifts, I made breakfast for everyone.  It's really fun for me to cook for folks that I love.  Some buttermilk biscuits, sausage, and cheese garlic scrambled eggs hit the spot and tided us over for most of the day.  I got to use some more of my new pampered chef knives and other products.  I love kitchen gadgets. 

David got a new men's jewelry valet, a watch case, and a cufflink case, so he tore apart our bedroom and reorganized his jewelry and his closet.  James and I watched folksy Christmas movies on netflix while I texted back and forth with my family and friends.  I got up after a while and started working on Christmas dinner.  We had some friends that had asked to join us, so I was a bit worried about having enough food.  I looked through my cupboards and decided to add a few dishes in case we didn't have enough main course.  I realized that if I have ever done a full holiday meal, it has been years.  I vaguely remember a Thanksgiving meal back when I was 25.  

I'm blessed to have my mom who talked me through some of my questions.  I cook a lot at home, but I don't think I've ever made some of my mom's usual holiday dishes.  The hard part about it is that she doesn't have a recipe for anything.  If you call and ask her about how much of an ingredient to add, her answer is always that "it depends."  I cook the same way all the time now, BUT, I usually start with a recipe and then alter it to my taste after I've tried it once.  Funny thing is that I have lots of cookbooks and printed recipes that are only basic guides for that dish.  Regardless, the food looked and smelled great.  It wasn't quite as good as mom's (it probably never could be).  Our friends got stuck on the train, so I couldn't keep everything warm.  I called mom and asked her what to do about the mashed potatoes.  She told me to put the entire kettle back in the oven for ten minutes. 

I did so and then pulled them out with my handy oven mitts.  They looked dry so I grabbed some milk to add to them (again thanks mom).  Forgetting that the kettle had been in the oven and knowing that the handles don't usually get warm when I use it on the stove top, I grabbed the handle with my bare hand.  Fortunately, I realized it before both hands hit the handles and quickly ran cold water over my fingers.  I grabbed an ice pack and guided David through fixing the potatoes.

We served a meal to our three friends, and opened some Christmas Crackers (leftover from our wedding) that always make us giggle.  We had some wine to drink and enjoyed the charming, witty, funny, and loving company of each other.  I had waves of contentment flood over me repeatedly all evening.  The burn was a minor set back in what was a reminder of the millions of things I have to be thankful for.  God has blessed me, blessed my marriage, and our friends this year.  In spite of the bad things going on in the world both in our own country, in Nigeria, and elsewhere, WE PERSISTED.  We are RESISTING.  We are SURVIVING.  We are LOVING, LIVING, and trying to help those around us do the same. 

As 2017 starts to wind down, I am grateful for the good and cognizant of the bad things that have happened.  I (with my love at my side) am ready to face 2018 with open arms and an open mind.  We will take all of blessings we can get, give as many as we can give, and have faith that we will have an even better year next year!

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