I'm glad I figured out the holidays before I'm, like, fifty. You know what I mean - the older folks who stretch their feet out after the second slice of pie and and wave their hand saying, "No, no - you guys go ahead with the shopping. I'm too old for that," or "Well we used to do a big spread every year, but now it's just easier to lay low and spend time with family."
We already do that.
And I'm so grateful that we don't make a big hoopla out of the holidays. Every year, we bake one or two treats, pack it up in cellophane and head up to the farm a day or two before everyone else. Our cell phones don't get service up there, which for some people might be torture, but I like it. We have long conversations, play board games and toast our feet by the fire. We eat thick slices of apple pie after lunch and again after dinner. We dress our baby in red overalls and read her book after book after book.
And it's so nice because it's so easy. There's a turkey, sure, but it was butchered on Sunday and it hibernates in the fridge until its grand appearance on Thursday evening - this year, it was thirty-three pounds. And that was small. I mean, we all nearly starved. But everyone sits together at the table, we toast with champagne and fill each others plates with real sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce and my parents come and the baby goes crazy for mashed potatoes. And we enjoy each other. No shopping, no stress, no worries.
In the morning, it's homemade strawberry jam slathered across toasted English muffins followed by some last minute hugs and kisses and a road trip home where my husband serenades me with hilariously inappropriate lyrics set to the classic Christmas tunes. The baby snores in the backseat and we eat leftover cookies and clementines and talk about how much we enjoyed it, as always.
And for all those things, I'm grateful.