Christmas tales

The Christmas cards have been arriving and most have just a signature and nothing more. I look on the back and along the edges and sometimes there is a message scribbled. I like scribbled messages. My cousins L. and K. send the same wolf cards every year and are in that camp of just signing the bottom. This year my sister Lisa got a card from them and her eyes were immediately drawn to the bottom of the card which had a scribbled message:

It was good to see you at Miss Carol’s party. You are always fun to be with and we love you very much. Have a Merry!

Lisa was touched and couldn’t help but sigh, “This is so sweet.” That was until she read the top…. Dear Mae.

Whoops!  Cousin L. made a mistake in addressing the envelope. Lisa called me choking on her own laughter.

Snow Woman baking

Lisa and I cooked Christmas dinner at my Dad’s house this year. My brother usually does that but he had to work so the two of us stepped up to the plate. Did I mention my brother is a professional chef and knows a thing or two about cooking? Without him in it, the kitchen felt a bit like the engine room of the Titanic right before the real trouble began. We started at 7:00 AM and at 12:45 PM neither of us had changed from our pajamas. We were busy pulling things in and out of the oven with timers ringing and the question always hanging in the air, “Do you think this is done?” I did have to make a mad dash out the door at 10 in search of olive oil. Nothing was open but CVS which did in fact carry one lone bottle. Who knew? Yes, I did purchase the oil in my pajamas with a coat over the whole mess. I was the only customer in the store and I don’t think the clerk noted. He seemed bored out of his mind and I was frighteningly gleeful over the oil.

My Dad was headed to the train station to pick up the guests at 1:00 PM when I scrambled up the stairs and cleaned up a bit.  Made myself presentable with lipstick, mascara and a dress I had at the ready.  Luckily, it’s always dark by the time we think of taking photos of each other.  Dim lighting is a girl’s best friend.  That and greasy fingers accidentally on the camera lens which has happened more that once.  I don’t know how my mother did it years ago. She’d make the meal, the cookies, decorate and look good on top of it all.  She would never have gone to the store looking as I did or relied on the lack of lighting as part of her beauty regime.

The meal was perfect if I say so myself. Really, absolute perfection. It was touch and go right up until the last 5 minutes but we pulled off even a delicious gravy to go with the pork loin and roasted potatoes. There were 10 of us in all and we told stories and laughed and I will say it was the first time in a long time we were just happy in the moment. We weren’t mourning or fretting over one health issue or another. It really was a nice moment and then came the desert hour. It was then I chowed down on a cookie Colleen had brought and noted half of my back tooth was missing…

I was supposed to be out there today but a date with the dentist was my destiny.  Luckily, he is an artist with the drill, squeezed me into an already packed day and loves me as much as my cousins.  A root canal was avoided but I have been assured that one is in my future.  I go back out to my Dad’s house for another party tomorrow.  This time my brother is cooking and I don’t plan on eating anything crunchy just yet.

I hope all of you are enjoying your holidays and your teeth are hanging in there!  I might as well confess that having half a tooth didn’t stop me from eating a few more cookies.  It did slow me down as I had to chew using only one side of my mouth.

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14 Responses to Christmas tales

  1. marydpierce says:

    Sounds like a fun, though hectic day. (When did drugstores start carrying olive oil?). And I’m with you — I like scribbled messages on my cards, too.

    Have a lovely New Years!

    • maesprose says:

      Thanks Mary. I don’t know when olive oil became a store staple like shampoo but it was there. The day was hectic and not something I would want to do often but it was fun in that odd holiday way. The last 10 minutes before the meal was served had both of my sisters in the kitchen and it got very funny.

      Wishing you a lovely New Years too!

  2. Daile says:

    Sounds like a delightful Christmas 🙂 mine was pretty relaxed but absolutely lovely. I adore getting Christmas and birthday cards. A little message just for me can light up my day

  3. LB says:

    You write so wonderfully that I could almost see the kitchen as the engine room of the Titanic, or your glee in that CVS, clutching the olive oil! And I laughed over the Christmas card 🙂
    So sorry about the unplanned dental visit … sigh … I stuck with mostly soft foods, but enjoyed everything none the less.
    Good job on pulling out the perfect meal without your brother the chef!

  4. tw says:

    I’m so pleased your Christmas was warm and happy Mae, albeit with an unexpected dentist visit thrown in. I wish you many more happy times in the year ahead, for you and your family xoxox

  5. John says:

    A perfect day …even with the broken tooth (because, at least, it didn’t get swallowed!)

  6. CVS does a great job of carrying “in a pinch” items. So glad your meal was a success! and the dentist…well, I shake at just the thought of it.

  7. Aussa Lorens says:

    Oh, I definitely know all about the various things you can buy at Walgreens in the wee hours of the morning! And this line pretty much speaks my world: “the kitchen felt a bit like the engine room of the Titanic right before the real trouble began. “

  8. nancyspoint says:

    I loved reading this and it gave me such a chuckle as I pictured you busily cooking (and shopping) in your pjs. Things have been a bit chaotic at my house too, though we are all having great fun. It’s funny, I’ve been wondering to myself how in the world my mom did so much, too, holiday after holiday. Of course she did start all the prep much earlier than I tend to do… and I loved your comment about dim lighting! LOL! On a side note, dear hubby recently had a tooth extraction and a whole adventure around all of that transpired. Too much detail to go into, but… hoping all turns out well for you on that front. Happy New Year to you and yours! Keep up the great writing.

  9. elroyjones says:

    Lovely Christmas story, funny and real. Happy New Year, Mae!

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