It’s Christmas Eve. Clear, chilly and nearly full moon outside. They say we might get some snow late tomorrow, but we’ve enjoyed rather mild weather the last few days, which has been nice. I’ve been able to sit outside at midday and get my 15 minutes of unfiltered sunshine on my face, which is supposed to be good for your vitamin D levels and help fight depression. Not that I’m feeling depressed, but winter sunshine, that I can get into.
E’s been out of school for about a week now, and it’s been pretty good. He’s spent the night with friends and cousins, we wrapped some presents together, some apart, made plans already for some things next year, went to some movies, watched some of our favorite shows together, played some games, laughed a lot and haven’t fought over much of anything. It has been very relaxed, very fluid and open. I haven’t cooked much of anything, and that has been okay with me. I just watched an episode of one of Bourdain’s shows, and now I am craving Vietnamese food.
Right now, E is at his aunt and uncle’s, going to spend the night. I’ll go over in the morning and hang out for a while until I have to come back and go to work. I imagine working on Christmas night won’t be too bad, but you never know. Long ago, when I still lived in Atlanta, I spent several years as a rape crisis counselor at Grady Hospital, one of the regions major trauma centers. I always volunteered for the holiday shifts and they were, sadly, always busy those days. People do go nuts around the holidays, but fortunately, I have managed to find people who prefer to be happy. I’ll stick with them.
So here, I am, home alone. I couldn’t be more content. I’ve got a movie all queued up to watch, some coffee next to the keyboard, the Christmas tree is all lit up in the other room, and I have not one thing to complain about. Earlier this season, I discovered the music channels on the TV, high up in the 900s. I found a Christmas channel and boom! I had music while I was working on getting presents ready. This year, since E’s friend A lived with us for three months, and I got closer to his family and 7 other siblings, I wanted to do something for the other kids, but my budget wouldn’t allow for a whole lot. Then I stumbled on this great tutorial video on YouTube and an idea was born. A stayed with us for so long because his family’s rental home had a plumbing disaster that forced them out and then they found asbestos in the house and they couldn’t move back in. Mom and the younger siblings moved in with her dad but they all went to a different school on the other side of town, so I just told his mom that A could stay with us. The two boys had the same schedule, both played football, they’re best friends, why not? So, it worked out.
Anyway, my plan for the kids’ gifts: The video was a tutorial on how to make pillowcases! Mom finally got her own house, after nearly 2 months waiting to close, and they moved in, but after all the other craziness, didn’t have a lot of extra stuff, so I figured if the kids had new pillows and customized pillowcases, that might be a fun thing. Mom and I hit the fabric store a couple of weeks ago, and she helped me pick out fabric specific to each child and away I went. I made nine pillowcases in about a week! Then washed, ironed, spritzed with some essential oils, folded and wrapped with E’s help. I also talked to A’s mom and told her I wanted to get him a TV (from a pawn shop)…if she was okay with it. I didn’t want her to feel like I was trying to go over her head, but A is a really good kid and I thought he deserved it. E and I went to our favorite shop and found exactly what we were looking for–and on a day they were having a sale, so got him a very nice TV for a great price. We went over today to exchange gifts and the pillowcases were a huge hit! And of course, the TV was the biggest surprise of all, but I do think he might have liked the Superman pillowcase even more. He wants his whole room done in Superman, so he’s now on the way. They were all going up to Denver to visit their real gramma, and all the kids wanted to take their pillows with them. That made me feel pretty good. 🙂
Mom got me a nice bottle of wine, and I told her I’d make her a cheesecake as she had been posting on FB about wanting one. Also, I think we’re going to make tamales next week, so yay on that!
I’ve had some quiet time and some people time, but the best part is that it’s been on my terms, that I haven’t had to deal with anyone’s “issues” around the holidays, that I can do the things I love to do (reading, movies, etc.) and not feel freaking guilty about it, that I’m leaving someone out, ignoring someone or whatever. What a blessed relief. I have discovered that sometimes relief is the best feeling ever.
I hope that you all are having wonderful Christmases, wherever you are and whatever holiday you celebrate. I tend to lump them all under “Christmas” but perhaps I should say “winter festivals.” Whatever you choose to call it/them, I hope yours are full of love, laughter, quiet time, good food, good friends and camaraderie and no angst whatsoever. And now, I am off to watch a movie. Oh, photo of all the pillowcases below…