Well here we are smack dab in the middle of Christmas week. Finally I have some time to reflect on the Christmas season as I’ve experienced it so far. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day were pleasant, and fairly unrushed. We started by going to Chester, not to the new retail mall, but to the old part with the quaint shops and antique stores. Mainly we went to hear and see “Cast in Bronze”, that wonderful act we first saw last year outside of Shop Rite. For those who don’t know what that could possibly be, I invite you to learn more by visiting this website www.castinbronze.com. It was a pleasant but cold day for Bruce, Hillary and me where we strolled down the street and window shopped, bought some sweet treats at a cake boutique, ate the best pizza on a bench outside (we couldn’t get Hillary’s mammoth wheelchair into most of the shops), coffee from a neat little café, and bought Anna a Christmas gift. In the following weeks we went to dinner with good friends in a restaurant we’d never been to--so much fun! Anna and I baked cookies and I went to a cookie swap with the ladies from work--more fun & yummy! Bruce and I took a day off and Christmas shopped for the girls and other family members together topped off by lunch at Applebee’s. Anna and I went to lunch a few times on her day off which happily coincides with my one early day a week, and we managed to sneak in a quick shopping trip.
Things became a bit more stressful as the big day got closer. The 23rd found me rushing to finish my shopping, both gifts and groceries immediately after work, and Christmas Eve day trying to wrap gifts and argue with myself about whether or not to attend the evening candlelight service. I finally gave myself permission to skip it this year. It’s the first year I didn’t go to church Christmas Eve, I am estranged from my church for numerous reasons but generally do go this one time a year. Honestly, I felt much more peaceful not going.
Christmas Day was lovely, quiet, and non rushed--it took us about 5 hours to open gifts, as we took our time admiring, appreciating everything and had breakfast in between. One of my brothers came by for the day which was capped off with a simple but yummy dinner of pot roast and veggies, cookies and custard. Monday was spent grocery shopping for yesterday’s party, and so of course Tuesday was spent in preparing for the party and enjoying all who came. Today is rest/cleanup day, and tomorrow evening we’ll go to a party at our good friends’ house. The rest of my holiday break will be spent relaxing, and perhaps taking down the festive decorations in preparation for the return to “normal”, whatever that is!