Millennium Memoir
Moon and Stars . .

12.26.1999

This Christmas

Taking a break from the memoir thing for today.

This Christmas was framed in the coziness of family love on all sides. From start to finish it was a suitably whacky, but fun time. A Christmas with many a story to tell later on and make people laugh.

It all began with my refridgerated socks.

On Thursday night Sabs and I drove up to his mother's house to enjoy Christmas à la française. Bright and early on Friday morning, she was in the throes of making a full Christmas dinner, including pheasant, chestnut stuffing, red wine mushrooms and foie gras with champagne and Sauternes (sweet dessert wine made from rotting grapes).

It's customary to get dressed up for this meal, so of course I'd brought a nice dress, but I discovered much to my dismay, that I'd forgotten to pack extra socks and a nice pair of shoes. So here I was with a pale blue dress and a pair of bright red seasonal socks.

When we went out to the store to pick up a few extra things, I grabbed a pair of trouser socks to minimize the casual factor in my attire.

I brought all the bags in when we returned to the house then ran upstairs to wrap presents and make cards. When I came down looking for my socks later on, they were nowhere to be found. Florence even looked through the trash. Finally, Sabs poked his head in the fridge where one of the bags containing food had been stored and pulled the socks out of the bottom of the bag.

They were quite cold and damp, so a quick tour in the dryer was necessary before I could put them on. But as I said to Florence wryly as we laughed about the whole matter, "Bet you'll never forget the Christmas you guys refridgerated my socks."

We stuffed ourselves silly that night, had a leisurely present-opening after which we toddled off to bed, muzzy with champagne and sweet dessert wine.

On Christmas morning, Sabs and I headed out to my parents' place, forgetting a few sundries at his mom's and getting thoroughly lost on the back roads, thanks to Pennsylvania's winding twisting roads, equally twisted or uninformative street signs and a really, really old map that wasn't much help at all.

As a result we were a little bit late to my folks' place, but it was still a great Christmas. Dad made pancakes with bacon and sausage for breakfast. The tree looked great covered with our makeshift paper ornaments. Mom and Dad went all out on the gift front, such that the floor beneath the tree was packed to the gills with gaily wrapped packages. The usual merriment, joking, thanking and hugging happily took place and we all retreated for an hour or so afterwards to relax, enjoy looking through new books, try on new clothes and sniff the air as Mom got a leg of lamb ready for dinner.

Dinner was excellent, topped off with Mom's apple pie and all of us sitting in the tiny living room of the apartment watching specials about the Roman Empire on the History Channel.

The following day, was a comedy of errors from start to finish, but it ended well in laughter and gaiety.

I can safely say, that no matter where we are, whether or not all the trimmings of the holiday are present or not, no matter who gets sick, who is tired and grouchy, we always have a wonderful Christmas in my family.

In twenty-five years, I cannot remember a single bad Christmas, even with trees falling, kids losing their stomachs on the carpet, money being tight, or cramming six people into a two-bedroom apartment.

This is why, even with all the commercialization and backlash, I still love Christmas. For me, it goes hand in hand with Thanksgiving as a time that brings my family, the joy and gladness of simply being together and enjoying each others' company.

Moonlit Trees . .

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