We powered through Christmas. Now we can relax and forget it. I plan to spend the rest of the week bingeing on the Outlander series.
The house smells of burned butter, a scent emitted while I made Shrimp Scampi for the Christmas feast. I can’t say I’m much of a chef, but I blame this tragedy on our electric stove. The burners heat up so fast it’s like trying to control a racecar in downtown Oskaloosa.
While the shrimp was sauteing, I couldn’t find the lemon. “Can you help?” My husband has a sixth sense for hunting and gathering. The lemon was behind the Harry and David box of pears. Everything came together, sort of, just in time. And so the carol was written: “God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.”
I’m just glad we didn’t have a breakdown.
Honestly, I haven’t had a stress-free Christmas since 1969. My grandmother kept everything together, possibly because she was the only one who could cook. When she was a young farm wife, she cooked three meals a day for the hired hands. On Christmas she prepared turkey, ham, three kinds of potatoes, green beans, dressing, homemade noodles, pie…. but her culinary secrets died with her.
My mother was a fan of frozen foods and eating out. She cried at the table the year the frozen turkey breast was underdone.… and everybody got a little dysfunctional. I wept the year I opened the refrigerator only to find that my husband had bought, instead of a whole turkey breast from Whole Foods, a lone turkey breast in a shrink-wrapped package.
And those were mild Christmases, not tragic.
There was the year my cousin, a middle-class librarian, went manic and did “performance art” in her yard. The police came and hauled her away in cuffs in the locked back seat of a black-and-white to the county mental hospital. It was traumatic for her, but she was a routine Christmas mental case to the police. She needed meds, and she was released the next day.
And the moral is: Don’t do performance art in your yard!
After this relatively excellent Christmas, I still feel a bit melancholy. And so I turned to this article in Psychology Today.
So many of us have an idealized version of what the holidays should be like and are very disappointed when they don’t live up to those expectations. Try to be realistic. Remember, nobody has a perfect holiday or perfect family.
Yes, it will never be 1969 again. But every time Christmas comes around, I expect perfection.
Happy Christmas! And let’s hope I can find my Gabaldon books, or the DVDs. What escape reading do you recommend????!!!!!