Wednesday, December 12, 2007

" Who-ville, they say, that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!"

Yesterday was Primo’s seventh birthday. The cupcake party for the family wrapped up almost a week of celebrations: birthday party for friends (skating), family dinner, school treats, and finally the immediate family dinner, presents, and cupcakes yesterday. People, I love Primo but I am thrilled for it all to be over, and today we began tentative Christmas prep.

I pulled out the Christmas books, adding the new ones (a musical Jingle Bells (for Terzo who loves the song) and Grumpy Santa, for me) to the basket; I taped the handprint-Christmas tree and cutout gingerbread men paintings onto our front door, and positioned my soft trees from dear Suse in their tableau on the mantel with the reindeer. There is a cinnamon candle burning on the entryway windowsill. The received Christmas cards reside in their gold and silver sleigh basket next to the answering machine.

H will bring me home a tree sometime in the next week or so, and I will festoon it with unbreakable ornaments. The gorgeous glass balls and intricate crocheted ornaments will remain packed away until, oh, retirement or such time as we do not have three rambunctious boys playing catch in the living room; two crazy cats who have been known to knock over trees; or one clueless dog who might eat something tasty-looking like a silvery, sparkly, spiky snowflake.

I am not sending mailed cards this year. If I have your email, I will be sending e-greetings with photos of children (preferably mine). I tell myself I am saving the environment, but really, I am just lazy.

I have already turned down five invites to various holiday functions: cookie exchanges, potlucks, cocktail parties. I will continue to turn down invites to, oh, anything we don’t care to attend. Crazy idea, hmmmm?

The strands of lights wrapped around the front porch columns will get taped into place as soon as there’s a dry day. The wreath is already hanging in the entryway.

Most of the boys’ presents are bought, and my niece and nephews apparently desire only gift cards, which are easy-peasy AND add to my FuelPerks from the grocery store.

I used to make fifteen different kinds of cookies. But then I also weighed fifteen (or more) additional pounds. This year, it will be a pan of chocolate chip cookies for the boys, a batch or two of anise and almond biscotti for H, a batch of rum balls for my older brother who is coming here for Christmas, and my favorite no-bake oatmeal cookies for me. I confess I have laid in a supply of Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Jo-Jos, which are like peppermint Oreos, but better. I will throw together a few loaves of cranberry walnut bread to have on hand for visitors, and I will probably make a few batches of (delicious but easy) fudge to give to teachers and mail carriers and garbage men, oh my.

Christmas pageant dress rehearsal is this Saturday. Four years of conservatory theatre training stood me in good stead as the costumer – tonight I will festoon the Angel Gabriel’s halo with some silver stars and garland and call the costumes complete. I can’t even tell you how much fun this was. Seriously, the kids are so cute and excited, and most of the costumes consist of draped fabric and lots of shiny gold or silver cord and tinsel. I love the Christmas Eve service at church, with the pageant and the carols and the candles.

So, hey, haul out the holly, ring those silver bells, and, um, cue the boys of the NYPD choir…


Paula said...

Happiest of happies to your big boy! Seven! What a wonderful age that is...

And if I may say, you're abreviated cookie list still sounds like a LOT of work to me.

Badger said...

Happy belated, Primo!

Suse said...

Unrelated comments:

1. Seven is a great age. Happy birthday Primo.

2. I gave you soft trees? What colour? How nice of me! (How terrible of me that I don't remember).

3. You give gifts to your mailmen and garbage collectors? Wow.

4. Have you ever read Ann Patchett's 'Truth and Beauty'? I picked it up at the library on audio tape and am listening to it in the car. I have you to thank for this as her name leapt out at me from the shelf, remembering you recommending 'Bel Canto'. It's wonderful nonfiction, with the added bonus that it's AP herself who narrates it. Gorgeous.

lazy cow said...

Happy birthday to Primo. Seven is heaven (most of the time!)
I admire your fortitude in saying 'no' to invites. I used to be that person. Somehow the children and I have 5 parties in 5 days to go to. All kid-related (so my husband doesn't have to participate). NEXT year is going to be saner!
I do a cranberry-orange loaf for presents. It's delicious.

Peg said...

Three words: Christmas pageant photos!

Actually, four words -- "please."


Anonymous said...

Fudge recipe please!