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My sister and I instituted what I hope will become a Christmas tradition – Making the Rounds. This involves, quite simply, staying on the move. Going where we want, seeing lots of people, being fed lots of orderves (back before I knew how to pronounce hors d’oeuvres, I thought that they were something entirely different than appetizers – hors d’oeuvres were one thing, and “orderves” were another thing). The only problem with this is that my sister made me drive, in spite of her recent aquisition of a car, and thusly I was not able to finish the delicious yet large glass of mulled wine that was poured for me at stop #2.

We spent the morning en famille, with a very satisfying array of gifts. On recent Christmases I’ve been plagued by that sense of disappointment that comes not from receiving gifts you don’t like, but from receiving gifts that you can’t play with. You open them, you think “great, just what I wanted!” and then what do you do for the rest of the day? I didn’t really receive any “toys” this year, but I did manage to escape that feeling. Constructing a Lego airplane with my brother (on behalf of our six year old cousin who lacks the patience for ten pages of instructions) probably helped.

Then a stop to visit Bee & Soph and exchange gifts, then a last minute decision to stop at Q’s grandparents with Lu and hang out in the garage with the middle-generation – all these kids that I’ve lived down the street from and gone to school and church with on and off for years, warming ourselves by the woodstove and playing pool and drinking beer. Then inside to converse with the parents and answer all the “how’s your mom/dad?” questions. Then to the cousins’ for ham and holiday slaw and lots of pie. And the aforementioned legos. We gave H the first Harry Potter and he exclaimed, “How did you know that I like Harry Potter?” The words every library-godmother (like a fairy godmother, but only giving books) wants to hear.

Now I need to go make a dent in my leftover New Year’s roast lamb and potato mushroom soup – and Annie, you must post the recipe for that soup so I can replicate it!

January 2006

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