Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Christmas, so much to do. So much stress. Not enought sleep, we are tired. So much to do. Decorate the house. Parties and more parties. They conflict, which one to go to? Some we want to go to and some we only go to because we like the host. There are gifts to wrap,( see the blog 12-11-08 on wrapping). Meals to plan, vegetarian, vegan, no beef, only want rare beef, traditional meal or not. Then you have multiple trips to the airports. Yes, airports, the family is coming in on different days and at different airports. And we work Saturdays and Sundays during the four weekends of Open Studios in Berkeley. How will it all get done?

Well, you who read this regularly know about the decorating and gift wrapping. The meals will happen, we will decide sometime before the guests arrive, we always do. And the airport trips? I pulled the Mother card and our son Erik is making one run while we are working Sunday. Bless you Erik. One guest is getting a rental car with GPS and will bring himself. Santa will remember that. And the others will get picked up when we get there.

But what about the fun? What about the family celebrating being together again? What about laughing, telling tall tales, drinking, family traditions of yelling Christmas gift every phone call. How does that happen if all of the above work has to be done? How does it happen?

Well, it happens, always. Some years better than others. Every one jumps in. They cook, help clean, shop, calm me down during my annual meltdown. I want everything perfect, never gonna happen.

Last year one of the most fun family thing we did was grocery shopping. Really. One afternoon we planned our dinner for the next night. It was a long list, and I didn't want to spend an hour or more at the grocery. I made a plan. There were five of us. Every one was given a portion of the list and X number of minutes to shop, and then we were to meet at the checkout stand. We hit the doors on the run, everyone took off with their lists and scattered. We would pass each other in the aisles and yell where is . . . found it . . . and I've still got . . . We were in and out in 10 minutes. And it was a fun family project.

Tis the Season for happiness. Kiss someone and tell them you love them. Merry Christmas.