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Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gimme a Break

No, seriously, it’s break time. I’m so pleased that I’ve had energy today and I have, for me, gotten so much done! Of course, that energy is gone now and I could SO take a nap! This too shall pass with some rest and a blog post!

All of the gifts for the Secret Santa Soiree are wrapped, plus another gift that I’m sending out Monday. I’ve got them boxed with a little space, so if tomorrow goes as planned, as it often does, I’ll include a treat from the Davinities Test Kitchen. The official Production Kitchen opens on Tuesday and I usually do a “warm-up,” try out a new recipe or two. I’m looking at a loaf recipe or a sugar drop cookie, probably with cinnamon, that I want to try a new technique with. We’ll see what I feel like playing with tomorrow.

David has been on a “play date” today in Michigan at an ops session. Ops session – model railroad operation. I’ve been to an operating session with him before. It’s awesome! I kinda can’t wait until we have David’s layout built. I’d go more often but it’s a lot of standing, which I can’t do, usually in someone’s basement, and I don’t do stairs much, and there needs to be a “boys day” every now and then! I could say I don’t mind if they “belch and scratch,” but most guys will still not allow themselves the freedom to”just be guys” when someone’s wife or girlfriend is there.

So, aside from wrapping, I got my shopping almost done this morning before David was even awake. That is to say I filled three cyber shopping carts, but I had to close them when he came in, so I actually hit the “finish purchase” buttons after he left. After that, I turned on the Christmas station.

I got one counter section of the kitchen cleared and scrubbed, ready for baking. Then I went to the basement and got a load of laundry started. Then it was wrapping time, still with the Christmas station on, it’s been on all day, and a few of the Holiday Spice Lindor Truffles David got me. I was happy and feeling nostalgic.

I am not, nor have I ever been, very good at wrapping. It starts with the one place I consistently got bad marks in kindergarten. I failed scissors! They let me graduate to scissors with points on the end and now that I’m an adult, they’ll even let me buy the curvy and zigzag scissors! I actually have a few different shapes of craft scissors, but really, I use the digital tools SO much better! Part of my wrapping trouble is that I use regular scissors and it looks like I used zigzags that need sharpening! I learned the art of the fold-over for the seams!

One of my favorite papers!
See the Nani-jags??

When I was 21, I completely redid my room at home. I painted all my wood trim black, got a gray fold out couch, a black lacquer entertainment center and coffee table and I painted a homemade shelving unit black. I had the carpet redone in mauve with two walls in grey and white panel and two painted burgundy.

For Christmas, I had a green tree decorated in pink, burgundy and mauve with lots of bead and lace ornaments. There were jesters and carousel horses and a bund Gundy-gowned angel on top. It was a very formal tree in a very urban-looking room. It suited me at the time. That shelving unit had a coffee pot AND espresso maker with all the frou-frou coffee trimmings. There was a shelf behind the coffee bar with tins of coffee beans for my grind it into the filter pot. My black octagon glass dishes served festive holiday treats and on the door hung a sign that read “Elfin Sweat Shop.”

I’d set up my card table and the room was filled with paper, bows, ribbons and tape. Mom and I would wrap together, Grandma and I wrapped together and one night every year they kicked me out of my own room and they wrapped! I was like a little kid. They gave me cookies and put Rudolph on downstairs. I had Santa Claus Is Coming To Town too, in case I'd been REAL good!!

Mom was a Christmas nut! She always gave a bunch of little things as well as big gift and a few nice medium gifts. She loved to wrap everything because the more she could put under the tree, the more it looked like the sleigh crashed in our living room, the happier she was. She was the only child of an only child. Her parents had one child and her maternal grandparents had just one grandchild. She grew up in post World War 2 America. As a kid she had everything “we didn’t have,” “that we fought for,” “that I owe you for not meeting you until after your first birthday.” It wasn’t guilt; it was what they all felt she was entitled to. She was showered with what her parents and grandparents didn’t have. She grew up only knowing giving at Christmas in abundance. As an adult that’s how she gave. It’s what I was taught!

Wrapping nights were usually Mom, Grandma and me drinking flavored coffee and nibbling on Davinities or a nut loaf and talking, reminiscing about Christmases in the past, anticipating the cooking for the Holiday and when my Dad used to dress up as Santa and came to Noni’s house on Christmas Eve. Pop was Santa at the Kresge store Grandma managed before she retired too. He talked to all the kids and gave candy canes and one time, a friend of Noni’s was looking at him like “I know you, but can’t place you.” He called her by name and said he was Santa in the San Marinese dialect. He always laughs when he tells that story because her eyes got incredulously wide, like she was on Candid Camera!

Okay, I’m rested up enough to do a little more now. If you’re home from shopping, say “hi!” If you have some wrapping traditions, what are they? Do you wrap with someone else as an event, or do you wrap privately surprising everyone on Christmas Day?

1 comment:

Edna B said...

I love your wrapping story. Makes me think of Christmases past. I'm not crazy about wrapping anymore, but I remember when I used to spend hours enjoying it. I understand about the Christmases after WW II. I shopped all year so that I could give my kids a fabulous Christmas with mountains of presents. Our tree was always a sight to behold. Oh wow, here come the memories. You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.