Monday, December 26, 2011

Done and done

It's finished; back to sanity. An amazingly mild Boxing Day today, with leftovers piled high in the fridge, turkey soup simmering on the stove, recycling bin stuffed with paper and ribbon, and the poor traumatized cat hiding upstairs. This morning, I went to the Y to sweat off a bit of the festivities, and then came back to share the meal all over again with friends Gretchen and Jack. That's the best repast, the first enormous meal that requires only the effort of lifting the food from container to plate and into microwave. Love that meal.

Beware expectations, is my mantra with my children, so I didn't mind when things did not pan out quite as planned. The plan was for both kids and my near-daughter Holly to come over Xmas Eve afternoon; we'd enjoy each others' company and then go to Mary and Malcolm's marvellous annual Xmas Eve party. They'd stay the night here and we'd get a fresh, early start to Xmas. Ha.

Reality: Sam came over late afternoon Xmas Eve exhausted, made himself a big plate of spaghetti and did not want to go out. Anna worked till late and vanished; her phone was not working. Holly decided to visit her family in Belleville and not come back till late Xmas afternoon. I went to Mary's and sat in front of her fire chatting with neighbours while
eating the best smoked salmon, Stilton cheese and baked brie in all Toronto.

When I got back, Sam went out with his friends. Xmas morning, there were shoes in the hall; I could tell he'd come in very late - or rather, early that morning - because the newspaper was inside. Anna arrived at 10, we forced Sam to get up at noon, my oldest friend Ron arrived for our traditional smoked salmon at 12.30, we finished opening presents by 3, Holly arrived at 5, we ate at 7 and then watched home movies and Harry Potter on TV. It was perfect - the most relaxed Xmas we've ever had, the first ever without a big crowd. We've made a point of always having homeless waifs at our table, and of course we will again, but this year, it was just us, and it was great.

The home movies were a treat, my father as a child, me as a child, my children as children. Such a rich sociological study, to watch what was going on back then. At the end of the long day, the kids went off in different directions and I went gladly to bed.

Now the recovery begins, putting things back and away. The new year is coming up. Time for some self improvement lists.

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