xmas3With presents sent or wrapped for tomorrow morning’s delivery, Christmas Eve afternoon found us with  dueling laptops, sitting face-to-face, screens kissing, at the dining table while little Fargo, our charge for the week, sleeps on the couch, waking occasionally to make sure we are still around.  I cleaned up my blog — added reflections on our first year with Dolce Vento, customized bits and pieces of the website, and corrected typos and grammar in old posts which seemed to be never ending.  Like panning for gold, John sifted the web for new content, finding nuggets of interesting bits; then, occasionally, he switched to xmas2email clean-up, an endless activity.  It’s  quiet, cozy day.

It was a comfortable time even though the sky is gray and the air cold and damp — typical of Washington DC’s December weather.  We created a light wall just below our windows, lit some candles and scented the air with evergreen.  After listening to Christmas music, we distracted ourselves by watching the Kevin Belton PBS New Orleans cooking show drooling while he demonstrated how to make the unique and famous Mardi Gras King Cake.

Gone are the Holidays when we spent the week in New York City getting our winter fix of the city and visiting “his” family in Queens (daughters, their mom and granddaughter) and “my” family (daughter, son-in-law and grandkids) in New Jersey on Christmas Day.  My family is grown now, spending  their holiday time with their contemporaries. Our traditions with them have past, but are not forgotten.

bridget-and-liz-2016-2Three years ago, his family migrated to Maryland, so in only a bit more than an hour, we joined them for the joys of watching Bridget, our young granddaughter, rip open gifts and then sitting down to a sumptuous Christmas celebration meal.  After eating too much, we lingered at the table, talking, laughing, yelling at the huge but gentle dogs to stay down and shared stories.  Later, as weather permitted,  Bridget and I took a walk over the fields that surround their countryside home.  These newer traditions are good, but they too, will fade as she grows older.  It is the way of life.  It evolves.  Instead of missing them, we remember them and look forward to new traditions and celebrations, no matter what they may be.

Like many of you, this year has been a rough one for us personally and politically.  There were losses, unexpected changes, and a few struggles.  Turning seventy was more than I had imagined, but I’m returning to normal.  Running and some weightlifting along with regular hair color enhancement helped.  Nothing like a good sweat to make you feel alive.

No matter what you are doing this Holiday season, share the joy of the season with those you love and those around you (with luck they are same).  Give away those extra cookies you made to those who don’t bake.  It saves you calories and spreads joy and smiles.

John and I thank everyone for the cards we received through the snail mail and electronic mail.  Maybe next year, we’ll get back into our Christmas card groove.