Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Can only go up from here, right? It has truly been a blessed Christmas season. Strange, eh? It started with the death of my mom and somehow ended (well, at least the 2009 of it) last night with a hopeful (albeit slightly tipsy ;o) feeling of great things ahead. :o) For reasons that will remain uncovered (in this blog anyway) Christmas has always been incredibly painful and tough for me. So, because mom died right before Thanksgiving I fully predicted that this Christmas would go down in my personal history as the worst. Surprisingly it may go down as the best that I can remember for a long time.

I have been at a true loss for words (not "write" - because I have been doing lots of that and then promptly either deleting or saving it for later) since right before Christmas. Because none of my thoughts seem to be coming together I have decided to do what I do best (and fall back on most)......................A LIST. Oh joy! I knew you were waiting with baited breath. So, here goes. Had trouble coming up with a title for my list, so forgive me.


1. Okay, so for #1 I am going to digress in a big way and just get it over with. I am one of the dwindling number of people worldwide who still read the newspaper. For you younguns 'the newspaper' is a black and white paper thing that contains the news worthy (and not) of print. You turn it like a book and read it. ;o) One thing I love, love, love reading in November/December are the lists on how to maintain your weight and health during the holiday season. I love them because they are so contrary to everything I try to do and wholeheartedly believe. I have been wanting to write this list (for you all) for many years. I wanted to get it out to you all before Christmas so that you could benefit from it THIS YEAR, but didn't make it. Hopefully it can help you in the future. ;o) So, here is my sublist which I will hold dear for quite some time.

a. Don't eat before any parties. It's almost a sin to do that and quite like opening your presents before Christmas. Instead - Starve yourself for a long time before holiday parties so that you are fully able to take advantage of all the party fanfare and great fattening food.

b. Don't not drink. As they say - Bottoms up! The holidays are a time to enjoy the wonderful beverages that people have at their parties. And I am talking alcoholic and nonalcoholic here. No offense to my non-partaking friends (after all I am married to one and must remain friendly to him). And if you are partaking - don't try to time 'manage' your drinks. Get a driver for heaven's sake and drink it all up if it tastes good!

c. Don't look for the veggies at the table. You can look for them in the new year. In the current year eat what you want. You will soon have approximately 350 days to look for the veggies (and believe me - they will look exactly the same as they did this year).

d. Eat while you are doing other things. Duh. That's a real no-brainer. For example: eat while doing cards, setting up tree, cooking, cleaning, drinking (duh!), laundry. And while you are at eating - don't be afraid to throw your favorite drink in there, too.

e. Forgo exercise for other more important things that need to be done - like eating and drinking.

f. Remember there is always tomorrow and it will be here sooner than you know it.

Okay, back to the list list.

2. I will remember that I had the advent wreath AND the Jesse Tree set up on time. I hope you took note of that, mom. And I love you for always reminding me to do it (except this year when I actually had to remember on my own - miracles do happen).

3. I will remember the feeling I had on Christmas Eve during mass when I thought I would be so sad and strangely I was not. I was sitting in the church completely alone (kids singing in choir) surrounded by other families hugging, kissing, and greeting and even as I type this I am not sad. I felt mom right there with me and it was so great. I will not forget how I pictured her and how I felt her and how at peace I felt. Thank you, mom.

4. I will remember that 2009 was the first year in many, many years that the tree was set-up without a family fight. Now, I am not sure this made me happy. As this has become somewhat of a tradition and a thing to laugh and write about later. ;o) But, this year there were no tantrums, no throwing things (did I mention I have quite a dysfunctional family?), no abrupt turning off of the Christmas music and no breaking of Christmas lights.

5. I will remember that my dear friends offered to host Christmas Eve and I accepted for I think the second year (not quite sure on that). This is a biggie for me. When it comes to holidays I am a stickler for doing what I want. But the great thing is that it was just that.......great. I will remember the happiness of friends for a long time into the New Year.

6. I will remember the joy I felt when I heard the kids run up to tell me and E. that "SANTA CAME!!!"

7. I will remember the Christmas Eve mass sermon when Father told us that Jesus is truly born in our hearts on Christmas and that that is our call to be kind, patient, generous, loving, faithful, peaceful people. Not just Christmas day, but everyday.

8. I will remember the fire pit of last night. Each of our friends bringing their uniqueness to make such a great, funny, kind and just plain great group.

9. I will remember that I was the only one this year that made it to midnight. This may not seem worthy of the list, but I can't remember the last time I made it to midnight. And, this after partaking in the holiday since THE PARK for heaven's sake. I was surrounded by my kids on the floor in sleeping bags and E. sound asleep (after him making it to midnight virtually every other night of the year???).

10. I will remember that with all the chaos having 4 kids brings, Christmas and the New Year still came. Despite the 22 takes on our Christmas card, despite the fact that half of my Christmas cards are still on my desk, despite the fact that there were significantly less presents under the tree this year, despite the fact that we started with mom dying and baby being in the hospital....despite all that....the miracle of Christmas STILL happened.....Jesus was still born in our hearts and it was still fabulous.

Now, just because I can never seem to round out my lists in a multiple of 10 and because I hope that you are not sound asleep at your computer.................

11. I will remember and hold in my heart how I snuck upstairs without waking anyone at around 12:05 last night (after kissing five sleepy heads and wishing them a Happy New Year) and pulled the chair to sit in front of my window and watch the fireworks. I will remember watching them and being at peace and happy. And, last but not least...I will remember going to sleep thinking of mom and again being peaceful and happy.

Happy New Year and MANY, MANY blessings in 2010, my friends and, as always, thanks for the read.


Shannon said...

OK girl here is my own list
1. LOVE LOVE LOVE your sublist. I am eating a chocolate chip cookie while blog surfing so I am there with you.
2. What the heck is a Jesse tree?
3. Dave didn't make it to midnight either. Had to be woken up by the rest of us. I made it until midnight, then couldn't fall asleep for hours, finally fell asleep a bit after four. Am dog tired today. Hate when I can't sleep.
4. Glad you did have a good holiday season after all!!!
5. Do you want a geriatric cat who thinks me typing is code for I really want to pet him so he is head butting left hand while I am trying to type? Say the word and I will ship Fluffy right there!

Jae said...

1. I LOVE your lists!!!
2. I'm with Shannon, what is a Jesse Tree? Dad is Jesse, so I have a guess it's got to do with Dad ...
3. Sublist from #1 is exactly what I did this holiday season. Thank you for validating my excess! I substituted alcohol with a TON of sugar, sweets, and fattening foods. :)
4. I'm so happy you have been at peace this Christmas - most especially since you didn't expect to be. :) I like happy unexpected things like that.
5. I too, made it to midnight (12:30 to be exact!). We rock girl!

Monica said...

Love both of your comments. No, I don't want a cat and a Jesse tree is a religious tree that goes from December 1 - Christmas. It's done different ways, but we have paper ornaments (we still have some from MY Jesse tree as a little girl - but mostly use the ones that are my kids) that we put on a tiny tree. Each ornament goes with a popular bible story and ends with the stories about Jesus' birth. Kind of like an advent calendar in a different form. Jesse is from the bible "jesse." :o))) Unfortunately I am STILL eating sweets. Ugh. Monday I will quit..........maybe.

Shannon said...

Well you have to eat all the sweets before you can start on the resolution to eat healthy and loose weight. That's my story and I am sticking to it.