What, my readers may ask, has possessed me to go two weeks without posting a single word on my WordPress.com blog? Why do I think that people will just wait around and tolerate being neglected? Have I been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, picking my nose, staring at nothing? Well, no. Truth to tell, I’ve been getting ready for Christmas. And I’ve been getting ready for Christmas for several weeks now, and now have only two gifts left to buy, a huge bone (4 1/2 foot long) for my brother’s hound and something more potable for my brother (shhhh! don’t anyone tell them–they don’t read my blog). It has just seemed that every time I think I’m done, I get another great gift idea, and I persuade myself that I can spare the money, and so I do, and there we go.
My adventure started near the end of October, when the first catalogs advertising Christmas items came out. Forewarned is forearmed, and I had been told that ordering either online or on the phone was going to be drastically slowed this year, and so I looked up interesting gifts in the catalogs in October. But I didn’t actually buy many gifts in October, because the catalogs hadn’t got the lower or lowest prices yet. I ordered a few things that might take till forever to come in, and then I waited for the next catalogs to come out, so that I could order from them in November. Of course, I had some independent ideas which I researched on Amazon.com, and a very few items that I waited until this past week to pick up at the stores in person. But the predominance of my gifts I was able to order online or on the phone, and I had that done well within the month of November. Then all I had to do was wait for stuff to come in.
By the first of December, I was ready to wrap, and so I started wrapping. We put up our tree, and now all of my gifts except the two I mentioned are under the tree, awaiting their inevitable unveiling on Christmas morning. But there were still cards to do, and I always bake for some people here where I live, and that still needed to be done. Of course, the cards went by in a flash in one blitz of an evening, and I started doing my bread baking yesterday and stayed up all night finishing it last night (when I get motivated, I get motivated!). It was made easier (and cheaper) this year because so many people had told me they didn’t want cookies this year. Usually, I make four kinds, about 24 dozen cookies in all, but this year I settled on loaves of sourdough bread. This was convenient, as I was already planning to wake up my sourdough starter from its sleep in the fridge in order to take it up to my brother’s for Christmas so that we could make sourdough English muffins.
Since yesterday, I have finished the main part of my baking. The only people I have still to bake for are the ladies at the local charity shop, for whom we usually do a cookie tray. I think this year I will do a tray of sourdough bites with cheeses for them, by way of a change for the both of us. So now, I’m sitting looking at dirty dishes, feeling like I need a good nap after my all-nighter up baking, but still too wired to sleep. And of course starting last night late or early this morning really, we began to have a nor’easter (a storm off the ocean, full of rain and high winds, with some threats of flooding). The storm is going to last probably until tomorrow noon, so I have to be ready with towels and things to dry out the windows and sop up water, which is a fortune most people who are anywhere near a coast are familiar with. But I’m not really complaining; I’m done with so many things, and now I’m just very excited and can’t wait for Christmas to come.
That’s really the way of it, isn’t it? When you’re young, you generally think of Christmas as a time when you get things from indulgent family members and friends, and it’s a rare child who appreciates the sheer fun of giving. But once you get to be an adult, the fun is in surprising someone else with something bought or made that they will enjoy or profit from. So, here I sit, two weeks and two days before Christmas, waiting and waiting and waiting for the big day to come, so that I can celebrate with people I care about. And all this fooferall of my post is just to assure my readers that they are people I care about too, toward whom I feel I have a responsibility to post regularly and as interestingly as possible, even if I don’t know their names and they never comment. I hope this posting finds you well and deep in your own plans for whatever winter or December holiday you observe, and waiting eagerly for the next real literary post to come along. I promise to do one soon, as soon as I have recuperated from my own holiday efforts and have a chance to sit down and read again. Until then, cheers!