That Old Christmas Feeling

If it’s been quiet here, and it has, it’s because I’ve somehow managed to make this Christmas, like many others in the past, a hectic time. It feels a lot like Santa’s workshop the week before Christmas.

In fact, it’s been a hectic three months, what with Leslie’s surgery, our aborted attempts to remodel the downstairs by installing new tile and Pergo floors. A $12,000 price tag on top of having to replace a hot water heater, buy a new dining room table and chairs, and replace a failed microwave, helped us to decide that we would have to put these off for awhile.

We still decided to convert the family room into a dining room in order to accommodate more than four people at the table. Me, being me decided that if we were going to move all the furniture we needed to paint several walls in the process. So we did, and so we are. Still.

Tyson and his family are coming for Christmas, and I’m determined to have the “best Christmas ever.” So, much of what we’re doing is in preparation for their arrival. Personally, I think the place looks better and more comfortable than it’s ever been.

We spent the weekend hauling out decorations and finding new places to fit them all in since nothing is quite the same as last year. And, of course, I had to add a few new decorations this year, as in past years. I’m hoping that somehow merely buying Jim Shore’s Three Wise Men will impart a greater wisdom to me in the upcoming year.

Somewhere along the way, Dawn and Tyson decided that we would make presents for each other this year rather than buy them, continuing last year’s decision that there must be a better way to celebrate Christmas than buying an endless chain of things that no one really needed, or wanted. Ordinarily, I would have been the one most pleased by that decision. But with all the remodeling my workshop, i.e., the garage, is one gigantic mess, requiring one trip to recycling and another to the dump.

In other words, we’re going to be out of town for three days next week, Tyson’s coming the 23rd, and I haven’t even finished making our traditional cookies, much less finishing making Christmas presents.

I’m afraid it’s going to get even quieter around here until after New Years, especially since I’ve decided that reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is definitely not putting me in the Christmas mood.

12 thoughts on “That Old Christmas Feeling”

  1. Leslie had surgery? I hope she’s OK.

    I hope you do have a good holiday season, even if Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee isn’t necessarily conducive to holiday cheer.

  2. Loren, whew, you have convinced me to keep working; it seems retirement involves far too much work. Best wishes for what sounds like a wonderful holiday at your place. Love the idea of home made gifts.


  3. I guess the present I sent you today will fit right in–it’s definitely home made.

    Ho-ho-ho, and all that good stuff.


  4. hope Leslie’s feeling better!

    and best wishes to you and your family, I think this year must turn out to be the best one ever, with you at the helm

    I’m feeling the pressure too, with my sister’s family coming and my son home from china that week, I’ll probably take a breather from internet and books for a while at least until New Year’s to focus on my immediate surroundings for a change

  5. I hope that Christmas feeling shows up soon and you have a great time. I’ll be heading over to my dad’s for the holidays. Maybe I’ll pass by you on the street and not even know it!

  6. If you see an old guy wearing a camouflage rain jacket walking an Austrailian shepherd, you can be pretty sure it’s me, tarakuanyin.

    Which gives you the advantage, since I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize you just from reading your blog.

  7. If you see an middle-aged woman walking two little dogs, one a Jack Russell and the other a brown, shaggy mutt thing (Yorkie/chihuahua mix?), then that’s me! ‘Course I usually walk on the beach or in the park and don’t actually go onto the main road… Hmmmm.

  8. Wouldn’t your beautiful photographic prints make good presents Loren? Or do they not count as ‘home-made’? Anyway, I hope you have a very happy Christmas!

  9. Loren —
    Found your photos and reflections while looking for a Mary Oliver poem. Your way of seeing brought tears of appreciation to my eyes. thanks. And I agree — your photos would be wonderful gifts. They are lovely.

  10. I, too am just beginning to reread Bury My Heart…

    I too am thinking about the timing of my inspiration to go back to it; the inspiration has been a trip to the southwest, but the time is one of personal grief that can only be exacerbated by the Indian history. We must be careful when and how we read such things. Thank you for your comments on Kunitz.

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