As I sit here nibbling the last of the stale gingerbread, preparing my wardrobe for the return of Downton Abbey this evening, candles lit, tea at my side, I am swimming in warm holiday memories. (I have already blocked out the bad ones and will dredge them up later when required).
For tonight People, we brace ourselves for the first full week of January, which will come all too quickly tomorrow morning. It will be brisk, so we must be kind with ourselves. Here are a few of the happy holiday memories I am carrying in my heart to get me through the next week. Feel free to borrow if you can't access your own.
Let me begin by drawing your attention to the photograph of the elf. I'll tell you more about the elf later, but I feel the elf is worth mentioning twice. For now, just look and imagine the joyful industry it took someone to build that elf. Look at him with all his smug elf-ness! He is joy embodied.
Funniest Family Moment:
My mother in a dark, rainy parking lot, after seeing The Force Awakens, desperately, though skillfully, (not unlike a Jedi might) holding out the key fob to her mini-van at arm's length and pointing it at any vehicle that looked remotely like her own. The important detail of this image is that my mom was not in the least trying to appear warrior-like in any way. She was earnestly trying to find her van as quickly as possible while her grandchildren darted about the dark traffic. (So, there was an element of danger). Eventually it was a combination of her skill and my keen eye (I see a white van! It's white, right?) that found us our trusty ride. It was very Star Wars. Possibly you had had to be there.
Best spontaneous moment:
Watching The Sound of Music. I have loved the Sound of Music since I was wee and I don't associate it with Christmas as some people do (it's a bit tenuous don't you think? Just because there's a song in it that mentions a package tied up with string?) but I got a hankering to watch it a few nights ago and so we did. It was as good as ever.
A long aside about The Sound of Music.
I'm not a fanatical about The Sound of Music as some people are. However, in my lifetime I have:
Funny thing about being in the Nun's Choir. At the same time as I was singing all that glorious Latin, I had just started a new job, in environmental education. I was very quiet in the beginning while my co-workers were not. At all.
To set the scene, it was at this job where I first heard the term "vegan Birkenstocks". There was also a couple at this workplace who had met while strapped to the front of a bulldozer at a logging protest. Although it was a whole new world for me, parts of it were strangely similar to the bible belt I had grown up in. (Angry fundamentalist Christians pretty much sounding the same as angry fundamentalist environmentalists).
Thankfully not everyone I worked with was angry and judgey. Far from it, and eventually I loosened up and had great fun with some wonderful people. What has this got to do with The Sound of Music? I will tell you. One day after a long meeting, the admin person came into the room to give us all our phone messages.
"And Liz, Nun's Choir practice has been cancelled for tonight."
I thanked her. There was a small silence and then she moved onto the the next message. I suppose at the time I was mildly embarrassed, but didn't really know anyone well enough yet to explain what I was doing on the side for fun.
Months later, one of my new work friends shyly said, "Liz, can I ask you something? Are you a nun?"
Turns out since that message had been handed out, rumours had been madly circulating that the reason I was so quiet was that I was in fact a nun.
Good stuff. But back to the warm holiday memories.
Best holiday purchase: The fiercely knitted elf (pictured) that I bought a local craft fair. The sign said "Lumberjack Elf". Of course he is! Look at his checkered pants. Can you make out the pocket on his right hip? Regular elves don't have pockets! I can't explain it but this elf makes me smile every time I look at him. Thank you Elf and thank you to the mystery woman who knit him.
I can't put it off any longer. January is here and tomorrow I will have to leave the house. Good luck to you all!