A Merry Christmas to All!
I love this time of year: the parties, the shopping (all done weeks ago), the decorations (up in early December), even wrapping presents (two more to go), not to mention getting a few weeks off work.
In terms of traditions, each year is gloriously the same. My family does most of our celebrating on Christmas Eve. My parents host a big dinner for our extended family, which includes the three of us, my uncle’s family, and our close family friends, about 10-12 celebrants in total.
My mother makes a traditional Croatian salted cod dish, which, 40 years later, I’m slowly warming up to. But there’s always a lot of other seafood, good wines, hearty side dishes and best of all, a bakery’s-worth of Christmas cookies to round out the belly.
Then comes Secret Santa time! We draw names earlier in the holiday season and buy a gift for one person in the group. Someone is elected to play Santa and hand out the gifts while the rest of us ooh and ahh over the spoils.
This year, I hope there is an Amazon Kindle or Sony eBook Reader under the tree for me. As I’ve blogged about before, I love to read, especially on vacations. It’s the lugging of 4-5 books in my suitcase that I could do without.
Christmas Day is usually a quieter affair. My boyfriend and I will exchange gifts, have a decadent breakfast, relax, and then head out to a Christmas dinner with his family. Another gift exchange, a turkey dinner, at least I hope it’s turkey. (Alice, are you reading this?)
And just when you thought things were over, then comes Boxing Day – a day of frenzied shopping for many, but a day of quiet celebration for me. It’s the big 4-1. I used to hate my birthday’s proximity to Christmas, but now I revel in the relaxation, staying clear of the malls.
Most of my friends are out of town for the holiday season so I’m planning to spend the morning in bed reading my ebook (Santa, are you reading this?), a matinee (how fun does Sherlock Holmes look?!) and then out for a light dinner, if we can find a restaurant or hotel that’s open.
With Christmas, my birthday and the New Year just around the corner, it’s always a good time of year to take stock. I feel fortunate to have my health, a wonderful family and dear friends around me, a devoted dog, a nice home and a job I enjoy. It’s been an interesting year, mainly good, though difficult for some close to me. (You know who you are.) I’m sending them, in particular, and you dear readers, my warmest wishes for a restful holiday and a peaceful and happy 2010.
And to all, a good night!