December Craziness

Something happens to me in December.  I think of it as the month of celebrations and I really push back against doing anything non-fun related.  Of course all the fun things are not non-work related.  In fact I bring way to much work upon myself trying to have more fun.


I usually tr get a bunch of things like decorating the house or buying the Christmas gifts done in advance of December to free up the actual month for merriment and reverie.  This year the house was done in advance, but I have done a terrible job on actual gift purchases.  Perhaps it is because I have not been inspired by any new gift ideas.


My favorite thing to do in December is to entertain, which of course involves a lot of cooking.  I know that this need to spend the month is the kitchen started when I was a kid.  My family used to have a giant, like a 150 people giant, dinner party on Christmas Eve.  My parents invited their close friends with all their kids and any grandparents, aunts or cousins who were visiting.  We had a southern menu to show all our Connecticut friends the best hospitality around.  Country ham from Virginia and Oyster Stew were staples every year.


Our house in Connecticut was built for big parties.  It had three kitchens and multiple big rooms so that the kids and the grown-ups could have their own domains.  Prepping for that party is how I learned to be a caterer since my Dad, the only other cook in the family, depended upon me to make a major amount of food.  The days before Christmas were filled with party prep, which really kept the kid’s minds off the impending arrival of Santa.  So now this need for Christmas parties is part of my DNA.


The other big December event is that it is also Carter’s birthday month.  It is easier now that she is almost 14 and not in the need of a party for her whole class.  When Carter was four we had a snow princess party that precipitated the purchase of a giant twelve-foot tall inflatable snowman, which we put in the front yard.  It became an instant neighborhood landmark.  Young children would beg their parents to drive them by the big Frosty.  It is so tacky and horrible that we really only thought of using it for that one birthday party, but every year people ask us when the snowman is going to arrive so we have succumbed to being that house with the huge white nylon light up man acting as a beacon for potential babysitting customers for Carter.  Every year Russ and Carter have to do some major surgery to the mechanics of Frosty and miraculously it has survived a decade.


So here we are on the cusp of my favorite month.  Don’t ask me to come to a meeting or do any real work.  I have put in double time on doing good the other eleven months.  I reserve December to give parties, go to luncheons, make crafts, shop and wrap presents, cook goodies to give to my friends, decorate gingerbread houses, enjoy libations at friends’ homes, catch up with people I have not seen since last Christmas, listen to the same music I have every December for the last 50 years and hear the same bible stories I have my whole life.  So here’s to the craziness of December.  I’m not going to fight it, but embrace it and pack in as much fun as possible.  Grown up responsibilities can start up again in January.

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