“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

Bedtime was around 1:30, and now I’m up, and it’s still dark. My newspapers aren’t even here yet, but I’ve had my first cup of coffee, always the best way to start a day. My trees are lit in the living room. That was the first thing I did.

Nothing is on my agenda for today except maybe laundry, kind of makes me look forward to the day. As if…

The house was warm when I woke up, 66˚, even though the thermostat was set at 62˚for nighttime. When I let Gracie out, I found outside also unexpectedly warm, especially for a dark morning in December. Yesterday the high was 54˚ so I did a couple of errands so I could enjoy the day. I bought dinner, and it was delicious: steak kabobs with peppers and onions and roasted rosemary potato wedges. For dessert I had a couple of peanut butter balls my sister had made from my mother’s recipe. They are a Christmas tradition. My mother would make a huge batch and freeze some of them so in February she’d surprise us by bringing them out for dessert. They never lasted too long at Christmas or in February.

When I was in elementary school, the church fair was always a week or two before Christmas. It was in the auditorium at the town hall, a short walk from school. Fair day was always a half-day. At dismissal we’d walk in twos, class by class, with the nuns accompanying us. Once at the town hall we were free. The Christmas fair was a huge occasion, and my mother always gave us money to shop and to buy lunch, usually hot dogs. I remember the best table in the fair was the kids’ table. It was the place to Christmas shop as it was filled with inexpensive gifts for us to buy for our families. I’d walk round and round the table picking up and putting down gifts always trying to find just the right presents. After I did, I’d hand them to the woman behind the counter, somebody’s mother as the fair was run by the mother’s club. She’d bag them, collect my money then hand the precious bags to me. That usually signaled the end of the fair for me. I’d walk home with my gifts and hide them in my room, usually under the bed or in the closet. I’d take them out of their secret hiding place several times to check on them until finally I’d wrap them. I made sure to use lots of paper and tape. I was always so proud of those gifts.

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27 Comments on ““One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.””

  1. im6 Says:

    Wow! You ARE up early. I am as well, but will hopefully crawl back in bed a little later. Is there anything better than getting to do that?

    First I have to apologize to Hedley if he thinks I was a little too harsh yesterday. Sometimes my humor gets misinterpreted (doesn’t it, Marie?!). I still like the Michel Legrand song, however.

    Hopefully he’ll like today’s contribution from me a little better. Sounds like it was recorded back in the 50s, but it’s from the 90s and the poor singer has his name misspelled on the video… it’s Isidore, not Isadore. (Actually, his name is really David Forman). Whatever you call him, he’s still singing a terrific song.

    • Hedley Says:

      Im6, I just got off the phone with my Uncle Paul and told him that Michel LeGrand had been the subject of discussion yesterday…and away we went and of course ended up talking about Summer of 42, Charles has a slash and the late Sasha.

      Friggin Michel LeGrand, I will be back charging you for excess international phone charges.

      • im6 Says:

        “Charles has a slash and the late Sasha” ??????????

        I think I like Uncle Paul. Here’s one for him!

      • Hedley Says:

        Charles Aznavour, and Sasha Distel (wain dwops keep falling on my head). Has a slash had a freak #1 with “she” because the BBC were on strike. Sasha was a favorite on the variety shows that dominated the TV – Eric Morecambe referred to him as Slasher Distillery.

        My Uncle Paul is super cool, now 82 we were discussing Friggin Michel LeGrand, the merits of Miles Davis Kind of Blue, and the Matt 2013 cartoon book.

        He did add that Summer of 42 was Friggin Michel LeGrand’s best effort. He isn’t on the internet so he won’t be aware that you have subjected the KTCC family to more of this French onion.

    • Birgit Says:

      Michel Legrand also recorded a Christmas song with Iggy, but I’m glad you didn’t choose that song, it’s just awful. As unlistenable as Iggy’s latest solo record on which he massacred 4 french classics.

      • im6 Says:

        Ah, you speak of ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ Only slightly less listenable than most of the rest of things by Iggy. You guessed it… I’m not a fan

      • Birgit Says:

        im6, one day I will try to convince you to change your opinion πŸ˜‰
        I saw him singing french chansons and german folksongs with Marc Ribot and band and it was great. Best concert ever.

      • im6 Says:

        You certainly must enjoy a challenge and have your work cut out for you, Birgit!

    • katry Says:

      I love this slightly off-beat song. His voice is wonderfully strange no matter what his name.

      I went back to bed. The hour or so sleep I had just wasn’t enough. I just woke up, took my shower and feel human again. On to the laundry next!

  2. Hedley Says:

    Carol Singing

    And out we would go,children , Mums and Dads neighbors, families looking for nothing more than to sing a carol. More formally the choir from St Mary and St Nicholas would go to appropriate destinations. I don’t remember the last time the doorbell rang and we would hear voices celebrating the season.

    Mrs MDH and I are waiting for the ice storm which is supposed to make the winter wonderland we know as Michigan in to an ice rink without power. We are the hosts for Christmas it could be odd. We will find out tonight

    Happy Christmas everybody.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Like you, I remember carols being sung.

      My class sang uptown on a platform in the square erected for the season and every night the shoppers were entertained by a different group. We sang songs from the John Hancock soft cover, small carol book. I still have a couple. We were more enthusiastic than good.

      I hope the ice storm does not live up to the hype. I remember New Hampshire a few years ago and how areas had no electricity for weeks.

      Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Birgit Says:

    Up at 6 o’clock in the morning??? I went to bed at 5 am (my time) after finishing some photo edits.
    We also had church fairs each year. I still have some of the presents I bought or got from there. Blue knitted gloves, a rabbit pillow, one of my recorders, a beautiful handmade lamp, Christmas tree ornaments and probably more.
    Yesterday a blog posted a really nice new song about Christmas ornaments and I had to think of you and your Christmas decoration post:

    • im6 Says:

      What a sweet song, made only more poignant by the video. Thanks for sharing, Birgit, and best wishes to you!

    • katry Says:

      I was up even earlier than that-try 5 o’clock! I didn’t sleep much for some odd reason, but I did go back to bed around 7:30 and slept a couple more hours.

      We also still have church fairs every Saturday starting after Thanksgiving. I buy mittens for my grand-nephews and warm cozies for my sister’s ever cold feet and whatever else catches my eye.

      That video brought tears. We are keepers of my mother’s ornaments and we, my sisters and I, know the stories and tell them every year. I hope my nephews remember. I know my niece will. Mine have stories and I’ll think to write them down. Thanks!

  4. Morpfy Says:

    Fruitcake Cookies
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    1 stick butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp. soda
    1/2 tsp. soda
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground clove
    1/4 cup milk
    1 cup candied cherries
    1 cup candied pineapple
    1 cup sugared dates
    1 cup light raisins
    2 cups chopped pecans

    Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, dry ingredients, and milk. Add remaining ingredients, stirring just enough to mix well. Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets.
    Bake 22-25 minutes

    • katry Says:

      I can’t think of anything that says Christmas more than fruit cake. We all have heard the jokes but these cookies won’t be included. The fruit is perfect and colorful. I love pineapples!

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I was surprised that I saw a post from you so early. I was going to comment then but the dog woke up and wanted out.
    After that I was distracted by a series of text messages from one brother asking about what another brother might like for Xmas. It ended with the texting brother showing up at my house for a potty break from his Christmas shopping. And coffee. And conversation.
    So now, several hours later, I am back.

    The church fairs around here are usually the last weeks in November and maybe the first week of December. They were always a good source of interesting things. I’m not sure I would shop for gifts at any of them except perhaps the more craft-oriented ones. Usually, they are white elephant sales, useful for interesting pieces of junky jewelry or old kitchen items. I’m a sucker for both of those categories. πŸ™‚

    It’s lovely up here at the moment, warm with a bit of sun. The breeze makes it a bit cooler than comfortable, though. I’ll take it.

    Happy First Day of Winter!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      For some reason all of yesterday’s comments never appeared in my e-mail so sorry for the delay in replying!

      I was an early riser, amend that-I really didn’t get to sleep, yesterday.

      It doesn’t matter the reason, it’s always nice to have family drop by unexpectedly. Mine is mostly too far away for that, but it has happened a couple of times. My sister from Colorado has come out for special occasions and just appeared at my door-amazing!

      I have found great items at the white elephant sales, many of them serving pieces and some odd pieces of china. I do love all the knitted goods (I, unlike you, don’t knit and I envy you).

      Another warm morning!

      • Caryn Says:

        Knitting is easy once you get past the awkwardness of using pointed sticks to tie knots in string.
        Anyone can do it.
        Even men. πŸ™‚

      • katry Says:

        My hands didn’t seem to work when I tried crocheting so I suspect they won’t work for knitting either.

  6. olof1 Says:

    Unusually warm here too and another strong storm is on its way now. I can hear the wind roar but the forest and my neighbors house takes all the wind πŸ™‚

    I’ve mostly been lazy today and will continue with being lazy until Monday morning when I have to drive to the super market to buy mustard for the ham and beetroot salad for Christmas eve. Must have beetroot salad together with meatballs and cheese on Christmas πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      Unexpectedly warm here as well. Records were set all over the place-getting to 60˚ in some parts. We almost got there too.

      I actually wrapped all afternoon and have only a couple left. It was easy to sit, watch TV and wrap. I was amazed at my own industry. I do have to out on Sunday as I need a couple of cans of dog food to get Gracie through the holiday, and I ordered a small roast for myself for Christmas dinner.

      Have a wonderful day!!

  7. Beto Says:

    We had 3 inches of rain in a half hour this morning. Gigantic rain drops. I thought it was hail at first.

    • katry Says:

      The weather has gone crazy. I am watching the news right now, and there is this distinct line where below the line, where I live, is uncharacteristically warm and above the line is below freezing and expecting an ice storm. It is 54˚ right now at 5 AM. Weird!

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