“Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it — you feel it. You know it. You believe it.”

This morning’s weather seems to be the trend. It is again damp and cloudy. Color has disappeared. The pine trees in my backyard are silhouetted against the grey sky. The occasional breeze ruffles the dead leaves at the ends of the tallest oak branches. Nothing outside is inviting today.

My friends dropped by yesterday. They were in their car, and I was on the walkway to my house. We chatted a long time, long enough for frostbite to tickle my toes. I was so happy to see friends in real life.

I am in a never-ending battle with cardboard boxes. I do recycle them, but they need a ride to the dump so now my backseat and front passenger seat are filled. I could break them down, but I tried once and the box was stronger than I was, and I nearly fell over. In my defense, it was a huge box. Anyway, I am scheduling the dump run for Wednesday as it is closed tomorrow and Tuesday, and the trash isn’t quite ready yet.

When I was a kid, the trash trucks came once a week. Two guys hung off the back. They were the ones who jumped off, grabbed barrels from the sidewalks and dumped them at the back of the truck. Beside them on the truck was a lever. That was for the compressor (I’m guessing its name) which flattened trash and pushed it to the back. The truck motor was loud, but the compressor was louder. We’d stand on the sidewalk and watch the trash get flattened. It was worth our attention, kind of exciting.

Christmas is so close, but I have everything I need readied. I have the best appies for Christmas Eve, coconut shrimp with mango sauce and crab rangoon. I have a bottle of champagne and some orange juice for Christmas morning mimosas, a Ryan family tradition. The egg nog is chilled and ready for a bit of spirits. Dinner is ordered to be picked up on Christmas Eve morning. The presents are under my tree and on the hearth. There are lots of them.

My sister, Moe, when she was a kid would tear tiny holes in any presents under the tree. She was quite adept at hiding the holes. We just knew they were there. She also developed an uncanny gift of correctly guessing presents. She’d pick up a present, shake it and that was it. Surprise gone. Now, Moe waits, sometimes what seems like too long a time to open her presents. Somebody should check for holes.

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6 Comments on ““Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it — you feel it. You know it. You believe it.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today’s weather is just a repeat of yesterday. I’m getting ready to watch the debacle of the Dallas Cowboys verses the 49ers. The game was originally scheduled for tonight, but they moved it to noon because the Cowboys have been stinking up professional football this year. I hope it’s driving Jerry Jones nuts that America’s most valuable sports franchise is playing like dog crap. Other than a rash of injuries, Jones has no one to blame but himself because he not only owns the team, but he’s the general manager. 🙂

    I remember those garbage trucks in New York City. The hydraulic device is a trash compactor. It’s the giant version of the one you can have in your kitchen. Today the garbage trucks have only a driver and they automatically can pick up a plastic garbage container from the right side of the truck. The one thing my new house doesn’t have is a trash compactor and there’s no place to install one without remodeling the entire kitchen. That’s not happening in my lifetime.

    You have the entire Christmas planned out. We were not so organized for Chanukah and will probably do the Jewish tradition on Christmas, bring in Chinese food. That’s if we can find an open Chinese restaurant since many Chinese Americans are Christian. I promised my daughter we would watch my favorite Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story”. It’s narrated by one of my favorite authors, Jean Shepherd. Shep had an hour long radio show at ten o’clock in NYC when I was a teenager. I listened to his stories every night before bedtime. The movie is based on a story in his 1966 book, “In God we Trust, All Others Pay Cash”.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      The Pats are just awful.. They are playing in the sunshine today, far better than damp, cold Foxborough. I will check in and out. Otherwise, I’ll watch old Christmas movies like The bishop’s Wife. I am in the mood for them.

      I don’t know anyone who has a trash compactor in the kitchen. They aren’t common here I guess. I have watched in amazement behind those trucks which have only a driver. It was in Cambridge where I saw the trucks a few times. They aren’t down here. Two guys still jump off.

      I planned ahead as I ordered some on line and others at the market. I learned at Thanksgiving to be earlier than a week before as I was too late to order dinner. They sold out. It wouldn’t be Christmas without mimosas. I also love A Christmas Story. I read his book. It was really funny and it resonated.

      • Bob Says:

        My previous house had a trash compactor and it was useful. Here they pickup separate recycling on Tuesdays. Therefore, we’re separating the trash in the kitchen into two receptacles and there is not as much need for a trash compactor.

        I found all of Shep’s radio broadcasts on the internet and I’ve downloaded them. They still hold up fairly well.


      • katry Says:

        That download site is great, so much old radio, a great find. I sometimes play shows on my Google when I’m working in the kitchen.

        Only private trash companies pick up trash. The house next store is rented in the summer, and the trash pick-up is Saturday. I just drag mine to the dump, recycles separate.

  2. Hedley Says:

    Nothing says Christmas like the Detroit Lions. Our Granddaughter has gone to the “other” family for a few days so Mrs MDH and I have been catching up with the last episode of “The Flight Attendant” , a trip to Tennessee with our Lions and letting the 4th Sunday in Advent bring us to Christmas week
    With full disclosure to Mrs MDH, I have been going rogue at Amazon. Yes, I need a new garden hose for $28, best price I have seen..ordered, the complete Bob Marley Island box set from amazon.fr for $30…well, yes I know I have them but maybe they are remastered…ordered. It’s best I don’t add any more indiscretions unless she finds out

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,

      My Dad would have said the Pats define Christmas even at their worst.

      Your granddaughter is so beautiful. I am sorry you have to share her. I have recorded The Flight Attendant but not watched it yet. Not much on TV has captured my attention of late. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube, strange things but funny and quick.

      I’m thinking of the new Joni as a gift to myself after Christmas. I’ve heard a couple of the songs and they sound so Joni. I didn’t think to mention it to my sisters.

      Good thing my Amazon account is private!

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