Anyone else just chilling in peace on Christmas Eve?


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The lights are low, a Christmas movie is on that Jumper is watching and hubby is also on his computer. We gave Jumper a few of her gifts, as we always do on Christmas Eve, but that's about all we do. We told Sonic he could sleep at our place if he liked tonight, but Sonic wanted to say home. He has trouble sleeping if not in his own bed. But we talked and he is excited. 37 called and wanted to talk and talk and talk, but I'm tired and I told him I wanted to lay down because my day at work was very taxing. I could tell he was disappointed because he is missing his son and wanted to discuss it plus talk about his latest girlfriend. I just want quiet so I gently told him I'd get back to him when I was less tired out.

There is nothing special going on here. Just the peace of the three of us here. Soon we'll all three be laying around watching the telly with the lit up Christmas tree twinkling it's lights and our doggies snuggling with us all in the living room. Nothing dramatic is happening. At one time, not at least driving around to look at the neighborhood Christmas lights would have been unimaginable, but none of us REALLY want to do that just to make it Christmassy.

I do feel a bit Christmassy, but mostly just content.

I hope some of you are having the same type of peaceful evening with your dearest loved ones that I am. I have to smile at all the rushing from place to place I used to do so many years ago when I was married to somebody else and so much a different person. It was so hectic. So not fun. So stressful.

I am going to do a meditation then lay down to join Jumper in watching the movie.

Tomorrow will be a bit more "hectic." After all...Sonic will be here too ;) And we have gifts to hand out. Jumper is cooking her first Christmas meal. We shopped together for food. I'm sure she'll do fine and we'll all enjoy Christmas dinner.

And Friday it will be done.


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Pretty much doing the same here. Waiting for difficult child to come home from work then we will eat and rest.


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I'm content here too. We just spent a beautiful evening at difficult child s house with our new granddaughter and our family. It was so nice to go there. My daughter in law is such a kind and lovely person. I am truly blessed.


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Oh MWM, you've painted a cozy and warm picture of your family, thank you.

Yes, I am having the most wonderful day. My granddaughter is here, cozy in her room, husband playing his guitar, me in the kitchen for the last 5 hours baking cookies and pies which I LOVE to do. A little while ago I ran around the neighborhood delivering cookies and treats to our new neighbors. Gee, everyone was in such a good mood with big smiles on their faces. I don't even know some of these people since we just moved here 3 months ago.........but NOW I do. That felt good.

We just ordered Chinese food since the kitchen is filled with sugar, flour and cookies! We're going to open ONE gift a little later. I had to laugh since granddaughter was working some serious maneuverings to bring the TV in her room back to college with her...........all kinds of reasons why it would be a good idea. husband and I just smiled. She doesn't know that we bought her a "smart" TV (connects with her phone and all the other stuff kids connect to) for Christmas. She is going to be shocked.

My daughter and her friend are coming over tomorrow along with my granddaughter's older sister and her husband. I am making a cool new recipe and a side of Martha Stewart's Gruyere mac and cheese that granddaughter requested (YUM) The tree is lit up, the Christmas music quietly playing, stockings are hung,..............I am feeling incredibly peaceful and good.

And, as I usually do, I'm in that wonderful expectancy place, like a little kid on tippie toe awaiting a big treat........

It's nice to share these moments with you guys........thanks MWM.


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We went to the local Botanical Garden and saw the lights and music, we stopped at a neighbor's house for Christmas cheer. husband is playing with a new toy in the other room and I am re-watching Season 4 of Downton Abbey. I'm happy as a clam. :)

Wiped Out

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We too our enjoying a peaceful evening (for the most part-a bit of screaming between easy child/difficult child and difficult child but minor all things considering).

We went to Christmas Eve Mass and then watched a couple of Christmas videos while we waited for the lasagna to cook. After dinner we settled in to watch "A Christmas Story". We love laughing at that movie. difficult child didn't make it through the entire movie but he wanted to take his medications early tonight so he could wake up early tomorrow! We told him not to wake us til 6:30! He usually wakes up around 2:00-lol.

Candles are lit throughout the house. husband loves lighting tons of candles for Christmas. I would say we have about 25 (at least) so it is beautiful while we watch movies.

Now easy child/difficult child and husband are watching "Frosty the Snowman" while I'm on the computer. If I just sit and watch tv I will fall asleep.


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We just got back from spending the evening with Hubby's family. It was a nice, low-key evening. Now I'm watching the news and getting ready for bed.

Scent of Cedar *

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What a beautiful thread, MWM. I smiled as I read about all of your Christmases, certain I could see the lights and the cookies and, most specially, the faces each of you loves.

husband and I too had our Christmas alone together. Our plans fell apart two days before Christmas and we lost all our people but one. And so...we went Chinese buffet. It turns out the restaurants here (at least the Chinese ones) are full up with happy people dressed in the glitziest Christmas kinds of clothing you could imagine. There we all were at the buffet or sushi counters flashing faux diamonds and wearing those light up Christmas necklaces. (The diamonds were probably faux ~ what would anyone who could afford that kind of glitter be doing at a Chinese buffet on Christmas Eve, right?)

After our Christmas Story Chinese (minus the decapitated duck), we drove around with the top down looking for Christmas lights.

There weren't any.

But there was a crescent moon, and the wind was warm and really humid and the stars were so pretty. Then, we went out on the lanai to call our families. (Except for mine. This is actually a good thing. These kinds of calls have not gone well in the past.) And somehow, with most of husband's family and both our own kids...that was a bust, too.

So there we were.

We started talking and laughing about our worst Christmas Eves ever. I went inside for something. It turned out that the story of the creation of Handel's Messiah was on. The music was so perfectly, hauntingly beautiful and the story behind the its creation so interesting that I called husband to come see.

Which he did.

When it was over, we went back out on the lanai. (Where the Christmas tree is ~ which I made from a fishing net and it is beautiful and beachy and one day, will make my fortune if I ever get busy and start selling them.) We were going to sort of sit around and bemoan our fate again. (For husband, this now consisted not only of our plans falling through, our family phone calls not having gone as we'd hoped, and no Christmas decorations on our Christmas decoration drive ~ but that he had had to watch the story of the creation of Handel's Messiah.)


After making his feelings on that clear to me, husband started in on why it is that he has to take the leftover neighbor out for dinner on Christmas Day. And then, we just had to start laughing about how unbelievably crummy everything was this year. And the lights were so pretty and all that Chinese food we'd overeaten was beginning to settle, and the next thing we knew, it was 12:30!!!

So off we went to bed, ending what may just have been one of the most interesting, frustratingly weird and ultimately happy Christmas Eves ever.

Our plans for today have fallen through too. (Same people, with whom we have made Christmas together pretty much since we moved here. There is a new woman in the picture now, though. Which is fine, of course. But he should have told us. I suppose he didn't want to say he was hoping for an invite there and then, find himself with nowhere to go.) I am not sure what to think about that, but husband and I are taking the elderly lady across the street out for dinner because she is the only one left with no Christmas Day either and we don't want to bake a whole ham for just the three of us.

Here is even worse news about this Christmas. So, one of the neighbors stopped by to deliver a little Christmas gift his wife put together before she left town. (Which is the reason he and the elderly lady across the street were coming here for dinner yesterday in the first place. They usually have their Christmas together.) And I swear, I think the old fart was groping me, and trying to pull my shirt up, when he handed me the Christmas gift and hugged me goodbye and wished me Merry Christmas. Reminding me he would be batching it all by himself through the holidays, he took off on his golf cart like some demented, cheese-delivering Santa.

Maybe he was like, falling over or something when he went to hug me...but how does that turn into a really hard and long hug and what certainly seemed to be someone trying to pull my shirt up?

Oh for Heaven's sake.



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LOL, Cedar. What fun! The Chinese place here is ALWAYS busy because the dirty little secret is that LOTS of people don't have large, fun, warm or even horrible families to spend Christmas with. We've spent a few Christmases at our Chinese buffet and it was tasty and great fun and sounds like you and hub had a nice, romantic time. nice of you to include the woman in your plans. Doing something nice for somebody else feels so good, doesn't it?

LOL on the old man groping you. Some people!!!!

Well, you enjoy your day. I try to remind myself that this is just one day in a year. Yes, it is hyped up and very special to serious Christians, who never have to worry about Christmas not meaning anything as they have the joy of fellowship at Church as well as the TRUE MEANING of the day, which is lost on most people, but for some it's really just a day that makes us feel bad if we are alone because it is so overplayed in the media and while shopping. Seriously, how often do these sources even mention the Birth of Christ? All they want is $$$ and TV ratings. There IS a reason why we have Christmas that transcends giving gifts, right?

You enjoy your day, in any way you can, and remember that you don't have to do it like Beaver Cleaver's family did. Most peopld don't!


Scent of Cedar *

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So the neighbor and the woman? Spent their Christmas Eve at a local island bar because, as the neighbor called out this morning after husband asked, with just the right amount of "who cares" where they'd gone last was the only place open.


Still in a huff, but in a sort of wobbly one now, husband and I said Merry Christmas and just generally behaved like people who have been stood up on Christmas Eve.

Kind of like the other people were acting, too. Not legitimately so, we told ourselves, very sure we are the injured party, here.

And we have the unused makings for The Feast of the Seven Fishes to prove it.

But then I ran over to talk to the lady we are having dinner with tonight. And who should have the gall to walk over in his tophat and tuxedo t shirt but the neighbor and the woman. Who, being nicer than I am, seemed more puzzled or hurt than spitting mad like husband was.


Wait a minute.

That was me who was mad.


So after about one second of small talk, I asked what happened last night. They said they didn't know but spent alot of that time at the bar talking about the Feast of the Seven Fishes they almost had, until they didn't.

So tonight, we're all going dinner.

The groper? Saw husband this morning when he was walking the dog. He thanked husband for the Christmas invite. (This was a sort of on the back burner thing, as there was a possibility he would be invited elsewhere. After the probable groping, I didn't call to check again whether he would be alone or whether his people had come through. And I certainly wasn't going to go over there.) In any event, he thanked husband, but told him he had been invited elsewhere, as he had told me he might be.

I did not tell husband about the probable groping maybe-just-a-long-and-difficult-to-get-out-of-hug and shirt pulling.

Maybe the man really was falling or something.

He has always been such a nice man.



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Cedar, you're funny, even when you don't mean to be. It makes me smile that you have humor about things. I'm sure THAT is big growth.

I hope you have a fun day and, yeah, I'd lose the groper or at least keep him at a distance. "You know, I really get claustrophobic if people stand too close to me. It's nothing personal." How's that? Maybe he was a little alcohol affected?

Have a Merry Christmas. We've already opened gifts and now Jumper is starting to cook. She has never done this before. She doesn't have the natural knack for cooking that Julie does. We are hoping for the best because, no matter what, we not only all have to eat it, but make yum, yum noises. I'm not a great cook myself so I'm not that wonderful a helper.

Enjoy, enjoy, peace and harmony this special day! And it IS special, no matter who you are with, as long as you are all good to one another :)


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Cedar, she made a ham, green bean casserole, cucumber salad (this one needed a little work, but was still good), mashed potatoes and yummy rolls.

For her first attempt, it was great. We all overate :) And we are paying the price for that

Scent of Cedar *

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I love Christmas.

So, to wrap my story up: The lady, husband, and myself had Christmas dinner here last night. We also had ham. I overcooked the green beans. The probable groper did receive his invitation. We saw neither hide nor hair of him, and he still was not home at ten o'clock, when I walked the lady home. (We went to the probable groper's to be sure his dog was okay.) I am beginning to be very sure he probably never meant to grope anyone, except that I am pretty sure he did.

So, I don't know what to think about that whole thing.

Except I think I do.

Isn't it strange how our minds work.

The other couple had already had ham dinner and so, came only for a drink before dinner. As predicted (but which we never seriously consider while we are upset), the rushing off to Chinese buffets or local burger bars for Christmas Eve has become the stuff of legend and all is well between us, now.

There is one more couple involved in all this, but the general consensus is that they were innocently misinformed by the party of the first part.

So, that was our Christmas.



But New Year's is coming....


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We went to mother in law's and sister in law's (they live together) on Christmas Eve. For once, everyone in the family got along and it was a nice evening.

Christmas Day we spent chilling at home, just husband, me and difficult child 2. It was nice. I thought we were the only ones who hit up the Chinese buffet at Christmas but the place was packed!


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My son 37 told me something very interesting about Christmas in a different way, but it's really the same.

In my young, naive years, I always thought it was just us who were left alone without extended relatives and friends on Christmas and, while I was still in my 30's and maybe even early 40's, I still cared. I am finding out A LOT of people are actually alone on Christmas.

37 was alone on Christmas. He didn't drive up to Chicago and his son spent eight days with him and now is with his mother. So he was totally alone. He used an old trick he'd done another Christmas when he didn't want to be alone. He went on his favorite pick-a-chick site, Match.Com. He gets more responses on Christmas and other holidays than other days. He can almost always find something to do too. Now if these women were happily in familyland, they wouldn't be on Match making plans to go on a date.

Another thing that sort of tickled me yesterday (Christmas) was that while Jumper was visiting the dog she was dognsitting and my husband had run Sonic home with his new television (and stayed to get it working) I was alone. I didn't mind and decided to wash clothes in our apartment basement where the washers and dryers are. I was surprised that others were also doing it. I ran into two other people, which is very unusual for this small apartment, and even cracked a joke to one that here we were doing laundry on Christmas. Later in the day, I saw this lady getting a few guests who were laden down with presents, but, like us, it had not been one big wonderful all-day affair laden with family and love.

The Chinese buffet is another great example of how it is way exaggerated how "everyone" is happily enjoying large family functions on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Plenty of us don't have a lot of peeps on those days, but, heck, we can sure have a lot of fun! Our little Christmas was a really warm, cozy affair and if we'd gone Chinese, it would have been all the better. I'm mad I didn't think of it :)

I'm glad all of you had a good time and I'm also glad many of us are learning that Christmas is as different to each person as our jobs, our choices in clothing, our interests and everything else. It is ok to have our own kinds of holidays that do not conform to the norms. It is ok to have fun in differeing ways

Scent of Cedar *

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Our little Christmas was a
really warm, cozy affair and if we'd gone Chinese, it would have been all the
better. I'm mad I didn't think of it :)

If husband and I had been in a different place, a place where it was okay to be quiet and appreciative, this Christmas could have been filled with stellar memories. That movie about how the operatic Handel's Messiah came into being was such a perfect thing to hear and see and learn about, rounding the corner into Christmas Eve.

A few years back, The War of the Nutcrackers was broadcast daily. Every possible version of the ballet The Nutcracker was shown. On Christmas Eve, the winner was shown repeatedly. There was something similar on this year too, but the performances were broadcast early in the morning.

And I am here on the site, early in the morning, drinking hot, fresh coffee and posting away with all of you.


It is something to think about, and to be aware of, isn't it. That we can celebrate all the things the season brings without a houseful of people and a huge dinner....

I've been trying to fill that empty where the kids and grandchildren used to be, of course.



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Cedar, when I married my first husband, he had a large family gathering for the holidays. I got my kids all dressed up (all the kids dressed up) and brought them over to my ex's aunts beautiful home where it smelled like bread and the tree was large and beautifully decorated and a bunch of civil folks sat around on very nice furinture in their expensive suits (and some ties) talking to one another, cracking jokes, being nice.Upper class nice. We were the only ones who did not have a lot of money and it made me feel self-conscious, but I tried to socialize and act interested as they spoke about their money for the sakes of our kids, who seemed to be having fun.

A bit of irony follows.

To this day, all three of my grown kids who are ex's legal children, have told me they hated going to Aunt D's house as it was too croweded, they didn't like their cousins, and it was boring. That shocked me. I thought we were making memories. Also, this aunt had three model boys. One was an architect who has designed a huge movie theater in a big town in Illinois plus many others. I forgot the middle boy's trade, but he was the best looking, the funniest, and financially successful. The youngest was a doctor who, at one time, was listed in some list of American's One Hundred Most Promising Young Men. I'm sure I have the name wrong, but he was in it, whatever the dang list was.

That was until he quit being a brilliant doctor to become a minister, making his wife go back to work and putting his three kids in daycare, which ticked off his brothers since a lot of his medical school money had been paid for by Grandma. Grandma wasn't too happy either, but she never said much as she was not a trash talker. The family is definitely Christian, but did not appreciate what this young man did. They felt he should have stayed a doctor. I don't know much more. This was a hush-hush family. The details on how the family broke apart came in bits and pieces. Here is the rest, as I heard it.

Then the two oldest boys had a falling out when the middle son confronted his father on his alcoholism. I had not even guessed there was alcohol abuse in that perfect family. The oldest son was mortified that his brother dared to bring it up to his sainted father and last I heard they never speak, never see each other, haven't for twenty or so years. the turned out of Dodge way before THAT fight and was estranged from his brothers as soon as he decided to preach, kind of, in his brother's opinions, throwing grandma's vast amount of money and donation to help him get into medication school...down the toilet.

The family looked perfect on the outside. If anyone would have filmed a Christmas Eve there and shown it on television, you would have been touched to watch it. They did Christmas Eve because they are of Danish descent and Christmas Eve is the bgger holiday for them. My kids all agreed that the next day, spent alone with just us, was much more fun for them.

At any rate, somewhere in here is a lesson, but I got off track and forgot it :)

Oh, yeah.

Small, cozy holidays with those you love or the person you love the huge family dramas and surface good least to me.

And do you know what? Every day can be a holiday if we want it to be. We control our days and our calendar. Don't we?
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Scent of Cedar *

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This was a hush-hush family.

We have neighbors like that. (Not here. In the summer, we have neighbors like that.) They could not be more fascinated with the intricacies of our family's mental illnesses, addictions, horrifically public fightings and throwings out and leave takings and rough looking grown up men parking rust bucket school busses turned RV on the back lot to actually live in with their two Rottweilers.


They are quite religious too, and oh, poor me darn it, every one of them could not be more successful, or more sadly regretful at the messiness our lives never quite seem to (loudly) stop turning into. of the sons turned out to have been an addict.

There were other things happening too, under the radar. Deliciously juicy and for me (BAD CEDAR!), highly validating things.


It is just that they happen quietly. Everyone continues to smile politely, and to dress well. This is not always so, in our family. The last time we were all dressed well was like, 1982.

One was an architect who has designed a huge movie theater in a big town in Illinois plus many others. I forgot the middle boy's trade, but he was the bestlooking, the funniest, and financially successful. The youngest was a doctor who, at one time, was listed in some list of American's One Hundred Most Promising Young Men.

Oh, wow. I would have been totally uncomfortable, too.

We have some friends like that. One son is head of Pediatrics somewhere and one is a professor. It sucks being friends with them. I actually have two sets of friends like that, now that I think about it. Same deal. Son is a full professor at a really famous university. I asked her once how she, a divorced, working mom, who has been known to dabble in the lighter recreational drugs herself, had managed to raise her son alone to become the man he must be. She said he has always been really bright. (Too bright to get hooked on drugs being the implication.)

Well, kick me in the pants.

Why do I have friends like that, anyway.

Then the two oldest boys had a falling out when the middle son confronted his
father on his alcoholism.

The oldest son was
mortified that his brother dared to bring it up to his sainted father and last I
heard they never speak

The family looked perfect
on the outside.

I am reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. She is writing about jealousy ~ the kind that makes us feel even worse than we might have, without our rotten neighbors or peers celebrating their good fortune at every turning while we share what we have learned about the importance of dry socks to the homeless.

"...she said this other writer was in my life to help me heal my past. She said this writer had helped bring up a lifetime's worth of feeling that other families were happier than ours, that other families had some owner's manual to go by. She said it was once again that business of comparing my insides to other people's outsides."

Italics are mine.

It is true though, that some families seem to function beautifully.

Dirty rats.