Thursday, 30 December 2010

Festival of Light.


Since Boxing Day is long over, why is it that my house is filled with boxes? Boxes containing manuals, candy and unsorted credit card slips. Boxes containing an ever shrinking selection of Christmas cookies. Empty boxes, also, waiting to make sure the electronic device formerly contained therein actually works as advertised. Bags, also, litter the house, bags with Santas whose beards shed glitter everywhere, bags with food and lottery tickets and other small goodies from stockings, stashed there during the unwrapping frenzy and not yet put away. The stockings themselves are draped limply along the staircase railing. The tree is shedding and so is the poinsettia. Enough turkey remains for one more (sob) lunch, even after I sent the carcass into the city with the ED, whose stepson is home from his freshman year at University and eating everything that he can find. The Ghost of Christmas Past is hanging out at our place.

It was a good Christmas, however. The thermometer declared the turkey to be edible at almost the exact moment everything else was ready. The seven year old was prevented from melt-down by the provision of a special Christmas cake at exactly the right moment (lip quivering, she had just announced that she didn't LIKE anything being served for dessert.) Her father put on his Christmas sweater immediately and announced that he was never taking it off again. I managed to surprise JG twice with gifts he couldn't guess (as well as the obligatory gloves and shirt.) The daughters managed to surprise me - I didn't even know there was such a thing as a Plantcam. (That's one of the empty boxes, as the camera is now getting a trial run monitoring the amaryllis bud on the plant Little Stuff gave me.

The big news is that I am now the ecstatic possessor of a Nikon Coolpix P7000. It is small enough to fit into a purse (well, a good-sized purse, which is what I carry) or jacket pocket but big enough to possess a good lens, a viewfinder (!) and seven or eight shooting modes. I think. The manual for this virtuoso is sitting beside my easy chair and I had better dern well read it soon. I am hoping that the 365 Project participants will let me back in now that I have a camera that I can take with me and not worry about the case, camera, lenses and all being lifted through a smashed window of my car. My first attempts at using it well have not been spectacular, but I. Will. Learn. Aperture priority mode is at the top of the list.

For the first time in many years, no one gave me a book. Two photography magazines, but no novel. Perhaps they are tired of me buying a title myself before Christmas rolls around. When we were young and newly married, with money being scarce, I longed for books but only got them after putting my name on the wait list at the library. When we got a little more solvent, I bought the books I wanted after they came out in paperback, whining a little if I were too far down the library list for the hardcover. Whenever I got money for a gift, I raced to the book store. Now we are well and truly pensioned and financially secure, I buy the books I want when they come out -- or, at least, as soon as they are available through Amazon. Sometimes I forget I have ordered something from Amazon and buy it in the book store, leaving me with a new copy to give away. Now that, that is luxury. Or even excess.

With all this talk of boxes and pricey presents, you would think our Christmas was about excess. But it wasn't, really. It was about shared laughter ( the YD's dog got a chew toy that sounded just like a fart when chomped on) and good food and good music. It was about, mostly, small thoughtful gifts carefully chosen to the recipients' tastes. It was about watching the seven year old open her gifts. It was also, alas, about forgetting to take the aspic out of the barbeque where it was cooling down and finding the bowls frozen to the grill on Christmas morning. One more legend to add to the store of Mom's Christmas Disaster stories.

And I did get money from my mother-in-law, a generous amount that will accompany me to the book store quite soon.... while the sale is still on.

I hope your Christmas and/or holiday celebration was equally wonderful and wish you all the best for the New Year.

Friday, 24 December 2010



and warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate.

Mary