Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas of the Swedish Licorice

Christmas is over, and it was much closer to the relaxed Christmas of my imagination than most.   Christmas day, The Boy and I opened presents with Miss Mags in the morning, then headed to Mum's to get ready for the family - and in The Boy's case, set up Mum's wireless network and iPad (she's hip to the technology, people!)

I could talk about how once again I was spoiled, about how delightfully (?) odd my family is when you get them all in one big room.  About how we missed Kerry and Tui at the table, but enjoyed the extra elbow room.  Actually, scratch that re Tui - she made her presence known through a box of xmas goodies sent to us from Edinburgh.  Lovely home made ornaments, soaps, all seemed so uncharacteristically NICE.

dip dabs and flakes - oh my!    

And then her genetic link to the family was revealed through a bag of Swedish Licorice she picked up in a recent trip to Stockholm.  So kind of her.  Her uncle appreciated it - as did I.
We enjoyed the challenge of the salty outer shell of the licorice, leading to the sweet inner chewiness.  We are not put off by the UNBELIEVABLE, fragrant nose of cat-pee that wafts to the back of the palate and cleans out the sinuses with each chew.   We are not afraid of the cat-pee Tui, your evil game DID NOT take us down.

It did, however, take down Grandmere and The Boy

A closer look perhaps?

Such kindness from afar, Tui.  Such kindness.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Tree Time again....

Yes, that's right.

The Boy and I headed down to my favorite tree lot (ok, a parking lot with trees stacked in it) to pick out another example of the beauty of uncultured trees.  It was, of course, the first one we picked up that we ended up stuffing into the car on top of a camo-pattern tarp that made the whole mission feel a lot more military and precise than it actually was.

I do look forward to decorating.  It is something I started on year two of life in the Bunkle, and this will be year two of having the Boy assist with carefully placing felt birds on the branches, for which I am grateful.  I love the charlie brown tree, the little decorations, the sparkly white lights, the string of pudding carrying cats that make it all feel like Christmas.  It will also be the second year Thomas won't be around to hide under the tree or decapitate unsuspecting wooden reindeer - maybe I shouldn't be surprised at how much I still miss him, but I really do.  And though he had been missing from the celebrations at home for a few years now, this will be the first real year without Dad.  And without Tui - who is too busy frolicking around Europe to bother with her family *sniff*  (There is no thinly veiled jealousy here.  None.)

The holiday season is always a weird ying/yang of happy and sad, relaxation and stress, calm and frustration.  This year I've decided to try and take a little bit of time off after the holidays, instead of before - which I have come to realize never ends up being relaxing time off, it ends up being thinly veiled chaos.  And this year, time off after Christmas will be dedicated to starting the process of transforming the basement in preparation for the Boy's impending addition as a household fixture in the Spring - this will include the creation of a man-cave for his man-stuff, and more useable storage space for the mass of stuff we have both collected.  Hopefully I will have the energy to track some of that process on the blog for those that are interested.

In the interim, I will continue to try and keep Christmas what it should be this year.  Or rather, what I want it to be.

And I will leave one tiny decapitated reindeer at the bottom of the tree, just in case the ghost of christmas past drops by.