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Tuesday Slice of Life : January 3, 2017.

How did December slip by so fast?
Seems only a couple days ago my daughter and I were unpacking boxes of Christmas decorations. It’s one of our traditions: together we remember Christmases past as we decorate my tree, retelling the stories, laughing and sighing. We fill the house with holiday music and talk about the celebrations ahead. And when we are done, my house is so festive.

We are a family of traditions, and we rarely alter one. That’s why, when we drag the decoration boxes out of my attic next December, I’m sure we will remember that in December 2016–

  • We decorated the shortest Christmas tree in our family history.
    Since moving to the northwest, one of our traditions has been to put up an enormous fresh-cut noble. However, the past couple years, I’ve been begging to downsize. Well, we really did this year. The tree was short, but then to get it to stand straight, we had to do some trunk trimming, making it even shorter. I didn’t need a ladder or chair to reach the top. When EN–who is five years old and knows a lot about Christmas trees–first laid eyes on the tree, he put his hand on his hip and announced: “That sure is a little tree.”


  • Cookie decorating and baking was delayed until three days before Christmas.

    My kitchen is the site for grandkids to gather and create Christmas masterpieces–velvet cutout cookies  (a shortbread type cookie made with cream cheese and so yummy). The fun is in choosing the cookie cutters and painting the cookies with an egg yolk “paint.” After baking and cooling them, each takes his/her tray home in a Christmas tin to enjoy during the days before Christmas. This year we pushed it back to Dec. 22, waiting for MK to return from her two-month visit in Ecuador.

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  • We baked single batches of our traditional Christmas cookies.
    The tradition is double and triple batches. I can’t recall ever washing empty cookie tins and jars before New Years Day, but  I did this year.


  • I didn’t use “snail mail” to send Christmas greetings.
    I will pack the boxes of unsent Christmas cards; …perhaps next year. And I’ve promised myself to write each one who sent me a card a special greeting before the end of January.
  • I did no brick and mortar shopping.
    In Christmases past, not only did I spend time shopping at the malls, enjoying decorations and carols, but my husband and I would spend an evening on the town (walking, window shopping, eating) just to enjoy the festive city spirit.
  • Our family Christmas Eve dinner became a Christmas Day dinner.
    We have always shared a traditional family dinner on Christmas Eve after which our  kids scatter to spend time with their spouse’s extended families. And then we would gather again for a late Christmas afternoon gift exchange along with cookie munching. Since our backyards all run together, “gathering” is easy for us. But this year, we decided to combine these two events into a single one.
  • At the last minute, we postponed dinner and our gift exchange until December 26.
    The crud began sweeping through our family the week before Christmas. In hopes that more would be recovered, we pushed our Christmas Day dinner and gift exchange to Monday. As it turned out, four still were unable to join the festivities.


Now, the time has come to pack away the decorations and stow the boxes in my attic for the next eleven months, except for the snowmen scattered throughout my house. They get to stay through January.


Read about my OLW for 2017.

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