I’ll be home [after] Christmas

December is quickly coming to a close, which means mostly one thing: I have watched the same Christmas specials so many times that not only can I recite them, but act them out from start to finish. And yes, this includes my impression of the Grinch’s dog, Max, when he falls over with that giant antler on his head and the entire scene from The Christmas Story when the Bumpus’ hounds barge in and eat the turkey off the table.
Normally we don’t watch so much television around our house, but it seems that during December the ratio of screen to mommy time is completely out of whack because mommy has been running frantically and has not sat down since Thanksgiving dinner.
I do it because I love the end of December. Mostly that bit of time right after the holiday when the hoopla is over and I can finally breathe again.
It all starts with Thanksgiving, when we gorge ourselves to the point where we think we don’t want to see another piece of turkey for an entire year. (And we usually don’t.) After that begins the rush of the holiday season when, no matter what you do, you’ve always got a friend who says “I finished all my shopping weeks ago and the freezer’s been full of cookies since October” and as much as you love her you secretly want to jingle her bells and deck her halls.
By mid-December, the parties are in full swing. You think if you see another plate of cookies your head is going to fall off and dunk itself in a glass of milk, but still you don your gay apparel eat cheese and crackers because when it comes down to it, it’s nice to see people you don’t normally see. When we see people on these rare occasions, we hear the good things, the good news, which is what we all need.
Slightly rejuvenated from the gingerbread and eggnog coffee craze, we round into the big week of December. You put on your holster that is equipped with tape, scissors, and ribbon and transform into the Quick Draw McGraw of gift wrap. Pure adrenaline kicks in and suddenly you’re preparing eleven course meals in one single bound.
And Christmas Eve night, no matter how old you are, you can’t deny that feeling that reindeer are headed for your rooftop. The night is as silent as the song and by the glow of the Christmas tree, that whole “peace on Earth” idea seems absolutely tangible…and the polar opposite of the wild fun that in Christmas morning.
Paper flying and someone gets stuck untwisting the wires that hold every toy in its packaging, and just when the batteries have been installed, it’s time to pack up and go. Making the rounds, eating multiple dinners, the holly jolly holiday is finally over and you all hit the pillow knowing that the next day starts the real vacation.
Nothing productive gets done between December 25 and January 1. In any business or in any home. It’s the Friday afternoon of the year and everyone knocks off a little early and all for good reason.
We deserve it.
We deserve to stay in our pajamas until noon and eat those cookies (one last time) for lunch while we play the new games and read new books. Build a fire in the fireplace, snuggle up and settle in, perhaps even pretending that the white Christmas we asked for hit so hard that it’s impossible to even step out our door, so our only option is to convert our family room into a wonderland of toys and forts built completely of blankets. We deserve to capitalize on the magic of the holidays before our kids get too old and only ask for gift cards and text their friends during Christmas dinner.
So don’t expect to see me out and about during this week of respite. I’ll be at home in my PJ’s, still attempting to free toys from their packaging, from the depths of a blanket fort, and savoring every last minute of it.

Don’t Leave the House Potato Soup
A big pot of this and you’ll be happy not to go anywhere. Or share.

6 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup frozen corn
parsley and pepper to taste

In stock pot, cook bacon. When browned, remove bacon and sauté onion and celery in bacon fat until translucent. Add garlic, cook for one more minute. Add potatoes to pot and just enough water to cover, and cook until potatoes are soft. Using a potato masher (or just a big fork), mash up the potatoes. Add salt, soup, milk, and corn. Cook thoroughly until hot, but not boiling. Top with fresh chopped parsley, pepper, and reserved bacon.


BECKY said…
Karrie: Wonderful stuff! Everything you wrote is so true! Do stay in and enjoy those adorable kiddos of yours! You DO deserve it! (your potato soup sounds delicious!)

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