It seems we give the Christmas party whether we plan to or not. My husband gets sand on his truck, buys bags and candles and with the help of the neighbors puts out traditional farolitos and lights them at sundown. A beautiful one, by the way, all pink and purple and lingering blue. We’d scrambled all day to clean up the house and make the enchiladas and posole and beans and guacamole and margaritas. By the time the party started, I’d used up all my energy and was feeling not so good, plus my back (recovering from surgery) was showing signs of stiffness or flu-like soreness. Wah!
So many of my beautiful beloveds did not get the invite, and cousins decided to stay clear of our germs. Susana, Linda, Art and Mari, my church community, my wonderful clients and friends, some missing neighbors, all of whom I’d imagined there. Not to mention the absent traveling ones, and those who live elsewhere like Lisa and Paul and Gayle.
However, Gabe and Holly’s friends showed up with Phoebe and Penelope to play with the little granddaughters. The girls seem to have a thing for my post-it notes. They always make signs and stick them up all over the house and to people’s backs with sayings like “You are a stinky butt.”
One year, the Church’s first Christmas Eve at the Woman’s Club, I had Rev. Gayle announce from the pulpit that we were having a party and everyone was invited and there’s be plenty of food. Big Mistake! Most of the enchiladas were gone by the time we got back from playing (Paul and I chowdered our duet of What Child is This, I remember the sting of that, or I should say I was the one who chowder it) and people had gotten into my wine rack and were opening better bottles and it was standing room only. I think I ate an Albertson’s Santa Cake and some pinto beans, as that was all that was left.
Oh, and I got a rejection this morning via e-mail. “Thank you for submitting ‘Pride’ to our contest. However we received many wonderful submission and you are not a winner.” Good timing San Miguel de Allende writers’ contest!
As I surveyed the party wreckage, I realized I had nothing for the stockings for the little girls, no unwrapped Santa presents, and Albertson’s and Wal-Mart were closed so I couldn’t get any trinkets, let alone blue cheese or cold medicine. I didn’t think I’d make it until Christmas dinner despite the expensive wine I’d bought which I wouldn’t get to drink because I was too sick. The house was a mess again, glasses all over the place, half-drunk bottles of wine, salt-rimmed remnants of margaritas, and there were spent fireworks on the back lawn. I was tired, sick, rejected, unprepared, dejected and the clicker was missing, so I couldn’t even watch shows on Amazon. Boo Hoo! Poor Me!
I was scrounging around for Stocking Stuffers, wondering if I could make some quick drop cookies with oatmeal and butter and chocolate chips without spreading germs. I was coming up with a few things like cash and marbles and old jewelry, looking around outside for flowers that had escaped the freeze, maybe rocks to paint, or sticks to carve, when Gabe called. He had an information bite: Stocking stuffers in the guest room closet, scooters in the garage next to skis. Then Jim woke up and told me about the bicycle bells in his top drawer. Saved by the bells! Hallelujah!
And Dexter was saved too. Locked out overnight, waiting outside the kitty door which the little girls had somehow managed to lock.
It’s a beautiful morning, after all. The church bells are ringing at the Cathedral and I’m grateful for life and love. And lucky, oh so lucky with the privilege of our age where we always have more than enough to eat, and Medicare, and friends and beautiful family, with hope for the future. I can work, I can write, I can walk, I can think, I can play music. Oh so lucky!
Now where is that forking clicker!