Merry Christmas

Well, I got my Christmas miracle last night – my family sat around the table together, enjoyed hours of entertainment in our tiny apartment, then sat laughing around our old wood stove in the back yard, the freezing cold crowding all around us.  

My husband had slaved over a smoky smoker all day. We had a big chicken, and a tri-tip, which he had never done before. The instructions for the tri-tip were too complicated, I should have seen it.   As usual the chicken was juicy and delicious. The tri-tip was okay, but afterwards my husband asked us if we preferred tri-tip grilled or smoked, and everybody agreed grilled is the way to go with red meat.  

Live and learn.

We kept Grandpa on the phone for over an hour. He lives way down in the desert with his mules and donkeys and cows, the road is sketchy in December, Christmas is a lonely time for him. Luckily the mail man has a big 4WD truck, so we can send Maisie Jane’s nuts, warm socks, and homemade liver snaps for Buddy. Last year Buddy got ahold of the liver snaps package from the mail man,  and Grandpa had to chase him all over the country. He had chewed through the package and eaten half of them by the time Grandpa caught up with him – anything that makes Buddy that happy makes Grandpa happy.

The morning air bit my nose today – 28 shining degrees. The sky is very dramatic, the moon looks like a silver pendant with a tiny diamond hanging from it.

Today I feel this relief that Christmas is over. It’s such a feverish time of year – last night my son explained how stressed out his girlfriend is that she’s had to work so much and has not yet had time to figure out a gift for her parents. I hate that ugly stress, it’s awful. I always worry that my kids, marginally employed, will spend too much money, or feel depressed because they can’t buy the gifts they would like to give. But, they always impress me with their ingenuity – simple gifts that are really practical, will be used every day, much appreciated.

I got a Kleen Kanteen, a pair of alpaca gloves, and new rain boots. My husband also bought me a new pair of slippers – OMG! – Dearfoams! 

My husband and sons stood admiring a pair of gloves one boy got his dad, while dad opened a second gift – a gorgeous pink salt cutting board.  My husband goes through gloves like socks, he always needs a new pair. And the cutting board can be used on the grill – my older son is always coming up with new things for us to try, he’s like our window on the world.

Today I woke up to the smell of smoked meat and I remembered what a fine time we had last night. I wish we could do it every night! 

Merry Christmas. 

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