The Morning After.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s day is my favorite time of the year.  With the Christmas hustle and bustle over, the days prior to the New Year are quiet, calm, and peaceful.  New toys provide a distraction to children young and old and the stress of preparing for the holiday gives way to euphoria that the holiday has passed, yet once again.

Early Christmas morning, [S] found the bicycle hidden behind the curtain and helmet under the tree left by Santa Claus.  After her discovery, it was as if the wrapped gifts sitting under the tree had become invisible.  Indeed, it took us hours to complete opening gifts on Christmas day.  While the number of gifts appeared modest, it became clear that she had received more than enough. 

Judging by the amount of use, [S]’s favorite gift is her bicycle helmet.  She wears it inside the house while she plays; she wears it outside the house riding her bike.  Each time she puts on her helmet, I smile, recalling Russell’s demand that we buy her a helmet when she was first learning how to walk. 

The day after Christmas, we hosted a small cocktail party, serving mostly light fare–black bean hummos, toasted pita chips, chicken teriyaki meatballs, crudite, assorted cheeses served with baguette, herb dip and crackers, bruschetta, deviled eggs, fresh strawberries, chicken adobo casserole, tortilla chips, grapes, uh, you get the picture.  We also had plenty of sweet treats from cranberry pie and homemade cookies to peppermint bark and an assortment of candy.  Clearly, we prepared too much. 

My favorite part of entertaining is grazing on leftovers post-party.  The next morning, [S] ate strawberries, grapes and pita bread and Russell and I indulged in dip, vegetables, fruit, and bruschetta.

With the reality that our refrigerator cannot hold another dish or bottle and that our living room cannot house another book or bear, I know that my fear that we won’t have enough–enough gifts under the tree for our daughter or enough food on the table to feed our guests–is not based in reality.  Indeed, we have more than enough.  For that–and for not having to cook for days–I’m deeply grateful.

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