We’re at the final countdown. This morning Cherisse and I reviewed our present selections (although really it’s too late; we are not Christmas eve shoppers…the thought of entering stores crammed with frantic people is the antithesis of holiday spirit). Still, we assess our choices—knowing full well that our family delights in any gift chosen with care and love, so it is actually hard to go too wrong.
Cherisse went out to the shop to finish a surprise that she’s been working on, and I began to wrap. Paper is carefully selected, and tomorrow each package will be just as carefully unwrapped, preserving the paper for another year. (We have some paper that has been reused, literally, for decades.) Even when we were little, we never ripped open a present on Christmas morning; the tape was gingerly removed from each gift and the paper taken off intact. My grandmother wrapped presents without using tape at all, although none of us has mastered that skill.
Cards have all been sent. Many friends—from college days, and through the intervening years—are still dear, but geography and life have interfered, so an update via a holiday card is how we stay connected. The past few years Cherisse and I have made photo cards. This year we had one image on the front, of the house after the Halloween snowstorm, and inside I used six small pictures to give a snapshot of our 2011, including building the chicken coop and getting our first honey. Many years ago I made my own cards, using linoleum block printing. (I also made my own wrapping paper for a while, cutting sponges into shapes traced from cookie cutters. I no longer seem to have time for these projects.)
Finally I will go back to the kitchen for some last baking, including one of my mother’s favorites. Luckily the chickens came through today, producing seven eggs; we’ve used dozens of eggs in these last few days.
We’ll try not to stay up too late finishing everything, because when we wake up tomorrow, it will be Christmas.