Friday, December 28, 2012

The Last Christmas Post

This is the last Christmas post I will write this year. Our days have been stuffed with tradition and family. 'Family' means nuances, flashpoints, fault lines, irritations, sadnesses, small and large joys, all that togetherness brings. There've been moments I will treasure. There are also moments I'll file away to ponder later.
A day ago, Lulu and I had a truly magical hour meandering through the pages of the 'Paris book' I made for her. After we'd looked at the book two times from cover to cover, she beamed and said, "I love this book." And she really does.
Bought two copies of Paris Hide and Seek at Musee de Orsay, one for Lulu and another for Lauren, with intention of filling them with images of my trip. On each page, I pasted images I'd taken of Lulu's pink glittery shoes at Notre Dame, Versailles, the Louvre.  Also photographed a tiny quincinera doll and put a preponderance of those photos in Lauren's book. Lauren also wanted to look at the book two times. Both loved finding the secret on each page and also noted the yellow balloon and the kissing lovers.
I told Lauren, I'd taken this tiny pink doll to Paris to represent her, just as Lulu is represented by the pink glittery shoes.  Both granddaughters travelled to Paris with Mameau.
I Think Dad had a happy time with all the family on Christmas Day. He loves watching his great grandchildren and he enjoyed the pudding with foamy yellow sauce.  It took a village to get him in and out of the McGrady house and I bet he was tired that evening after the exertion of getting up and then down a multitude of steps.
Always take a photo of the girls and this year, one with Dad too. Here they are.

It has been dark and rainy and muddy and cold every single day. Saw the sun an hour or so on three afternoon, but that is it. The kids are fine with this weather and I must remember how miserable they are when they travel to Houston during summer's humidity and heat. The kids run around in tee shirts, often refuse their hoodie jackets and carry them over their arms to the car. As for hats and gloves? No way.
On Christmas Eve, Caroline made the very best aebleskivers that I've ever eaten. Gluten free and she added in (what flour?) that gave them a nutty, substantive flavor. Inadvertently added egg nog instead of buttermilk, so that may have contributed. Lots of maple syrup too. Jeanne made aebleskivers for Christmas morning breakfast. A good choice.  I really like aebleskivers and Christmas is the only time we indulge and celebrate the girls' Danish heritage.
A few other things I liked about this holiday season? Lulu has weekly French lessons at her kindergarten class and there on a black board was the Eiffel Tower. She is eager to tackle both French and Chinese. We need to encourage this with intensive lessons. I think she has a real affinity for languages. Mustn't let this proclivity go to waste.
Love the art in both the kids' schools. It's free and spirited and I email ES lots of it every time I'm in Seattle. I'd say much of it is better than most of the stuff I see in Houston galleries. It's alive and unmannered. Do you think that the second image looks a bit like one of ES's watercolor maps?
Mary B, here you are on Christmas Eve, quintessential aunt from Portland. And you were 'in charge' of lighting the Christmas pudding on Christmas Day and it was quite a show this year. More flames than usual. Good work.
Here's proof of the joy a child can feel on Christmas morning. Palpable. Exuberant. Kelan and Lauren's gifts were unwrapped with lightening speed. No pausing between presents to examine or savor. Ever onward. A total rush.
Both Jeanne and Caroline made dozens of gluten free cookies, plus peanut clusters and caramels. I love that they still uses that framed recipe I gave them years ago from a 1966 issue of Woman's Day. Fun to know that they still use it.
Here's a paper ornament from Caroline's tree, which she made when she was probably 12 years old. There is something to be said in favor of keeping these ornaments long ago ornaments. Jeanne has her too. So, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  


Sharon said...

You've captured some great family moments. I have been following your recovery from the ablation procedure and am glad you have been able to enjoy the holidays. May the new year bring you strength and health and more of those moments to remember ~

MMH said...

Happy new year. Ablation appears to have worked. Sixty days out. Thirty more to go before we can say for sure. Thanks for your comment.