Perfectly imperfect

christmas wreath

Well, my 50th Christmas is officially in the books and let me tell you, it wasn’t perfect.

Show of hands if you have been victimized by Christmas cookies.

Mr. Wonderful’s family has cleverly (devilishly?) passed down a recipe for orange cookies. Doesn’t that sound sweet? It is, but this recipe, probably dating from the 1930s, required more decoding than some WWII spy missives. Figuring out 1930s recipe vernacular was a challenge to say the least.

A “bag” of confectioner’s sugar in 1934 is not the same measurement as today. (For the record, it is five cups of confectioners sugar. Five!) One orange was easy enough. Oleo is margarine, which in my world is butter because margarine is basically inedible.

There was a pinch of this and a dab of that and let’s just say we used some language not fit for saying around Baby Jesus, but we finally figured it out.

They are worth it. They are moist and fluffy and delicious and I highly recommend them. They also contain a whole orange so really, they are practically a salad.

The stockings I ordered for the youngest nieces and nephews were smaller than expected. Way smaller. If I wanted something to carry two hard candies and some air, these stockings would fit. So we draped them over the presents like name tags and just went that way. The children still had a wonderful time!

So. Much. Food.

The Christmas Eve cheese soup was runny (my fault), but still tasted wonderful. The Christmas Day French Silk Pie — painstakingly mixed for exactly five minutes per egg (I timed it) — was gritty and, frankly, gross.

Fortunately, we had plenty of other food. I had taken “special requests” from various family members, leading to a wide array of dishes and desserts. So many, in fact, that they took a few bites of each and left copious amounts of food behind. First World Problems indeed.

On that note, I made way too much food. I mean wasteful amounts of “too much.” I basically channeled my Gran and made a huge Christmas brunch spread — for a handful of people. I completely did not factor in that she used to cook for 30 people. I had fewer than 10. Math has never been my strong suit.

Accordingly, we will be eating cheese potatoes and baked eggs until New Year’s Day, if not later.

One of BoyWonder’s new shirts is missing a button — and I am missing my sewing kit. That should tell you all you need to know about how often I use it.

It will be repaired eventually. Probably. If nothing else maybe I’ll get a sewing kit for Christmas next year.

Family ties

My father-in-law was unable to join us and GirlWonder and her Adorable Other were exposed to a virulent case of the stomach flu. It happens.

All the battery-operated wreaths started to die out right before the big day, so by Christmas Eve it was more a dull flicker than warm glow on the exterior of the house. Deck the Halls until December 23 and after that it’s just a gamble I guess.

We ate too much and then too little (leftovers for days!). We forgot some presents at home (we will get them to you later, Sis). We forgot to put some items in the stockings. Buttons were missing and bows fell off.

We drove for hours (and almost ran out of oil). Batteries died and the ham was overcooked. I swear I can cook, but this year was not my best effort.

We laughed. We cried. We had so many loved ones to visit and spend time with that we drove for hours and miles for three days of Christmas festivities. We were exhausted, stuffed, overwhelmed with memories and enjoyed our loved ones young and old.

My 50th Christmas definitely wasn’t perfect. It was better.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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