This week has been such a pain in my ass because it's totally in the way of all the good shit which comes down starting this weekend and right through next week. Next week is one of those work weeks where it's all long lunches and office parties and then it's the weekend before Christmas! And I love me some Christmas in the same pagan/secular way my sister does. Fuck all, can't I love the tacky lights, the tree, the awesome food and the cheesy songs without having to drag Jesus into it? I SAY TOTALLY YES.
One thing I really hate, though? Wrapping gifts. If I had a pet helper monkey the very first thing I would teach it to do is to wrap all my gifts so I never have to. HATE IT. This year I've at least got a proper table at which to work and I think if I have a big glass of wine next to my sissors my wrapping won't suck quite as much. I know most people love it, but me? Not so much. It just seems so fussy to me, what with all the angles and corners and ribbon and shit. Beh. Next year I'm wrapping everything in brown paper lunch bags. Stapled at the top.
But, that's pretty much the only thing I don't like about the season.
I'm generally not much of a baker, but Kate and I get together every year and do a crazy all-day baking session (which will be this Sunday). This is maybe our fourth or fifth year and it's so much fun, except for two years ago when I had a terrible cold and Kate ended up doing most of the work while I sat there stuffy and spaced-out and tried not to infect everything. That kind of sucked.
Also, every year since I was thirteen my dad and I get together and make peanut butter & chocolate fudge. It's pretty much the only father/daughter tradition we have. We use the same outdated recipe every year (4 1/2 cups of sugar! One jar of marshmallow fluff!) and every year it's like the first time we've ever done it. Someone will get burned, something will go wrong, hijinks galore. Weeks in advance we joke about the freight train necessary to bring in enough sugar. Dad will call me and leave a message like this,
"Well, it's your father. I just wanted to tell you that the train arrived today and unloaded the boxcar full of sugar. I think it should be enough. I'll go down to the depot this weekend with a pickup truck to get it and then bring it to your house. Do you have a shovel?"
Man, I love Christmas.