Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas-to-New Year's Crunch Week

Holiday travel happened all over the country last weekend. Family members from all over the map are pulled by mysterious forces to their mother's (or mother-in-law's) house to celebrate. We are no different than those anonymous traveling masses; family visits are wonderful - but so is walking through your own door when you return from that little jaunt.

Here are a few things I really appreciate when I return from traveling:
  • My home is never more treasured than it is in the first few minutes of returning. 
  • In my house, I have my own chair. Boldly, I can even ask my children to remove themselves from my official chair without guilt. It's a middle class throne.
  • I can spend as much time as I like in my bathroom. It's a middle class throne.
  • Bed time and rising in the morning is decided by yours truly. 
  • Hubzam and I have the biggest bed you can buy without going the custom route (after sleeping in a regular bed with my spouse for two nights, I realize I am spoiled).
  • I can do things alone instead of taking a vote for every decision (What do you want to drink? When do we want to eat lunch? Does anyone want to play a game? Who wants to take a shot at the neighbor first? Oops...that never happened. I can't imagine why I said it).
  • Thank the Lord, I don't have to wrap anything more in 2014. Women are supposed to love wrapping presents (my friend informed me of this), but I don't fit that mold. If I had my way, everyone would just conceal gifts behind their back and say, "Okay, close your eyes....now open them! Merry Christmas, this is for YOU!" and they'd have a beautiful unwrapped gift in their hand. Festive!
Once you're back home again, the next challenge is the Christmas-to-New Year's Crunch Week. I don't think anyone would argue with the observation that Christmas is the main holiday, but you have that "in-between" time to plan for the next celebration on December 31 or January 1. Quit procrastinating and get to it.

You'll have to make a few decisions this week:
  • What are we doing for New Year's Eve?
  • What am I going to do with all the leftover ham?
  • Why is it that the really good stuff is never left over, no matter how much you make?
  • Are we doing "it" alone or do we have to coordinate schedules with our besties?
  • Christmas tree down - or up past New Year's Day?
  • How long can I keep these extra cookies and safely consume them without dying?
  • How many pounds will said cookies add to my annual diet resolution? (The fact that it is annual should tell you something.)
  • Should we call all the kids and cook a big meal on New Year's Day?
  • Are we going out or staying in for New Year's Eve?
  • Does anyone care? Does anyone have a preference?
  • Can anyone tell me how to force my dear Hubzam to go to a movie theater? Okay...that wasn't fair - he did go to UNBROKEN with the extended family while out of town (great movie, by the way).
  • Should we invite people to our home on New Year's Eve?
  • Can we do that without alcohol?
  • If we do it with alcohol, what do we buy and how can we water it down enough to prevent any potential inebriation?
  • What will the guests say when they realize that they will never get loaded at one of my parties? Do I care?
  • If we decide to roll out the full-on geezer mode, what movie will we rent?
  • Should I rent two, just in case the first one bombs?
  • If I go geezer-eve, and invite no one over, is that an automatic "no cooking" day? We've got those pesky leftovers, after all.
  • Who decided that fireworks are part of New Year's Eve? Once again, my dog is going to freak out and that isn't the way you want to start a new year, is it?
  • Can this be the year that I insist that people quit saying "pigs in a blanket" (when everyone knows that "widdle weinie wrap" is much more descriptive and cute)?
Obviously, I've got to get on it. How many widdle weinie wraps will one person eat?


  1. Oh Cherdo, when we are away I try not to think of my own chair because it makes me homesick. I used to spend months on adventures as a youth, but age has turned me to jelly. Still, I find a chair in a strange kitchen and jot down notes --scraps of projected poems, etc.-- and soon have company because kitchens are the heart of every home. I am wise jelly. Happy new year!

    1. You are "wise jelly!" I think I'm going to use that term again.

      I'm a kitchen sort of visitor, too. Most of the time, I visit with friends in my kitchen instead of my living room. That may be because we're coffee hounds, also.

      Have a happy New Year, Geo. :- )

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  3. So many questions! First off-A BIG thank you for my gift!!! I got it and it is really nice-I love it so thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It takes me a while to finally start eating the cookies I baked so I am enjoying them and since they won't be around for another year, why not? My tree, no matter how Charlie Brown it looks, always stays up past New Year's. I have had enough turkey to last me until Thanksgiving so no big meal planned. If I have people over for New Year's, I would hope there is alcohol and plenty of it and we have a pull out couch for them to crash on. My hubby hates New Year's-no idea why but I hope he will stay up to watch the silly ball come down. We rarely go out on New Year's unless someone was having a gathering and that well, rarely happens. Friends of mine got to Niagara Falls and Keith Urban will be there but the thought of standing in the cold with 50,000 people in muck, dealing with the crowds and then the traffic does not appeal to me at all. I enjoy being home and we will either watch a couple of films or watch one film:) I do enjoy people coming over and then playing a fun game. So there we have it! Again Thanks!!! Have a great New Year's!

    1. You're welcome! Glad you liked it. Have a safe and happy New Year, Birgit!

  4. The New Year always brings many questions and decisions. I usually keep my Christmas tree up through New Years Day, but with my cats...Destroyer Cats...I took it down on Christmas day. Yup, Christmas Day. was tired of fixing it whenever they climbed inside, knocked off branches and ornaments. I hope next Christmas is different.

    Happy New Year!!!!

    1. Cats gotta party, too - yo?

      My ball obsessed dog decided that the new Christmas ornaments on the new tree were all dog balls. I had to relocate everything that a small poodle could reach. Then she tried stepping up on the branches.

      Pets rule...we just don't realize it. Oh, well - Happy New Year!!

  5. Good afternoon, dear Cherdo!

    It's Shady Del Knight, the leftover ham of the blog world, just getting in off the road.

    I agree. There's no place like home. I agree that it feels great to walk through the door, relax, settle into your own private, comfortable space and make decisions independently, not having to run them through a committee. I miss that feeling. :) Tomorrow night when Mrs. Shady and I ring in the new year it will be the last time we will be doing it in this house, the one we designed and built in 1996. It's sad to think about it, but my spirits rise when I think of building a new nest, an empty one, in a city far away.

    Happy new year to you, dear Cherdo, and your hubzam, your kiddos and to wonder dog Coco.

    1. Howdy Ho, neighbor!

      New beginnings are exciting, too - but I totally understand your attachment and emotions regarding a well loved home. My wish is that 2015 brings you much happiness and that Mrs. Shady gets the dream job, mythical and legendary, that all nurses crave.

      Happy New Year to the whole Shady crew!

  6. Hi, Cherdo! Happy 2015! Well, almost. LOL.

    Had to giggle at your post. Too fun and SO MANY decisions. RELAX and go with the flow AND ENJOY. I usually NEVER go out on NYE, but since I just moved into a spectacular 17th floor apt with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, I MUST share it with some friends.And, yes, they do shoot fireworks off Navy Pier within my visual range. HOW FESTIVE!

    Sadly, I feel like CRAP... Got a bug. Had it for Thanksgiving, got rid of it and SURPRISE, it came back with a vengeance. BOO! I HATE being sick. So I dragged myself into my tiny kitchen and baked for the first time in it. WELL... AMAZINGLY enough, my pumpkin pecan rum cakes came out PERFECT! Tomorrow another day of baking and cooking. Hopefully I'll be better.

    1. Sounds like a great place to plant yourself on New Year's Eve, Michael. Hope you rally and feel better. Push fluids, Ibuprofen (heck, it's the holidays...go full on Tylenol), and rest.

      But wait a minute...I didn't catch your apartment number...pumpkin pecan rum cakes? Oh, my goodness. If a good, GOOD friend named Cherdo just happened to drop by...would any pumpkin pecan rum cakes be laying around - homeless and wanting Cherdo to give them shelter? Just asking...

      Happy New Year!!

    2. You're welcome any time! IF there isn't one left homeless... well I can certainly whip up a few for a foster mom.

      Seriously though, if you're in or near Chicago..... drop me a note.

      Happy New Year to you, too!

  7. I've successfully pulled off handing out gifts without wrapping paper. But I've succumbed to my parents' insistence on tearing off the price tag of anything I buy.

    1. Mom is always right (but you had a good run, my friend). Happy New Year!

  8. I didn't wrap a single gift. I must not be a real woman.


    1. I have always sensed you may be a cyborg; but then again, I may be one, too.

      Real is so overrated.

  9. It's December 30th (late) and we still have NO idea what we're doing. Honestly, I'm in favor of being fast asleep at midnight. Being up to watch the clock strike 12 has lost its luster!

    1. Well, I hate to say the "G" word, but you and I may be having a geezer-eve celebration. Don't be insulted - it basically means we do whatever we want and don't cave to peer pressure. On the Flipside, we're peerless.

      Happy New Year!

  10. I scrolled down your page and enjoyed your posts, thank you so much for the smiles. Happy 2015. :)


Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo