This year I did something I’ve never done before. I escaped Christmas. In the days leading up to “the big day” I baked the cookies and gave out the tips to service people. I went to a few parties and bought a little gift here and there.
But right now, as you perhaps are cleaning up ribbons and wrappings, I am digging my feet into the warm sand. Just a three day escape to change things up.
It is my way of announcing to the world (and to me) that “things have to be different around here.” [Read more…]
I must say, I got what I asked for. It was passionately intense. It wasn’t passion pretty, it was passion difficult. It involved my daughter writing, finishing and presenting her thesis. A “surprise” hip replacement surgery and the months long rehabilitation afterwards. My son started a new job in Cancun (code for: I helped him outfit his flat) and my daughter left for France to see if she wanted to settle there. (She does). A bucket list trip (meaning: big and expensive) to Alaska that ended with me [Read more…]
It seems that in the past few years I find myself saying, “Christmas has to be different this year.”
For years, I prided myself on creating the same, classical and elegant Christmas every year for my children. Isn’t that the point — to create memories and tradition? I rejoiced as I strung the tiny blue and white lights and set up the tree and the nativity.
Lately, Christmas has become a minefield of emotion and memory. [Read more…]
I’ve cooked it all. Legions of cookies and cakes. Gallons of egg nog and mimosas. Baked hams. Beef Wellingtons. Roasts of pork and lamb. So many turkeys I can’t even count. Creamed spinach, scalloped potatoes, Sacher Tortes, Buches de Noel.
I asked myself, what do I really feel like eating at Christmas this year? The answer was: not complicated elegance. More like sexy bistro food. I have visions of pulling a bubbling casserole from the oven, served with a glass of seriously fabulous wine. My DD tells me I’ll be everyone’s new best friend by bringing a large Spanokopita, a Greek spinach pie to a Christmas eve supper I’m invited to.
It’s official now. “The hols are coming, the hols are coming.”
I need to do things differently this year. Have you ever felt this way? For years, I rejoiced in all the traditions I created for my family that made our Christmas such a happy, cherished time.
But I don’t need to be the magic maker anymore; I’m not responsible for anyone’s happiness anymore. I can change how I set the scene and observe the holidays, knowing that I create intimate, compelling magic whatever I decide to do. Because that’s my style.
You all know how I feel about tropical Christmas. I wrote about it last year. In general, I take comfort in traditions. The ease of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, menu always the same. The cherished Christmas ornaments that I pull out of the box each year. The Easter ham. The Fourth of July barbecue. But this year with the holiday season in full swing, I’m feeling the season in a different way. [Read more…]