Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day Stillness

 

Twelve of us, including two excited little girls, crowded together in the small city apartment of our son and daughter-in-law, opening lovingly chosen, thoughtful gifts, filling plates with my tourtieres or the shrimp-spinach quiche I'd remembered, almost too late, to make in deference to one daughter's dietary commitment . . . As her small niece importantly declared to all and sundry, "Auntie R. Is a vegetarian!" Son and DIL had rounded out the pies with some brilliant roasted Brussels sprouts, delicious salad, and a yummy apple crisp. The lights sparkled on a Christmas tree, Nola speaking up again to let us know she had helped decorate, and our favourite tunes played in the background. Nola and I had walked to the gathering across the bridge, having sent Granddad off to play chauffeur for the little family with the toddler. That meant we had much to tell everyone about how magical the city lights had looked in the dark. Little girl had offered up this wisdom: "You told me it would be beautiful, Nana, but I didn't really know. I believed you, but I didn't really know. But now I can see it and it's really, really beautiful." Still, she got a bit impatient when Nana took too long to admire. "Don't stop, Nana." After all, there was a Christmas Eve party to get to . . .

 

And a lovely party it was, followed by more heart-warming gatherings on Christmas Day. Pater and I moved through the city, spending time at each of our adult children's homes, being hosted and gifted by our children and their partners in a way that words fail to capture. . . The gratification of seeing these people we've raised through decades of Christmases now carrying that tradition forward so convincingly with their own important changes! yet honouring the past they know through us. . . .

One of my traditions the last few years has been a knit gift for each one of my family. This year, I changed it up a bit by knitting four different hats, wrapping and giving them randomly to the guys, then letting/encouraging them to swap, finding one they liked best with the promise that if 2, 3, even all 4, liked the same hat, I could simply go back and knit duplicates. At the moment, they seem all to have gone home happy with a toque or beanie of choice, but I'll check in again just to make sure. I didn't take the camera out at all (I know! But I just wanted to experience, somehow, not record) but snapped pics of the hats for my own files...

My Random Knit-Gifting plan for the girls might not have been as successful. Although there was a valiant pretence at appreciation of the Earwarmers and Mitts, it was clear that I could have made at least two more pairs of socks (and have promised to do so . .. )

I spent most of today on the couch, reading a new mystery, debating whether or not I could muster the energy to go see a movie with my guy. So far, the verdict is still out. . . I do love a very quiet Boxing Day, even without the leftovers that used to sustain us in the years when we roasted the Christmas turkey. . . I can only marvel at those of you with the stamina and fortitude to brave those Sales. ..

But I do have energy to read your comments and the curiosity to know if you had a good Christmas. Any special memories, funny anecdotes, poignant scenes, little dramas, delicious desserts, favourite gifts? Do share, and I'll take a moment away from my book (Carol O'Connell's latest Mallory title -- do you know this mystery series? So good!). But maybe you're still enjoying family time or just recovering quietly from all the celebration. That's good, too, and I'll be right here when you're ready to chat again. . . .'tis the Season, Still ...

 

19 comments:

  1. Boxing Day has been quiet around here, too. So peaceful with a heart full of memories to treasure from yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're having another quiet one at home on the island today. . .

      Delete
  2. Boxing day here in Southern Ontario found us grateful to have electricity and heat again after four days without following an amazing ice storm that has some neighbors still waiting to get their power back. Other wonderful neighbors who did have power invited us for dinner (and a chance to shower!) An unusual holiday but one to remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you Easterners have put it all in perspective for the rest of us. Glad you came through it without too much trouble, no injury. . .

      Delete
  3. We had a brunch and Christmas present exchange with my daughter and friend on the day. Boxing Day, daughter and I went to a movie together. Today, I desperately need a walk and some fresh air. I am looking for a good mystery series right now and will try O'Connell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll really like the Mallory series, although they can be heavy on the gritty forensics. What movie did you see?

      Delete
  4. Alas, no Boxing Day here. It was back to work for us. We don't celebrate Christmas as such (family is Jewish) but I did take the opportunity to make a nice roast with some potatoes, carrots and peas (all le monsieur's favorites) on the side. Your knitted goodies are lovely. I'm especially impressed with those socks, just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a festive meal as well! So sorry you had to work on Boxing Day. I can't imagine people managing to gear up for Christmas Day and then snap back the next day -- Dickens had this one covered, no?

      Delete
  5. On boxing day we went for a 9K walk along the waterfront and cleaned up from the feast...
    today I am resting.
    I love all your handiwork your knitting skills are impressive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That must have been a very satisfying walk, and the weather's been so good for it!
      Thanks re the knitting -- I know you're also a Knitting Nana

      Delete
  6. We did nothing of note and everything was wonderful. All the people I love best. Happy holidays to you and your family. xoxox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only imagine how happy you are to be together with your chickies! Happy holidays to you as well. . .

      Delete
  7. We hosted a small dinner on Xmas Eve (I cooked a goose for the first time!), went to a massive family lunch on Xmas Day, then spent all Boxing Day cleaning the house and prepping for our Chilli Crab lunch on the 27th ... Yesterday (28th) was more like our Boxing Day - some pottering, fresh prawns and oysters for lunch on the deck, much watching of cricket on the television. And I'm back to work tomorrow, which is a bit grim!

    I think I need to learn to knit socks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So is your oven a splattered mess of grease? And was it all worth it? I'm sure everyone lucky enough to be invited to your Chilli Crab lunch must have had a great time, and the prawns and oysters sound like perfection to me, although the deck obviously doesn't sound like Christmas to me. . . .just too much summer in there!
      Kristin at is currently in the middle of a Tutorial she's put together on knitting socks on circular needle -- one pair in a week, is how she's designed it, but that presumes some free time (and obviously you can adapt). I do mine on double points because that's what I'm used to, but Magic Loop is something I should try to learn someday and when I do, I'll probably follow her guide. She's great! Really supportive, thorough, takes and gives feedback well, etc.

      Delete
    2. Yes, my oven is horrible - but all worth it! Thanks for the heads-up re Kristin's tutorial. I have an irrational aversion to circulars but I should get over it. I just need to find time when it's not too warm to knit ...

      Delete
  8. We were able to make all our connections, see and enjoy everyone for 4 (!) separate family gatherings. The quiet left by our kids' departure has been used for some reading (not enough) and some cleaning (not enough) and your gorgeous handiwork has inspired me to look for a hat/beanie/beret pattern within my (limited) skill set! I'm also curious to know how the fur vest was received...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That's some busy! You'll really be enjoying the quiet now.
      She loved the vest, as you predicted!
      As for the knitting, are you on Ravelry? There are many great patterns there, so many of them free. If you're there, do "Friend" me . . .

      Delete
  9. We don't celebrate Boxing Day here in the States, but my cousin hosts a lovely brunch for all which gives time to visit with relatives we don't see often. In the afternoon, we have a family bowling tournament, all in good fun. The lanes are never crowded, all can play, from 77 to 9 years of age. It's a great activity which we all enjoy. The 27th found many of our family going to the movies, then I hosted pizza, salad and beer for the younger crowd to give my mom, the main hostess, (she has the largest house) a break.

    You may remember, (or not) that I was not feeling festive because of a family situation. I was able to get in the mood with help from my 27 daughter and her long time childhood friend. They met us at the neighborhood bar, we came home and made Greek salad, and then the girls baked and sang along with Christmas CDs and favorite 8th grade songs. We got into the spiked eggnog, sang and danced and visited and I ended up feeling much better. My son, who had to work most of the holiday days, was able to drive the 45 miles to my mom's house Christmas Eve for a lovely surprise and came back for dinners for two nights, thanks to some $50 bills slipped to him for gasoline. I was not sure I would enjoy myself, but I took all for what it was worth and tried to let other things go.

    Glad you enjoyed your holiday. Sorry for the ramble-- this has been the first time I could reflect on the happenings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you dare apologize for a "ramble" -- I'm so pleased you found space for reflection here -- I love your description of a Christmas and its follow-up that so much made the most of a tough family situation. It all sounds quite lovely -- all of the best activities, memories being made -- pizza, Greek salad, beer & spiked eggnog so much more meaningful than the turkey, a nice twist! And the bowling, a classic! Hope the contentment follows you into the New Year. . .

      Delete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...