Nothing Day

Finally. December 27th is here. The day I get to do absolutely nothing. I'm not even getting dressed today. No meals to cook because the fridge is groaning with leftovers, no visits to make or company to receive because it's all been done, no wrapping, cleaning or preparing because it's just plain too late. It is Nothing Day in my house. I can read, watch tv, read, play games, read, write in my blog, and read. I am responsible for absolutely nothing. I love Nothing Day. I slept, or at least stayed in bed till 1 pm. I've been reading since then and may go back for a nap in a few minutes. I'm even stepping over stuff on the floor that any other day would have to be picked up. I don't have a "to do" list. I won't even make one for tomorrow. Because Nothing Day, my friends, is inviolable.

So. Books. Did you get books for Christmas? I got two: Empire Of Illusion by Chris Hedges, a book I've been reading about for a long time and Anne Perry's Silent Nights, which contains two of her Christmas mysteries. I plan to read one or both of them this week, then I have to get into Eat, Pray, Love for book club on January 12th. That will be our travel book/dinner meeting, so I have to find a couple of recipes from Italy, India or Bali to cook for the meal.

I'm reading War and Peace with Daily Lit, the site that will break a book up into sections and email you one daily. It's a great way to read those books that will take forever without having to put off all the other books you want to get at. I get 2 sections sent to my inbox every day and it takes about 5 minutes to read it. It'll get me through War and Peace in about a year, whereas I might never get through it otherwise. I'm a few days behind right now but I can get caught up in half an hour or so. I think Daily Lit is a brilliant idea.

This year I took part in the Book Blogger's Christmas Card Exchange hosted by Anastasia of Birdbrained Book Blog. It was one of the most fun parts of Christmas this year. I got names to send cards to in various parts of the world, and I received cards from around the world as well. They all came with long notes/letters telling how they celebrate Christmas in their part of the world. Thank you to: Carla of , Ana of things mean a lot, Jess of start narrative here, Ryan of wordsmithonia and Courtney of stiletto storytime for the cards and letters. Thank you for the time and effort you took to tell me about yourselves and your Christmas celebrations.You reminded me just how enjoyable it is to get a lovely chatty letter in the mail. Everybody uses email now, but wouldn't it be nice to write letters again? Wouldn't it be fun to have a penpal and look forward to real letters on paper? 

Christmas Eve here is very busy, but I always wish it wasn't. I like Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. I like wrapped presents better than opened ones. I like thinking about Mary, Joseph, Jesus and Bethlehem before the busyness of present opening, dinner making and family visiting takes over. I like the anticipating, the preparing, the readiness. Music that I'm tired of on the 26th still holds profound meaning on the 24th. I'd like to spend the day quietly, but the clock is ticking so I get ready for the influx of family after church. It is long standing tradition that there will be homemade eggnog and a table filled with things like baked brie with crackers, puff pastry hors d'oeuvres, spinach/artichoke dip with baked pita chips and of course the requisite tray of Christmas sweets, cookies with a whole cherry hidden inside, mocha cakes and peanut butter balls and sugar cookies in the shape of snowflakes frosted and topped with sanding sugar to make them glisten like real snow. This year after we were all stuffed to the gills, my granddaughter read The Night Before Christmas and my son read the Nativity Story from Luke chapter 2. I had asked everyone to come prepared to share a favorite Christmas memory, sing a song or read a story. A few brave souls complied. We heard a few favorite memories, heard my daughter and her daughter sing "We Wish You A Tasty Fruitcake", and had a few laughs over funny stories. 

Christmas morning, we were all together for the first time in years. My son, Nick, and his girlfriend have been staying with us for a while and my daughter, Amanda, and her family are here for the week. There were eight of us and two dogs and a mountain of presents to open. We opened our stockings first then the men made breakfast and we tackled the presents. I love watching people open gifts. The surprise and delight on their faces makes up for all the hours and effort put into making Christmas happen. In the afternoon, Amanda and her family went to my son-in-law's parents to have dinner with his family. The four of us here had a traditional turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. Our usual Christmas dinner dessert is steamed cranberry pudding with butter sauce, but my son's girlfriend always had pumpkin pie at home and I wanted to have something that would make it feel like Christmas for her. After the kitchen was cleaned up (10 pm or so) we spent the rest of the evening watching Christmas-y things on tv. 

Boxing day starts with sleeping in, but not too late because things have to be prepared for the family gathering at my mothers. This is where I will see my sisters and family, and my brother. All in all there will be thirteen of us there. The meal this time is all finger foods, so I take teriyaki meatballs and another tray of sweets. This is a tricky gathering to navigate because certain topics can't be raised and certain opinions can't be expressed if peace is to reign. So we keep it light and hope for the best. We got home from that around 8 pm. I put on my Christmas red robe, poured a Bailey's, put my feet up, and thought "Woooo Hoooo! Tomorrow is Nothing Day!"

And that was Christmas. I love most everything about the season including the music, the gift-choosing, the pretty paper and cards, the story of Jesus, the candles, the lights, the decorated tree and the fancy foods. I don't like the family tensions, the hurry and fatigue or the budget limitations. I like it when Christmas comes and I like it when it goes and I get my living room and my time back. 

I love today. Nothing Day. A wonderful invention if I do say so myself. I highly recommend it to one and all. Now, I believe I'll go back to reading for a while. And then, well, then I'll do just whatever I feel like doing.

Have a great week everyone.


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