They know that it's my first Christmas without Mom, that we are all a bit sad. Twinks and I both have a marked propensity these days to burst into tears at the most random moments. A long-forgotten ornament at the bottom of the box... A favorite Christmas Carol... Mom's handwriting on the recipe card for the cookies we make every year...
To be honest, it doesn't take much these days.
So, the other day, when someone asked how I was doing, I told them the truth: Iffy, at best.
I cry, I laugh, and I try to remember that this is her first Christmas with Daddy in 21 years. I try, also, to be grateful for all of our blessings. We live in a lovely, snug and cozy house. The pantry is full, as is the fridge and freezer. We have three nice cars, less debt than the average American family, we are (mostly) healthy, and our amazing daughter will graduate from high school in just a few months. We are so very lucky, in so many, many ways.
And so we put up the tree, and decorated the house. Life *does* go on, after all, and I knew that if we let these traditions lapse, we might never get them back. So, out comes the old poinsettia-print tablecloth that has graced our family's holiday meals since 1968. There is the wreath on the door that Twinks decorated, and in the front hallway hangs the Advent calendar, counting the days until Christmas.
All of the presents have been ordered, and nearly every day, FedEx and UPS ring the bell. There are a few things here and there that I still need to take care of, but most of the shopping has been done.
And in an interesting turn of events, we will still be four at Christmas Dinner.
Edited for this update: The BoyFiend (as Sully re-named him) is long gone. Too bad for him. He broke Twinks heart, but she survived, and she will find someone even better, even nicer, even more loving. Ha! So there!
She deserves a guy who puts her as his first priority, a guy who loves her for exactly who she is, and a guy who understands why she will always march to the slower beat, of a very different drummer.
Things can be IFFY in other ways.
Our good and precious friend, Suldog (and his lovely wife) enjoy (as do we) the Holiday Cakes of Fruity Goodness. Our personal favorite cakes come from a lil' ol' place down in Corsicana, Texas. Although most folks call 'em "fruitcakes", those kids at Collin Street Bakery call *their* creations a "Pecan Cake", because it has so many yummy pecans right there on top.
I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
Anyway, because Sully is also a Fan of the Cakes of Fruity Goodness, we decided that we needed to share this with him:
Yep. The Official Seal of the great and glorious IFFY. Behold it's awesome beauty and power.
I'm proud to be a lifetime member. You can be too! Our rules are remarkably relaxed; all you have to do is *taste* a fruited cake once a year, and proudly display the Official Seal, as pictured above.
And, should you decide to engage in Advanced Studies during your Fellowship in IFFY, you may indeed be promoted to the rank and title of:
STIFFY (which is, of course, an acronym for Seriously Thoughtful International Fellow & Fruitcake Yahoo. Geez. Get your mind out of the gutter!)
Pour yourself a nice cup of coffee, and have a little fruitcake. It's Christmas, after all, and you can be IFFY with me!
Merry Christmas, my friends. I hope you that wherever you are, you find some fruitcake, a warm & cozy chair, and a Christmas Angel to watch over you.