Usually reserved for apocalyptic movie scenarios, but this time in reference to Christmas, there’s no horror to this day after–unless one were to check my cholesterol and glucose levels. The sister-in-law who hosted (Joe’s side of the family) Christmas dinner is a certified Chocoholic, thus the full potluck dinner was followed by plates piled high with chunks of pound cake, pretzels, assorted cookies, marshmallows, and more cake, to be dunked in a tiered chocolate fountain–I kid you not. Not a big chocolate fan, I must admit I was drawn by the fountain’s zen-like mesmerizing charms; the smooth chocolate flowing evenly down the rounded tiers in curtains of shining brown, the lulling hum of the motor. I only wish I hadn’t volunteered to bring a completely unnecessary dessert (sister-host also made two ice cream cakes!)–pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. Luscious, moist, cake-like and not overly sweet, a decent impromptu substitute for the five-pound pumpkin cheesecake I’d planned to bring but which was thwarted by a marital shopping mis-communication. (In case you’re not the primary shopper in your family, the standard block of cream cheese is eight-ounces, not one-pound…)
Today, the Day After, we’re happily and cozily snowed in, and while Nathan and Joe built a way-cool igloo big enough to sleep in (though I’ve put the rolly-eyed smack-down on Joe’s eager suggestion that we do actually sleep in it tonight), I spent much of the day lazily reading, wrapped in a blanket a different sister-in-law presented to us at last night’s gathering. She has battled and conquered cancer this last year, and as a token of her appreciation she made all her husband’s siblings (six!) these full-sized beautiful hand-crocheted blankets, each a different pattern and color, so we could all share some of the comfort we gave her. It was a teary-eyed Spirit of Christmas moment, tainted only a little by the dread I held earlier that the conversation might turn to her recent right-wing political emails loudly and passionately proclaiming her abhorration of liberal Washington state and how she’s been begging her husband to move. But she’s a nurturing, extremely kind-hearted soul and the blanket and thought are lovely, so also in the spirit of Christmas, I silently forgive.