I cleaned the house, polished the silver, and brought out more candles; our little place glows. But I can't wait to move! Next year, we'll have Christmas in a bigger, equally old-fashioned house, I hope, with space to entertain more than one couple at a time.
I went for a walk to Beacon Hill this afternoon. It was a beautiful, blustery day, and I was glad for the cold weather. It's winter — so it's high time the thermometer plummeted. I spotted one of my wreaths on a handsome door in Charles River Square:
When I got home, I baked a large batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (in my family's tradition) plus a new recipe for gingerbread cookies. I think mine are technically molasses cookies because I accidentally doubled the amount in a fit of enthusiasm for dark brown goo. Frantic web research revealed that Martha Stewart once doubled the molasses a similar recipe while baking on her TV show, and they came out fine. (This is known as a "variation.") Mine aren't bad at all, if you like molasses and weren't expecting gingerbread. Each has a "thumbprint" filled with white or semisweet chocolate after baking, which melts into a little pool.
I'll be bringing the cookies to the family get together tomorrow. Today's news is that my relative has been charming and gracious since the New York relatives arrived late last night. She has even been appreciative of how nice her house looks now. She said she is sorry for disowning all of us yesterday. This sudden change of heart is as random as her rages; I know we need to get used to this and not take it to heart.
I love Christmas Eve Day, my favorite day of the year aside from all the ones we spend in Maine. We had a great dinner with friends at Sonsie tonight, came home, sat around, and ate a lot of cookies. Possum, Snicky, and Snalbert were friendly hosts. Snalbert joined in the conversation; Snicky jumped up and sat with our friend. Possum was sociable and picturesque, as always.
My Christmas present from Wendy was her voluntarily spending 30 seconds next to me as I sat in an armchair a little while ago. I was permitted to pet her; she purred. And then she was gone.
Traditionally, Christmas Eve is the night when we can understand the animals when they talk. I wonder what my cats would say. "More and better food, please!" would be a recurring theme from Snalbert. I wish Snicky could tell me how well or poorly she's feeling. I wish Wendy could tell me how come she's still so skittish and why she hates me. I already understand a lot of what Possum has to say, but if he could make his wishes even more clearly known, I am sure they would include a request for sausages and bacon.
I wish you a Merry Christmas! May all of your animals, quadruped and biped, speak nicely to you and to each other tonight, tomorrow, and in the coming year.
A bird in the hand may be better than two in a
bush, but what if there are 14?