I’m way ahead of myself with Christmas this year. Partly because I did a lot of gift shopping when I was in Paris in July – I was there during the sales, and deliberately hit up a couple shops and bought things in bulk. And then everything got safely stowed in the hall closet – I’d wait until later to wrap them. Usually I do a lot of wrapping on Christmas Eve – I always end up traveling to my parents’ house to spend the holiday with the family, and I usually have Amazon mail everything to them there so I don’t have to drag it on the train.
Then came….the election.
And after a week of mourning, I bizarrely found myself suddenly thinking of how I would wrap my presents. I ordered special Paris-themed Christmas wrapping paper, and started hunting down boxes. Dug everything out of the closet again, dug out a big box of ribbon, and started writing out tags. By Thanksgiving I already had a stack of ten presents piled up in a corner of my room and was already eyeing the toys I set out as a little sideboard display – I couldn’t put them out yet, could I?
I did wait until this week for that. But I still was getting things done much earlier than usual. And the whole time, a song from Mame was going through my head – “we need a little Christmas right this very minute…” Yes. Auntie Mame is what we need now – try to hang on to joy as fiercely as we can. Carpe Gaudium.
I’ve also started preparing for a small Christmas party I’m having, in two weeks. I’ve bookmarked about twenty cookie recipes and even some candy and fudge recipes, and made up the first batch this weekend – a shortbread thing I make every year. They’re supposed to be decorated with melted chocolate and walnuts to make them look like acorns, but this time I dug into some crunchy caramel candy sprinkle things I got from the shop G. Detou in Paris. I had a little flash of “no, I want to save this” and I cringed a bit when I put it away after, noticing it was only a third full now – but then I reminded myself that I was already planning to go back to Paris in the spring, and I could get more, remember?
And then I tried one to reinforce that it was a good idea to use the damn things. ….And oh my it was.
I’ve bookmarked about fifteen more cookie recipes, three candy recipes, and a couple of small appetizer kinds of things to make for a small party I’m having in a couple weeks, and I’ve also already started some of the make-ahead bites. I’m holding back on the tree for another week yet, but there are some candles and garland greens that are going to start showing up over the next week, and I’ve even got special tins to store all the cookies in as I make them. I’ve also got the packet of vin chaud spices (also from Paris) ready for when I need it.
Because I predict I’m going to be needing a little Christmas a few more times this month – times when I’ll want to huddle by the window with a cup of something hot and minty or spicy and a cookie to nibble – and hopefully friends to join me.