I’m starting to think about Christmas. And no, I do not mean Christmas in Canada.
Every year Zsolt and I celebrate Christmas together, but in actual fact – only one of those celebrations has actually been on the 25th of December. Long distance means long distance families, long distance celebrations, long distance flights and, ultimately, high priced tickets. It’d be awesome (if not also exhausting) to celebrate Christmas in Canada, then hop on a plane and continue celebrations in Hungary. Awesome, but totally ridiculous. So, until that Star Trek transportation option becomes available, we generally spend the holiday apart.
But not quite. We have our own celebrate before separating, and it’s an event that I love. The month of December starts with the revival of old favourites on the speaker: Santa baby, White Christmas, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, Silent night, Jingle bells, Baby it’s cold outside, and so on.
Next comes out the box stored above our dresser marked ‘x-mas decorations’. We have years old tinsel, paper snowflakes, greeting cards, lights, and a bent up Woolworths tree that cost £2 and stands at about 75 cm tall. The box also contains ornaments in the shape of stars, wooly sheep, pickles, beets, angles, birds, fish, and those tiny bells you can pull off Lindor chocolate figures. Whenever Zsolt and I travel to a new country(or any place we like) we buy an ornament. So, nothing matches but everything has a meaning or memory attached.
And following the decorations I turn my mind to baking. Not sure how it’ll work this year, but I traditionally like to prepare for the celebrations with cookies. My grandmother, Lulu, makes the most wonderful gingerbread cookies, and while my cookies pale in comparison – I still give it a try. Back when I must have been three or four years old my family would go to Lulu’s for Christmas, and I would watch the baking gingerbread men inside her oven. Then, on Christmas eve after réveillon, we’d put out a plate for Santa Claus with some milk on the side.
I bet Santa thought they were the best cookies on the block, or even in the whole of Montreal. Or the world, for that matter. I did too.
And so I bake cookies every year to celebrate with Zsolt. Running up to the occasion we might go to the Christmas Market in town, or Winchester if time (and energy) allows. And then we start watching the movies –White Christmas, Nightmare Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Love actually. Any suggestions for a new film?
“Don’t get too Christmassy yet,” says Zsolt just now. “It’s only October. That’s more than two months.”
Pshhh. I’m waving away that idea. Heck! They don’t even celebrate Halloween in England. There’s nothing blocking my view of the upcoming festive season. Okay, okay! Clearly I’m getting ahead of myself. But what else is there to do? This year I only have a couple productive days per week – without planning ahead, where will I find the energy to make and do and prepare?
Well, anyhow. Chemo went well yesterday. Apart from the drowsy drug they fed me at the start, it was tolerable. I lay in the chair with my toque on and waited to leave, and once home things improved. Second treatment no nausea. 🙂 Now it’s time to rest, which explains my drifting mind.
The final bit of Christmas with Zsolt is when we make a large meal and share presents and dance to our favourite music. So this year it might be Indian take away instead of chicken with stuffing. That’s okay. Zsolt will be there. I will be there. We’ll still dance.
It’s all two months away, but time is flying. It’s flying. I has to fly. Afterwards – after all this – it’s welcomed to slow again. Crawl if it wants. Time can turn into treacle for all I care.
Right now is good. I’m not sick, Zsolt isn’t sick, and we’re enjoying the sun through our widow. Now is good. But time is still flying, as it must, at least until this is all over with.
At which point, I demand a vacation.