Well, we’re in the full clutches of the holiday season. Does that sound bah humbugish? I confess, that’s the way I feel.
I am a product of a mother whose favorite holiday was Christmas and each year, she went all out. Dad handled the present purchasing and my mother did the rest. Oh, I have fond memories of the year she chose the “drunken sailor” Christmas tree (because it looked so pitiful on the lot,) and decorated that sucker until it looked perfectly straight. That woman could work wonders with that silver tinsel stuff. One damn strand at a time, her domain, and God save your fingers if you tried to “help her.” I do remember the year I crinkled a bunch of it (made like aluminum foil, not the flimsy stuff we can get today,) and tossed the wad on the tree when she wasn’t looking. Score for me. That petulant act saved me hours of her fuss-budgeting every year. In all my adult years, I’ve never used what she called icicles.
So okay, I don’t do real trees either. Messy, cumulatively expensive, and honestly, a can of pine air freshener works just fine for that “authentic” pine smell.
Up until twelve years ago, we had a seven foot tree and the ornaments to make it festive. Then we built our dream house, with a twelve foot ceiling in the great room. Honey bunch and I shopped for a month for just the right tree, until we came upon *cue choirs of angels* THE tree. Ten feet of fake piney goodness, sixty-seven inches in diameter at the widest, not pre-lit (don’t know if they made them pre-lit at the time,) three sections, and ninety-five pounds. All well and fine when it was delivered and set up, sans the ornaments.
My many years of collecting, yeah, well, let’s just say they didn’t make a dent in the expanse that needed filling. Same with the lights. That year, I changed to all clear lights, none of which I owned. Sooo, I went shopping, and went shopping, and went shopping. My mother-in-law, who lived with us at the time *cue all mother-in-law jokes, because they were written about her,* thought, in her singular narcissistic way, that I’d finally developed an affection for her with all the bags I carried in day after day. I love Christmas, but miracles aren’t my forte. God rest her soul.
Then we set aside three, count them, three week-ends, to complete the task of decorating what we had already deemed Our Monstronsity, and the house, including setting up a humungous winter wonderland Christmas village. When I came up short on ornaments, I featured my porcelain doll collection on the branches, set inside, surrounded by lights that took a solid weekend and the development of a language I never thought to hear from my honey, to put in place.
That first year, our friends and family thought me a genius at the unusualness of the decorations, but that was short-lived when it became all the rage the very next year. C’est la vie. Spread the wealth. I should have invented Pinterest or Life Hacks, huh?
Okay, so the season went well and then it was time to disassemble and put things in the attic. With just the two of us, that was an interesting event. Suffice it to say, more new language and a promise that the tree would rot in the attic the following year. Honey Bunch was not a happy camper.
We did use that tree for the next two years, but someone pled back issues, and since our son-in-law lived two hours away at the time, we sold the beloved tree and went back to a seven footer, which looked positively ridiculous in that room.
Six years ago we downsized and sold our dream home. The seven foot tree worked out well, up until this year, when I suffered from a chronic case of “I’d rather be writing that getting ready for Christmas.” I did all my shopping online and yes, we picked up an even smaller tree – a three footer – all in an effort to encourage our children to take the reins and run with them.
Though we will still host the day at our house, they are doing the cooking this year and going forward. Hopefully next year, daughter number one will have a new home, large enough for all of us. Whooty Who!
With regard to the cooking, we have that covered as well. Given that Honey Bunch was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease about three months ago, and anything that takes the pressure off him is the way to go, daughter number one and our two sons-in-law will cook the meal. Yes, I cook. No, I don’t enjoy it. I’ll do the baking. H.B. also made sure that if they did the cooking, they’d also do the dishes. MERRY CHRISIMERRIES TO US!
Now, if I had someone to wrap the gifts, my life would be complete. Anyone care to help?
Here’s a gift for you. My mother’s Banana Nut Bread recipe. Growing up, we ate this every Christmas morning. This year is no exception. We’ll eat nice warm slices as we open the as yet unwrapped gifts.
Glady’s Banana Nut Bread:
Preheat oven at 350 degrees
½ cup shortening (butter or margarine) I use margarine
½ cup sugar (for sugar-free, use 1 ½ cups Splenda)
1 well-beaten egg
2 tablespoons water
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (more if you like it really moist)
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped nuts (more if you’re feeling nutty)
Cream shortening (or butter or margarine) and sugar together; Add egg. Mix thoroughly.
Combine water and bananas
Add alternately with sifted dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly
Add vanilla and nuts
Bake in greased and floured 9 ½ x5 ¼ x2 ¾ loaf pan in moderate oven (350 degrees preheated) for 1 hour. Check after 45 minutes, by inserting toothpick in center. Should come out clean.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Watch for a new release on January 23rd. Her Timeless Obsession is a time travel historical romance, that taps into my love of genealogy. Check out Musa Publishing soon for the details.
Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.
Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.
Musa Publishing publishes Brita’s heterosexual historical romances, including the rewritten and expanded, best-selling Sapphire Club series, each with new titles. Again, each of the titles have again hit the best-selling lists at various online vendors.
Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.
A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.
Readers can find more information about Brita Addams at any of the following places: