Monday, December 24, 2012

On the eleventh day of Christmas,

The house is ready for guests!  It has been a delightful couple of weeks, with Christmas traditions reaching full force.  Last week the boys had two friends over to make our traditional candy house.  This is a tradition that I adopted from Emily, our neighbor, who figured out that making gingerbread houses is just too much work.  Baking gingerbread and trying to assemble it into a house is difficult enough.  After a couple of weeks no one wants to eat it anyway.  Her mom started making structures out of cardboard and then frosting them.  When the boys were little I started making a cute little house out of cardboard to decorate.  Now that they’re full-fledged creative young installation artists they design and build their own elaborate structures.  I made a quintuple batch of frosting just to cover this one, then turned it back over to them and their friends.  We had a bunch of leftover candy from Halloween that ended up back in the mix, plus a few goodies I picked up for color or textural contrast.  I guess I never take off my artist hat!  

Along about mid December comes Jim’s birthday, which is always the marker that we’re allowed to get a Christmas tree.  We feasted on the shoebox of brownies that Grandma always sends Jim for his birthday (three kinds—black forest, caramel, and seven layer brownies!).  Then we popped out to Bloomingfoods and picked out the biggest tree that would fit in the living room and keep the star under the roof.  We got a delightful, full tree that accommodated every single ornament we had.  The boys also took it on themselves to put up some outside lights this year, so we have a really festive house to great our holiday guests.  Jim’s brother Tim and his wife Bobi will be here, as will Jim’s Mom and Aunt Lois.  Will there be pies?  You bet!  I’m in.  And Stollen, of course!!

My artwork generally takes a back seat at Christmas while I feverishly clean the house for guests and make all the holiday magic happen behind the scenes.  I’ve still been making peppers, though.  Now I’m up to forty-five.  I laid them out on the piece and calculated that I’ll need seventy, so I’ll be on the pepper project for a while. 

The house waits in excited expectation for the guests that will arrive in a few hours.  The presents are wrapped, the beds are made, the wine is in the cellar and nice dishes are washed.  
  We have snow on the ground and more on the way.  We’re still hoping for uneventful travels and a full house tonight!  And did I say there’ll be fresh bread this morning and a peach pie tomorrow?

Until next week,

Martina Celerin

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