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Can We Talk?

Christmas 06

This must be the “outcast club”.  My brother-in-law, who is newly divorced and whose children don’t want anything to do with him, spent Christmas with us.  He is a very handsome, tall, slim, 60 year old dentist with a full head of hair. 

My husband, who was married for 28 years before divorcing, is another one whose children barely talk to him.  His sons speak to him on special occasions like Christmas, his birthday, Father’s Day.  That’s about it.  His daughter hasn’t spoken to him in fifteen years, which is about as long as he and I have been together.

My son has his own family problems and is torn between spending time with his daughter from his former wife and spending time with his daughter from a more recent relationship.  So, I don’t see him much either but we’re still very close. 

I don’t talk to my half-sister and my mother has Alzheimer’s and is in a home.

Just your typical dysfunctional family. 

Still, we had a very nice Christmas, the three of us.  Instead of a Christmas tree, we decorated our benjimina with Christmas lights and, believe it or not, it looked very festive.  We put our presents underneath it.  I also hung a wreath on the door and had a Christmas centrepiece on the table.  That’s it for decorations.  My brother-in-law arrived the afternoon of Christmas Eve with gifts and flowers.  He’s a sweet guy.

For Christmas Eve dinner, I grilled a Beef Tenderloin and served it with portobello mushrooms, pan-fried in butter and garlic, Bernaise Sauce and ears of corn.  For dessert, Lemony Cheese Cake with fresh strawberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.  We drank copious amounts of red wine with dinner but just coffee with dessert.

Christmas morning, still being somewhat full from the night before, we had a simple breakfast of cereal and milk.  We then opened our presents.  It was such fun.

For Christmas Day dinner I had a lovely turkey dressed with bread stuffing which I had prepared with garlic, onions, hot Italian Sausage, seasonings and cubed bread.  I tossed it all together and added a bit of home-made chicken broth to moisten the bread a bit.  The turkey was a Butterball, but I stuck more butter under the skin of the breast.  I had made the dressing two days earlier.  On Christmas morning, I sprinkled salt on the outside of the bird as well as in the cavity.  Then, I smothered my home-made barbeque sauce inside and outside the bird and then dressed it with the prepared bread stuffing.  I wrapped a big tent of heavy duty foil around the pan, sealing it well all around.  I then put it back in the fridge until noon which is when I put it into the oven.  I served the bird with cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes, squash, asparagus, gravy etc.  We had more of the cheesecake, strawberry sauce and whipped cream for dessert.  At dinner we served champagne as our beverage, served in the crystal champagne flutes my son had given us for our wedding.  We wished each other the finest of things to come. 

We opened up with each other, talking about our hopes and fears, who “done us wrong” and how we are working through things.  It’s good to be in an environment where you feel safe enough to let your feelings hang out. 

After dinner, we watched a movie but not before we packed the dishwasher and I put leftovers away in their proper containers.  I went to bed early having worn myself out with all that food.

The following morning, we had a final breakfast together, the three of us, after which our houseguest left for his home in Ottawa.  The weather looked a bit testy.  The roads looked icy and we wished him a safe drive home.

The rest of the morning was spent doing laundry and generally putting things back where they were.  In the afternoon we just laid back, read, slept, watched TV and generally relaxed.

It was a very happy Christmas after all.


December 27th, 2006 Posted by | Family, Nostalgia | no comments

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