If there is one sweet treat my family always goes for, it’s cinnamon rolls. I gave the recipe for this sticky buns in a September blog post. Look backwards in my blog files here for these luscious treats.
Now, when I say the day ‘begins’ with cinnamon rolls, I only slightly exaggerated. My day actually began with my husband and daughter finally prying me out of bed at 8:30. Last evening’s party wrapped up at around 10PM. Early enough, with the kids, the neighbors, family and friends scattering off to other obligations. After any exciting gathering, I must unwind prior to going to bed. This unnerves my husband, as he has an on/off switch which automatically allows him to crash. I watched the last 5 minutes of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, clicked through a bit of TV and tried to drink another glass of wine, but was completely sated. Sometime after midnight I found my way to bed, knowing full well that I would need to be ‘on’ in the morning to wrap presents. I was banking on my kids being still asleep, but my daughter, even at 21, can hardly contain herself where giving and getting presents is involved.
Once fully awake, I put a batch of cinnamon roll dough together and began boxing and wrapping the kids presents. I had promised myself, my husband and my kids that THIS Christmas I wouldn’t be sequestered in the bedroom Christmas morning wrapping presents that I should have already wrapped and had under the tree. Once again, I just didn’t get enough done to keep my word. I felt badly, but I wasn’t going to just shove the gifts in bags and have it be done. I wanted to do the job right – I enjoy wrapping presents.
So once the packages were boxed, I convinced the family to give me the 10 minutes I needed to roll, fill and shape the rolls and begin the rising before completing my wrapping duties. With the gifts wrapped and ribboned, then the rolls took to their final rising and baking while everyone deconstructed my beautifully wrapped packages.
I am sure that I am forever imprinting my kids with weirdness. After all there always room for eccentricity, right? I have trained the kids to open gifts without tearing the paper so it can be re-used. I especially like to reuse papers that special people have wrapped their gifts in. Using it again makes me think of past Christmases and those gift givers. I know, I’m strange. But since I have employed this practice, I haven’t bought paper. I am actually hoping that I get to buy some more paper soon. There are so many pretty ones out now, but I am forcing myself to use what I have. Post Holiday sales are so enticing when it comes to rolls of paper. Maybe next year.
Gifts have become less of a focus for us over the last few years. We tend to gather family and friends and eat and laugh our way into oblivion, presenting purchased and crafted gifts just to the younger ones in the family. Of couse my kids are of the age that they present their parents and a few others a little something. This year that ‘little something’ was one of the most tender gifts I had ever received.
Knowing that I, like any parent, love to linger over pictures of their kids, my son and daughter had Lauren’s boyfriend Josh take a picture of them for us. Framed and wrapped, it grabbed my heart like no million dollar gift could. They included Brie, our 4 year old lab mix (we celebrate her birthday on Christmas Day) in the picture and their smiles were a triple beam of light for me. I thought you might want to see them too…
Christmas Day wound down with an afternoon meal at my Mother’s with my siblings, Sheryl and Bob among us. I suppose that many of today’s families might end the day as we did, each drifting off to other parties, homes and obligations. Tony and I came home, built a fire in the woodstove and settled down to watch a movie.
Next year, I’ll get more done.