Christmas 2021

Jan 3, 2022

This year Christmas with my godkids almost didn’t happen!

In the first place, the morning Arielle, Ella, and I were to go tree-shopping I woke up with a rough throat and thought: #%$! If I’ve got Covid, kiss Christmas good-bye! Luckily, there were still test kits available and within the hour I knew I was negative.

In the second, there was a shortage of trees again this year, thanks to California’s recurrent wildfires. At the first lot we went to there were only stunted rejects, while at the second the one noble fur worth considering was browning at the top. So I had to take it on faith when a worker claimed the tree wasn’t desiccated, it was sunburnt.

In the third, there was hurricane Ida. Because of her, Emma had been evacuated from Tulane University in the fall and spent unexpected weeks at home while the damage on campus was being repaired. Consequently they extended the semester to Dec. 23, one day after Ella flew down to southern California to spend Christmas with her brother. Which left only December 27 when we could all be together.

But then it turned out that Michael’s work shift started at 3:00 in the afternoon. So instead of an evening celebration, we had to have a makeshift Christmas luncheon that day. I set a festive table, anyway, with holly placemats and poinsettia napkin rings, and we ate out of plastic—takeout from Picante, a favorite restaurant of the kids. (By then, of course, our tree was dried up and sagging—the tinsel rope straggling all over the place and some ornaments touching the floor.)

Because our boom box gave out last year, this year Arielle created a Spotify playlist for Ella and me of all our favorite Christmas albums that we listened to as we ate, including songs by Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Kathleen Battle, and Patrick Ball on the Celtic harp.

Ella and I hadn’t been able to find Bud’s eggnog— the best!—in any of the local stores, so we settled on Trader Joe’s, though Arielle abstained, determined this holiday season not to lose the definition in her abs.

As for the Christmas crafts we do always do together, when I went to buy sequins at Michael’s beforehand, the shelves were empty, so I ordered packets from two different companies—and paid a whopping shipping fee, though the merchandise weighed only a few ounces, to get it here in two days.

And that’s how we cobbled together a Christmas celebration!

I’m attaching photos of the candles we made—and of the nine sets of earrings Arielle also made.