The Winter Clearance

It was as good as advertised.

We woke up Christmas morning, groggy but happy. Everyone showered and dressed, grabbing some breakfast and then they were off to sing at the 10 a.m. mass. I took care of stuff around the house until they returned.

We took turns opening the presents and everyone was incredibly pleased with their gifts. Kate gushed over the Harry Potter messenger bag she has coveted but then was absolutely floored when she received the handmade duffel for her dancing gear. Deb had bought the fabric while we were on vacation last August and then spent three weekends in December turning fabric into a work of art. The bag is more than sufficient to hold three pairs of shoes and various outfits with room to spare. We hope its durable and it certainly will be cherished. Robbie was equally thrilled with his manga, his PS2 game, his Sodoku-a-day calendar and most of all, we think, his Central Connecticut sweatshirt.

Deb enjoyed her Astaire/Rogers DVD box set and giggled over season one of Remington Steele where she first swooned over Pierce Brosnan. Her knitting books were also well received.

And me? I got a cashmere sweater, some new shirts, the latest Bonnie Raitt cd, new headphones for iPod and a book, Everything Bad is Good for You. Oh, and new gray sox which were much needed.

The afternoon passed as we enjoyed our gifts, ate crudités and Hershey kisses (the new caramel, peanut butter and cheery cream ones). We all helped prep dinner and as usual, the oven beat the estimates and the goose was early. We sat around 2:30-3 p.m. and feasted quite merrily. After the cleanup, we indulged in two games of Scene It, which I was given last January and had yet to play. Deb won the first round, I took the second and Robbie has learned he needs to see more movies.

We ate dessert as I read; he played on the PS2 and the women knit. The afternoon passed into evening and everyone was relatively relaxed.

Until I got fidgety. I was done reading, our family rule was no TV on Christmas so I needed to do something. So, I headed to the basement and started moving hardcovers and trade paperback collections from my office to the work table. And I kept moving them since; one of my end-of-the-year goals was to get that stuff organized and take advantage of having recently cleared out many shelves.

Today, after a somewhat lazy morning, I returned to the basement and went at it. Some five hours later, I now have neatly organized books, ready to be boxed and shelved. I also have a large stack of duplicate books or unwanted titles (given space considerations) and need to figure out what to do with them. However, for the first time in a decade, the floor of my office is clear, things have been dusted and vacuumed and I’m just a wee bit tired. Still I was most productive and useful and it was probably better to blitz it all in one day than drag it out over a week. Tomorrow the desk gets some attention and then the gutters and finally time to write.

And how did Santa treat you?