Santa Claus came by Pine Grove last week and dropped off enough Legos to entertain Trey and Jakey for a while. Even little Will got some, and each dawn this week will find the dining room table covered with various construction projects. We’re excited that they can spend a week. What fun. We’ll have plenty of time to break in the new toys, put together the new puzzles, and read the new books. Santa always brings lots of books. Will stopped in the middle of opening presents to read his Spiderman book.
Stuart’s strumming his new guitar in the dining room as I write. He sounds pretty good. He had to vacate his room so the smaller boys could go to bed. We just got them to bed about half an hour ago, and the clock currently reads 12:00—the very witching hour of the night.
Larry’s in his recliner reading the new Ken Follett book that Santa brought him. Santa’s a good man, and a smart one. He knows I like Mr. Follett, too. He obviously chose Larry’s present with care.
I’ve promised the boys gingerbread men and milk for breakfast tomorrow. Who wants grits and eggs when there’s gingerbread in the house? It is Christmas vacation after all.
Larry took pictures of Bentley, our Lab, ripping into his present with his teeth. Apparently he remembers what to do with presents, or he’s learned by watching the boys. He quickly opened his dinosaur-sized bone and pranced around to show it to every body.
In a few minutes we devoured the Yule Log that I spent hours making today. Funny how that works. Tomorrow we’ll sit down for half an hour—an hour at the most--and make short work of the feast I’ve worked on for days. Such is life.
Once the used wrapping paper and tinsel of Christmas are cleared away, we will start our plans for the New Year. I’ll leave my tree up through January 1st, not really because I’m superstitious, but because I like it. I’m never sure how the superstition goes anyway. Some people believe the tree must come down by the first to ward off bad luck. I don’t think the date has anything to do with luck one way or the other.
And speaking of luck, I grew up with very clear directions on how to have good luck for the coming year. My mother was adamant about following them. The instructions go something like this: Cook those black eyed peas for New Year’s Day. Cook them with hog jowl and make sure every family member eats a good bait of them. That may be a bit difficult with some of my picky eaters around here, especially when they learn they have to eat some collard greens to go with the peas. Those greens will ensure greenbacks in our pockets for the coming year. We’ll brook no poverty in this household if we eat right on New Year’s Day. What could be simpler? Every one must have some change in his pocket throughout the day to insure prosperity for the coming year. It’s not enough to just eat the greens.
The most important instruction of all in my family and the one Mama never broke is that you must never, never, NEVER wash clothes on New Year’s Day. That is the worst kind of bad luck. It’s worse than spilling salt or killing a spider. The old superstition against washing on New Year’s Day warns that someone in the family will die before the year’s out if you break this rule. I’ll give my washer the day off in memory of Mama.
It occurs to me that observing the superstitions might not be working, since I am not any where close to wealth, nor have I ever been. Not the monetary wealth anyway. I am wealthy in family and love and I’m thankful for that. So much for superstitions.
The coming year promises to be an interesting one. It’s an election year after all. Enough said. May God bless us one and all.