Today was sad in a way as our Christmas houseguests went their various ways, to Phoenix, LA and Sonoma, leaving us with just our Aussie kin. It was also a big sigh of relief that I won't be cooking breakfast for sixteen people again, nor endlessly loading and unloading the dishwasher. But as the year draws to a close it has reminded me how precious family is to me. To be surrounded by people I love and who love me is a great blessing. To sit around, everyone laughing or singing or playing highly competitive games of Spit or Scrabble is about as good as it gets.
I just wish that holiday celebrations did not have to include so much food. I can see how the tradition started. Long ago, when ordinary people led simple lives for most of the year and a boring diet with little meat and sugar, the Christmas feast really meant something. To be able to have turkey or goose and Christmas pudding full of fruits and brandy was the ultimate in good fortune for those people. For us who eat what we like every day, it doesn't mean much any more.
So now there is enough laundry and housecleaning waiting for me to work off some of those extra pounds. And I'd like to wish you all a happy, healthy New Year.