Category Archives: Family

November IS Early But I Just Couldn’t Help Myself …

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After Christmas last year I decided to venture to Walmart and check out some of their deals on Christmas decor. I was stoked to find a package of 3 different sized ornaments (massive, normal and small) for so very cheap! I also got a 7′ pre-lit Christmas tree for around $15! My previous tree was only about 4′ tall and kind of felt more appropriate for a young adult. Whereas this 7′ tree feels appropriate for my 30-something self!

As pictured above, I’ve hung some of the ornaments from one of my curtain rods in my living room but they still hang too high to be visible from outside, so I might find some other string and stagger them somewhat.

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People have told me “don’t put up your tree until December 1st at the EARLIEST!” but honestly, I just couldn’t wait!!! I love the ambiance that a lit-up Christmas tree brings to a room and a home. It just makes it feel so much warmer for some reason!

After having the tree up for about an hour, I have noticed Baunzai (the youngster) hanging out underneath the tree and I would NOT be surprised to find it toppled over when I come home one day. I shall leave it undecorated for a while so that I can ensure she understands that it isn’t a climbing toy!

Being a single person means that most holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas especially) are spent away from my home and rather at the homes of family members.

We normally got to Grandma & Grandpa’s, except I decided to change things up last year and spent the day with my good friends instead. It was the first time in YEARS that I hadn’t spent Christmas day with family; however, we did stop by my parent’s place before going to see a movie.

One thing I was unaware of at the time, is that it would be the last Christmas with my Grandma.

Grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late February 2013 and the doctors gave her mere months. It was so far advanced that the doctors didn’t even do a biopsy because they could tell by the scans that it had encompassed the main artery that fed her pancreas.

Grandma let go and passed on June 16th, Fathers Day. She was only 74 years old.

So this is the first year that Grandpa will be putting up the tree alone (he thought he could get away with NOT putting it up! LOL) and wrapping presents (I think Mom and I might be helping out in that department, actually!) Grandma used to slave away making baked goods and an unbelievably amazing smelling turkey dinner. This year it will be Mom doing the cooking and I think we’ll be avoiding most of the baking because of the wrath it normally plays on our health every year.

In going through some of Grandma’s things, I came across what I believe to be her “famous” Christmas cake recipe. However, it calls for something like 12 eggs and a mess of other very non-vegan friendly items! I still plan on trying to make it vegan-friendly, although I’m not certain it will taste as good … nothing ever tastes as good as Mom’s or Grandma’s baking/cooking.

I am looking forward to this Christmas as it is the beginning of a new phase in our lives. A new time to reflect on the past and to create new memories with friends and family surrounding us – in person and spirit.