CHRISTMAS MORNING

Christmas morning. Actually, the last hours of Christmas eve and the beginning of Christmas Day.

Christmas eve does not end with dinner and the dishes being done. The dishes an extortion in themselves.

Everyone gone. The kids sleeping. Time to get out Santa’s gifts and lay them around the tree, fill the stockings, and make sure the cookies and milk left for Santa were devoured. My job!

My wife always went to Midnight Mass. I not. So she got ready and was off. Not to return till about 2.

My job to put together the toys that required such.

I recall a Christmas in the 1960s. Santa had brought my son his first two-wheel bicycle. In a box. I had to put it together. This was before the days that stores provided the service for $5 or $10.

I began before my wife left for Mass. I was still working on it when she returned. We worked together till 3.

A pain! Hundreds of screws and bolts. Instructions required a Ph.D. If a screw or bolt were missing, you were dead!

Finally, the bike was together. Safe for our son to ride.

The wife and I got to sleep around 3:30. At 5:30, our 4 children were in our room asking if it was time? Could they go down to see what Santa had brought?

We were up and downstairs at 5:30. After 2 1/2 hours sleep.

Santa’s gift discoveries always a happy occasion. For the children as well as parents. My wife and I no longer tired.

Now, I am older. Much. My Christmas eve’s and morning’s different.

Dinner at Lisa’s last night. In laws and friends joining in. Lisa cooked the big meal. Not seven fishes. Two. Shrimp and clams. Better than no fish.

I miss the Christmas eve big fish meals of days gone by.

A warm happy family and friends’ gathering.

The night was over by 8:30. I said my good byes. Will return to Lisa’s some time today.

Next stop was Donna and Terri’s. Pajama party! I had never been to a pajama party before.

I do not  have pajamas. I do not wear pajamas. I sleep in the nude. If it is cool, I throw on a tee shirt.

My “pajamas” last night were a pair of short white shorts and an extra long tee shirt. Everyone else in night gear.

One of the ladies Jeanie Maes. A contemporary age wise. She is 5 years younger than me.

Jeanie an artist. Offers her works for sale on Duval in front of the Prudential real estate offices. Her works primarily wildlife. She paints at home 4 days a week. Sells the paintings on Duval  3 days a week.

Began life in Belgium. Then a time in Montreal. Now, a Key Wester.

A lesbian. Wrote a book about being a lesbian married to a doctor in Belgium. Divorced at some point, obviously.

She is working on a second book. On the Other End of My Life.

A personality.

Exhaustion hit me. I said my good byes and left at 10. Spoke with Donna this morning.

She said they went till well after midnight.

Dinner later today with Lisa and family.

I went off my diet. True blue for 30 days. Could not miss the good food, however. Especially Lisa’s home made Christmas cookies. I did a number on them! Topped Lisa’s sweets with Donna’s Spanish cookies. So good. My body had to be going carb crazy!

The trip home from Donna and Terri’s took me down Flagler. Beautiful! Just about every home decorated. Big time! I suspect a few fuses had to be blown along the way.

A surprise for me. Discovered yesterday that Irma and Me had received a degree of formal recognition.

My publisher is Absolutely Amazing eBooks. The publisher, in conjunction with The New Atlantic Library, designated Irma and Me as one of their 2017 Editors’ Picks. A 2017 favorite.

I am pleased. Actually, impressed.

Irma and Me continues to be in demand. Internet purchases back ordered three weeks.

Enjoy your Christmas Day. Go back to worrying about things tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

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