Although 2013 sucked big time, I'm not giving up!
The end of the year was very hectic with an almost impossible deadline at work, shopping, decorating, parties, website updates, and a newsletter deadline. Time flew! Before I knew it, it was Christmas Eve.
New family traditions are starting to form, and I like them. I just wish I could do more at my house with my family - maybe next year!
One of my personal traditions is helping with the services at church. As an Altar Guild member, I volunteer to fill in the gaps for the services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year, I went to the church early Christmas Eve to set up for the 5:00 service. While I was there, I decided to polish the brass on the sanctuary doors. After an hour of polishing, I realized that I wasn't going to make them look like new (who knows when they were polished last?), so I just did the best I could.
Our family traditions start with Christmas Eve at my sister's house. This year, I was able to take my granddaughter. Because she hasn't been a part of this family activity in about 8 years, she was a little nervous that she couldn't remember everyone. It didn't take long for her to be part of the family.
My sister and brother-in-law go to the early service, and her whole family and mine converge on their house for a fantastic spread of tamales, chili, chips, dips, cookies, sausage, relish, and veggies. Once everyone is there and fed, we open our presents.
My dad used to be Santa, then my brother-in-law. Now their sons have taken the Santa torch, and they hand out the gifts. It's funny how we go from calm to craziness in seconds, then it's all over in about 2 minutes, and we are up to our knees in wrapping paper, bows, and gifts.
Some families open their gifts one at a time - not us! Once the Santas hand out the first gift, the ripping begins. Half the time, the kids don't even know who gave them what because of all the craziness.
I usually leave my sister's in time to attend the 10:30 service, which is a beautiful service with lots of Christmas songs and a candle-lit version of Silent Night. This year, after I cleaned up and reset for the Christmas morning service, I went to my daughter's house to spend the night.
Christmas morning began at about 7:30 when my grandson woke up. For the day's activities, he was dressed in the cutest Santa outfit. Then after breakfast, my son-in-law's parents arrived, and we opened Christmas gifts.
After the gift opening, I went home and crashed! When I finally woke up, I was late for dinner at my son-in-law's parents house. They had quite a spread of wonderful food. Again, I overate.
This year, I got lots of good things - a night gown, knee socks, dark chocolate, butterfly necklaces and earrings, bracelets, a scarf, Toyota flip-flops, kitchen linens, a sign made from a part of the siding of the little house we lived in when I was 1-5 and my dad lived in when he moved back to Selma, a starter kit for my Kindle, and a basket of snacks. I even got a gift from my son's ex-girlfriend! That was such a pleasant surprise.
I went to a party at a dear friend and high school classmate's house Saturday night, and I also went to a New Year's Eve party with ladies from my church.
I still have gifts under my tree from friends that I'll open next Sunday (Epiphany). That will be the official beginning of the end of the Christmas season. Until the tree is down, the decorations are packed, and the thank-you notes are sent, I'm still celebrating the holidays.
My mom used to say that whatever you do on New Year's Day, you'll do the entire year. I've avoided cleaning house and shopping because I didn't want to spend the year cleaning and spending money. Consequently, I usually spent the day just hanging around the house.
Today, New Year's Day, I ate black-eyed peas for breakfast, shopped, took a nap, worked on a New Year's gift for myself and family, and I watched 2 of my favorite movies - "You've Got Mail!" and "27 Dresses." What a holiday season!
Now I have to get back to my pre-season weight! I can't believe I've eaten as much as I have. I've been surrounded by sweets and things I shouldn't be eating - much of it my fault. It's back to reality. I hope that by this time next year, I'm at my goal weight. Being halfway there for about 6 months has been frustrating. I have to do something - and I guess exercise is the key.
I'll find some exercises to help get rid of the Shar pei skin I have after losing 50 lbs. I can imagine what I'll look like after I lose 50 more if I don't begin now to do something to tighten up.
So, here are my first New Year's resolutions - lose the other 50 lbs and exercise. I also plan to get out more, travel more, and blog more.
I've already started the travel resolution by making reservations to go to Phoenix and Atlanta to visit friends. My daughter has an appointment to have her baby Feb. 3, so 2014 should be busy, busy!