We’re Sorry, The Betty Ford Holiday Recovery Center Has No Vacancies

Welcome to 2012.  If you’re reading this, then the assumption is that you’ve survived the “season” with at least a few nerves still functioning and did not melt into apoplexy by the time the ball reached the bottom in Times Square.  The challenge was exacerbated this year by the holiday-spirit-dampening effects of the atmospheric conditions; it was not a white Christmas.  It was almost a white Halloween (we had 10 inches of white stuff a few days before trick-or-treat day), but after that aberration we had balmy weather in the 60s through Thanksgiving and right up to Christmas.  We still haven’t seen any seasonal white stuff in enough quantity to coat the ground, though we’ve had a couple (just a couple) of cold nights, one night recently down well into single digits.

The VOGT family had a low-key lead-in to Christmas, and a low-key Christmas Day to match.  Lynn and I hosted a holiday dinner party for three couples and ourselves on the Tuesday before Christmas; we cut beef tenderloins up into filet mignons and grilled them out on the deck, served baked potatoes and a few vegetables with some nice wine and a festive dessert.  The filets were the only extravagance; everything else was simple and common.  The purpose was to get together with friends and catch up with each other and enjoy a peaceful evening before the days got too hectic.  Lynn and I also used the enforced deadline of the dinner party to make sure we finished decorating the house BEFORE Christmas!  As the winter evenings roll around, we both have a bad habit of putting off finishing the tree or setting up the miniature village or getting the window lights placed and functioning in favor of relaxing with a book or watching TV, and the house holiday decorations never quite get finished.  This way we were motivated to finish BEFORE the party!

The season was so low-key for us that we both had all our wrapping done in advance of Christmas Eve (no more assembling stuff at 2AM) and were able to enjoy dinner out with Megan’s in-laws at a local Chinese restaurant.  It was, in fact, non-trivial to FIND a restaurant that was open and taking reservations on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day itself was reserved and calm as well.  Megan and Dan and Audrey and her boyfriend Todd arrived by 9AM to open stockings, and then we prepared and devoured a breakfast of Eggs Benedict before attacking the presents under the tree.  After that the girls and their S.O.s departed for other households, while Lynn and I cleaned up and headed to my sister’s house down the street for her annual Christmas open-house; she with the flock of kids and a bevy of grand-children.

The day after Christmas Lynn and I headed north to the Ballot Box for the week, where I’ll soon have a Ballot Box Blog entry reporting on our activities for the stay.

May the new year bring you peace and prosperity, health and fulfillment, and may all your wishes be granted.

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