Stephanie (collacentaur) wrote,

Twelve Days of Christmas (1 of 2)

I suppose everyone's heard the song, but even a lot of Christians don't realize that it's related to the Christian religious calendar. Advent, the season before Christmas, begins four Sundays before December 25. Advent calendars that you buy in stores always start with December 1, but that's only consistent with the religious calendar if Christmas is on a Wednesday (as it was in 2002). Interestingly, those are the same years that December has a Friday the 13th... Anyway, Advent lasts until Christmas Day. Christmas is the first day of the Christmas season, which lasts until Epiphany, January 6, which is the day that the Three Kings came to visit. After that, days are counted "after Epiphany" until Lent begins. These days that's called Ordinary Time, as is most of the summer and fall - I won't go through the whole calendar. So, if you count the days of Christmas Season beginning with December 25 and ending with January 5, you get twelve days of Christmas. Today, January 5, is the twelfth day of Christmas - so where's my true love with all those gifts?

At any rate, here's what I've done on the Twelve Days of Christmas:

Thursday, December 25: I spent most of the day cleaning and doing laundry. I watched many episodes of M*A*S*H, too - I bought myself the first five seasons on DVD, so I have many available. A&C were passing through the area in the evening, and I went out to dinner with them. My thanks, as usual, go out to the staff of the T.G.I.Fridays on Route 22, for spending the holiday at work and making my life easier.

Friday, December 26: Cleaned and ironed all morning. My parents showed up around three, by which time I finally had the place in shape. They came in with an enormous bag of presents - I figured that it was everything for me, my brother, and my grandparents, and they were going to sort it out there. Turned out it was all for me. I haven't seen that many presents from my parents in so long, I can't remember how long it was. I made them Beefy Noodle Stuff for dinner, and they liked it.

Saturday, December 27: This day, I was dreading. We were visiting my Other Grandmother, the one I haven't much talked to in five-ish years. It didn't go as poorly as I expected. She still has no concept of who I am, but at this point it's been long enough that it's not unreasonable. She's also getting old. She'll be 81 next month, so again, not unreasonable. And I should be off the hook for another year, minimum.

After dinner, I drove Alex back to his apartment in Philadelphia. We missed some turns and drove through the middle of Trenton, but neither of us were much bothered by this. We ended up in the same department store as last time, shopping for bedding again. Clearly, this is what adult siblings do together on Saturday nights in Philly. I managed to pick up a lot of stuff I'd been looking for pretty cheaply, thanks to post-Christmas sales. We watched X-2, which I had given him. In my opinion, a much better movie than the first one. His neighbors are more obnoxious than mine.

Sunday, December 28: Alex lives barely 20 minutes from my mother's parents. It probably took us half an hour, but again, we took some wrong turns. I'll note that on both these trips, we did not have directions and were going entirely by feel. My grandfather is continuing to do better than he was a few years back. Physically his deterioration has continued, but he's still attempting to do things for himself. And he is far less depressed and more willing to interact. Meanwhile, my grandmother, who is partially blind, partially deaf, and still learning to walk on her prosthesis after a leg amputation earlier in the year, is still managing to live in her apartment and hasn't needed to be switched to assisted living. While the day in the old folks' home is a bit depressing, it's also inspirational.

Monday, December 29: Pretty much like any other Monday, as far as I can recall. I worked, I came home and shut off my brain.

Tuesday, December 30: The sixth day of Christmas is daernhelm's birthday. I always try to make a little bit of a fuss over him, because like many people born in late December, he often has his birthday overlooked in the Christmas rush. I took him to dinner at Macaroni Grill. I had, following a decent chicken marsala, an absolutely incredible dessert. It involved fresh strawberries and fresh hand-whipped cream with something tasty whipped into it. I strongly recommend it. Also, like half the known world, I heard from K for the first time in ages. I haven't answered him yet, but I started a draft email. I figure, at the rate he answers me, probably it's better that I take the time to make it a quality product.

That's the first six days. I'm making this two posts so if I get comments, I don't have to skim the whole thing each time.

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