Coming to the End of Christmas
Epiphany was yesterday (although we celebrated it at Mass last Sunday). No Wise Men showed up at my place, but I did have a nice time helping my mom run errands. First, she had to go to a photography studio to select portraits of her grandkids from a sitting she had won, a raffle prize that had snowballed from "I just want updated pictures of all the children" to a whole family portrait, because Older Brother and my SIL have to add their own terms to everything. Anyway, the photographer was a very personable man (married, darnit!) who did a great job with the photos, even drawing my shy Middle Nephew out of his shell--discussing cars is key. He even walked that nice fine line of flattery by guessing that my adorable niece looks a lot like I did as a child (yeah, except for her blue eyes!). Topping it off was his revelation that Oldest Nephew had complimented him very soberly, "You're really good with kids--everybody else always just starts throwing things around and making noises to get their attention." You have no idea how much we love this ten-going-on-forty boy.
After my mom plunked down her Christmas $$$ on her pictures order, we were off to the parish rectory to get Mass cards--our choir director/family friend's brother passed away last week (say it with me, CCFOAD) and we wanted to have him remembered in the monthly memorial Mass our parish does. My mom knows the parish secretary from their time as grade school moms together--her kids' ages are in between mine and Younger Sister's. We had a nice chat with her and with the one organist who does the music ministry's administrative stuff--I've sung for Mass when she's played a couple of times. It was kind of enjoyable updating them on what's going on with me. I had felt a little on the outs with the parish administration for not wanting to be on the formal cantor schedule for the past couple years, but between grad school and not wanting to see the Ex (long story), it just wasn't worth the aggravation. Things were considerably warm and friendly yesterday, to my relief.
Once we'd completed a couple more items on the to-do list, we got back to my place and made the cat suffer the near-monthly irritation of claw-trimming. It's a two-person job: one to wrap the angry cat in a blanket, and the other to work the clippers (and avoid getting swiped at). I'd never for a moment thought of declawing her when she was a kitten, but it certainly is more comfortable for everyone (including her) when her claws are shorter.
Speaking of the cat, and coming full circle to Epiphany, the tree will be coming down in the next week--which means no more of this:
The glowing kinda softens her "angry eyebrows," as my sister terms them.
I'm not exactly sad Christmas is over, although admittedly it was one of the better ones I've had in a long time. I think I'm still in amazement over that. Hopefully, even as Christmas things get put away, that spirit will remain around through the coming year.