Tag Archives: christmas

Festivities 2022 – Part IV.

The early dawn hours held little more than grey clouds and a lone hawk flying far above the field as I peered out the rear window.  The air was decidedly cool for January, and the day would promise little more than a rise of five degrees in temperature by midday.  The 2022 holiday season is winding down – for us here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms, it ends on January 6 – and this season proved to be festive for Best Friend and me.  For us, the holidays are an eventful time of year, yet busy in its own way than the rest of the year.

As we decorated The Oasis of Four Queen Palms this season, I couldn’t help but remember the one year we went all out with the decorations.  That year, we meticulously wrapped the staircase banister with pine garland and added gold velvet bows to each point where we fastened the garland to the railing – up the staircase and around the loft’s railing.  We attached many variously sized ornaments on the garland – globes, teardrops, sparkling snowflakes, starbursts, and candy canes.  And nestled within the green pine needles were those tiny twinkling clear lights of which we are fond.  We decorated the tree with our souvenir ornaments we collect from our travels, sentimental ornaments from my family, and a few new ones I created.  Heirloom tchotchke glittered and sparkled as they sat peppered around the house – those miniature sleighs, reindeer, and fireplace stockings.  The house was a holiday wonderland.

Yet, this year we toned it down a bit and decorated only the main house for a change of pace.  Instead of our usual three trees, we chose just one.  I immersed myself in more baking than ever, and that included those special cookies from my family’s recipes, the fresh homemade fruitcake, and a loaf of traditional date nut bread.  I worked on the dinner menus, mostly to ensure I had all the ingredients for something special.  Best Friend and I decided upon which restaurants to visit, and I prepared all those appetizing homemade hors d’oeurves that I enjoy creating during this season.

We celebrated Chanukah, particularly as an homage to our ancestors and to augment our spiritual lives.  Christmas Eve dinner was simple – a glass of Mogen David wine and a simple fare of Shrimp Scampi on vermicelli with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots.  Our special dessert was sliced homemade fruitcake.  On Christmas Day, we enjoyed cocktails and presented our fresh homemade hors d’oeurves.

Part of our festivities this year included writing out our Christmas cards and including short notes with them, as appropriate.  This year was a little bit daunting, only in that we decided to send cards and notes to just about everyone we know.  Therefore, instead of working only one evening on them near the warm and crackling fireplace and a glass of bourbon eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg on the table, we instead spread out the writing project over several evenings.

Festivities don’t always need to be something spectacular at the coliseum that costs an arm and a leg, so to speak.  Best Friend and I attended the tree lighting in our town.  We went to the boat parade where we saw a lone boat where Santa rang his bell.  We attended a music concert in a nearby town.  On the Homefront at The Oasis, we are watching those extraordinary (and some corny) old Christmas movies and listen to great old Christmas carols.  During this season, I also focused my reading to include old holiday-themed stories and poems.  We didn’t do as much as we normally do this season, since I was under the weather for several days.

It might seem like a lot of activity, nonetheless, but for us, it is a welcomed fact of our life, and we adjust everything accordingly, if needed.  Every day during the Christmas-Chanukah-New Year’s season can be – and should be – festive, fun, and peaceful.

Now that the religious holidays of the season are past, we are now focusing on celebrating the incoming new year.  We both have traditions we follow from our younger years, and in my next essay on our festivities, I will outline them for your reading enjoyment.

For New Year’s Eve, we opted out of celebrating at our neighborhood diner.  At a cost of $65 per person, and their menu quality greatly lacking (we discovered none is freshly made but rather, processed frozen ready-made meals from a large food production corporation) and last year’s fiasco, we are turned off forever from their faux five-star greasy spoon approach.


For our New Year’s Eve cocktail party, we prepared an assortment of hors d’oeurves, canapés, spreads, dips, and desserts.  Some of our creations included recreating my sister’s hot artichoke dip, simple cream cheese and pickle pinwheels, my spicy frijoles con jalapeño dip with corn tortilla chips, celery and cream cheese sprinkled with paprika, olives, cherry tomatoes, deviled eggs, and homemade cookies.  We enjoyed wine from our local winery that has become a favorite of ours.  We played classic and calming music in the background as we enjoyed the evening’s festivities.

At midnight, we greeted the new year with all the hope and positivity that we all deserve.


The next day, we partook in our yearly traditions of welcoming the new year by setting the stages for good prosperity and luck.  Best Friend enjoyed a hot bowl of fresh black-eyed peas with bacon and onion pieces.  I savored a few pieces of cold pickled śledź – that’s herring!

Insofar as resolutions for the new year go, yes, I made a few, and they are ones that I can reach.  I believe that if one is inclined towards making resolutions, they should be realistic, with just the right amount of struggle to make the goals worthwhile when they’re reached.

This new year holds many promises for Best Friend and me.  We have many activities already planned, and I will be sharing them periodically as essays here on this site.

Make your holiday season, your life, and the new year festive, with consideration and respect towards others, for that all helps for a better world.

Wishing you prosperity, good health, and true peace within.

Make your holiday season and new year festive.

As ever,

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms



Gracious Holiday Living – Part IV.

They’re well-known stereotypes –

The perfectly decorated house.  The aromas of cinnamon and pinewood and freshly baked cookies.  The constant in-and-out of family and friends and the phone ringing every half hour with good news and heartfelt wishes.  The gathering around the baby grand piano singing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”  The constant hugs and kisses, and everyone getting along with nary a cross word.

That is what I named The Hallmark Holiday.  And it’s not always the reality.  Sure, it’s something pleasant to which to aspire, but don’t think you’re missing out if this isn’t in your world.  Much like crypto currencies, it isn’t real.

As for me, sure, I’m not with all the people I’d like to spend the holidays with, since circumstances prevent it – most have passed away, some live in another state and others are living in other countries.  I will be spending this holiday season with Best Friend, Rat Terrier, Miss Doxie, and Mademoiselle Kitten, here at The Oasis at Four Queen Palms, and we are grateful for that.  So, we are spending our holidays by ourselves, but not.

That brings me to the fact that some people – many people – spend the holidays by themselves; or at least not with the people they would rather be around.  Perhaps you will be alone during the holidays.  It might be your choice.  It might be happenstance.  Your holidays might look different from what you think a Hallmark holiday, or a Christmas in Connecticut, is all about.

Yet, the reality is never, ever what the hype tries to sell.  Many people – more than you know – are by themselves during the holidays.  That is not strange.  There is nothing wrong with it.  Your holidays might appear much different from the hyped-up “norm” of the perfectly appointed celebrations with perfection nonpareil.  Sure, that does paint a pretty picture, but that is rarely the reality.

How you spend your holidays depends on your attitude.  No one wants to hear someone’s “poor me” mantra; no one wants to hear gossip about others – you know, the yado-yado-yada.  No one wants to hear complaints either.  That might take them down a path they don’t want to go, and you yourself might feel all the more miserable.  Snap out of it!  No one deserves that.  Not them, not you.  Here are a few of my thoughts to help you actually enjoy this time of year:

Don’t compare your holiday season or life to someone else’s celebrations.  That’s them; this is you.  What you see in others’ lives isn’t all the truth.  Unless you’re them, or unless you live in their homes, you really don’t see, nor know, the entire picture.

Accept and be grateful for what you have.

Remember the true purpose of the holidays.  Introspection is key.

Don’t compare your life or your holidays to anyone else’s.  You shouldn’t assume that their meadow is greener on their side of the fence.  Look at your own.  It just might be that your pasture is as, or more, emerald green and luxurious than you ever imagined.

Play a Christmas carol album.

Call someone you know and send some happiness.

Drop a friend a line or two with happy news.

Invite another “solo celebrator” over for supper.  Make it a party.

Keep busy with the activities you love to do.

Make your holiday season classy.

As ever,

Lady Susan Marie Molloy

Wife at Window 2A

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms


Festivities 2022 – Part II.

Being the holiday season, Best Friend and I decided to attend an evening at the philharmonia orchestra, where the playlist promised holiday songs from classic to popular.  It was that, and so much more.

We dressed warmly since the weather was chilly, and that called for something hot to eat.  We began our evening with a hot meal of barbecue at an establishment near the performing arts center.  As Best Friend noshed on beef brisket and I on pulled pork, we noticed a trio of old houses across the field.


After eating, we drove past the houses, I grabbed the addresses, where further research revealed that they were built in 1924.  Two of the houses have one bedroom and one bath, with a whopping 620 square feet of living space.  The third house is a two-bedroom, one bath with 727 square feet of space.  The houses need quite a bit of work to return them to their original glory, and I wished that my research had a glimpse of their interiors, but sadly, there was none.


We arrived at the performing arts center and took our places in the orchestra left center seating.  The auditorium was packed; I didn’t see an empty seat, but then, I wasn’t inspecting every row.  I was entertained with the visuals of the incoming patrons before the concert began.


There appeared to be a favoritism of red sweaters and vests throughout; so much so that when I spotted a woman wearing a sparkling forest green pantsuit, it was a feast for my eyes.  Unfortunately, I was unable to snap a photograph of her fashion statement.

And speaking of fashion, we saw everything from ripped jeans to three-piece suits to sequined blouses to ugly sweaters over yoga pants.  There were so many different fashions that it would fill a book – which might be a thing to do for me, one day.

There was a young woman who sat in front of me.  Her fashion statement was interesting.  Her long hair was a bright turquoise blue, save for the black roots, and she was heavily made up, right down to the tarantula-like false eyelashes.  She wore a beige velour top that barely covered her tuchus, and her black suede high heeled boots came well above her knees.  I could only whisper to Best Friend at this sight, “Hi, G. I. Joe.  I love you long time.”  To which Best Friend replied, “Five dollah.”


The music was good, as was the singing, to an extent.  This philharmonia orchestra (as they call it) is a group of volunteers who do not necessarily sing and play musical instruments as their full-time employment.  For example, one of the singers is a preacher who has his own congregation in an adjacent county.  Best Friend nicknamed him “Country Jesus Elvis.”  I will leave the idea here for you to picture him in your own imagination.  I silently panicked when he started going up and down the aisles singing his tunes, and I dearly hoped that he wouldn’t get as far as our row.  After all, if he was going to encourage patrons to sing, too, I don’t do that for free, and I knew that wasn’t coming.  Thankfully, he never got as far as our row.

The music in the second act was jolly in its own way, but it did not follow what was printed on the playbill, for there was a bit of juggling around to add several more songs.  I wondered if the singers were becoming tired, for the usually peppy songs and the more religious ones were sung almost at a dirge-like tempo.


All in all, it was a pleasant evening for the both of us, with a few visual curiosities not on stage thrown in for good measure.  Though the orchestra was not what we thought it to be – we anticipated a more reverent experience that a philharmonic orchestra brings – we got sort of a cruise ship-Disney feel to the entertainment.  With that in mind, the entertainment was still worthwhile.  We’ll just know for the next time we are looking for philharmonic rather than Disney.

We have several more festive avenues to experience before the arrival of Three Kings Day.  I will be sharing some of them with you over the next several weeks.

In the meantime, keep your holiday season festive.

As ever,

Lady Susan Marie Molloy

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms



Festivities 2022 – Part I.

The winter holidays are a sparkling, twinkling, enchanting time of year filled with pretty panoramas and, if you are so inclined, religious observances.

Best Friend and I kicked off our holidays this month with a trip into town for the annual boat parade.  The weather was pleasant enough for us to walk around the lake and enjoy the lit decorations that were strategically placed within the park.  We caught a glimpse of Santa Claus in a boat ringing his jingle bells with great fervor.  We thought Santa would float on over to where the tall Christmas tree was and light it with all the pomp usually afforded such celebrations.  But alas! it was not to be.  The hands of the clock turned to 6 o’clock, and the tree, along with other electric decorations lit up automatically.  No pomp, no speeches, no carols, no gaiety.  And Santa was floating on a boat somewhere on the Chain of Lakes.

Oh, and there were no hayrides as promised in the flyer that announced the boat parade.  Speaking of the boat parade, that in itself was sparse.  Yes, there were boats docked at the piers, some were positioned on the sandy shore, but they weren’t in the parade.  All in all, there probably was a small handful of decorated boats, but the one Santa was on was the only one I spotted.

Well, that parade fizzled out.

Earlier that evening, while we were resting on a park bench, a trio of Mormon missionaries interrupted our meditation to proselytize.  Best Friend handled that well, and the trio went on their merry way to menace a lady with a baby.TREES LIGHTS PARK

Best Friend and I spent some time walking the paths within the park, and since we were getting very hungry, and the on-site restaurant had a two-hour wait for a table, we left and grabbed a bite at one of our local chain restaurants.  That experience wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was fuel.  Afterwards, we headed home for a relaxing evening with a contemporary movie about a dog who saved Christmas.  It, too, was nothing to write home about.  In fact, we both decided it was sappy.

During this holiday season, we have been streaming music through the Internet.  As I wrote in my essay, Looking Beneath the Surface., some of the more contemporary music and singers are something less than enjoyable in my realm.  Most have that so-called “creaky voice” or “vocal fry” that is not attractive.  Many singers also have that need-a-laxative voice.  You know that type of voice – it’s deep in the throat, the vocal cords straining mightily to get something out, and it’s a colossal struggle.  Think “All I Want for Christmas is You” croaked out by Mariah Carey.  Then go from there.  Guaranteed you will find that most of today’s singers have those phlegmy, gravelly, struggling voices mixed in with electronic mixing.  No, thank you.  Give me those smooth, velvety voices from days long gone.

At home, one of our trees is up and decorated, and underneath it, a few wrapped presents are waiting to be opened on Christmas Eve.  The rest of the main house is sprinkled with glittery decorations and lights.  We declined decorating the casita this year.  We usually add another tree there with lights, but we decided to focus on decorating the main house instead.  It’s good to mix things up sometimes and not fall into a doldrum or rut.TREE FIREPLACE 1

One of the biggest projects we have is addressing our Christmas and Hanukah cards.  We might toss in a few New Year’s cards for those who don’t celebrate either of the religious holidays.  We are still vacillating on including a short holiday letter, so we’ll see what we decide.  There still is time before mailing the cards out, so there is no need to stress about it all.

This is a season in which to sparkle and revel in your own style.

Make your holiday season festive.

As ever,

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen PalmsGREETINGS FROM THE CITY


Looking Beneath the Surface.

We awakened early this December morning.  The crisp, cool air felt lively on my face as I opened the kitchen door to let in the outdoor air.  At 58oF (14oC), the crisp air was a welcomed burst of freshness.  The sunrise, though short, was a pretty ombre of yellow, peach, and pink strewn across the eastern horizon.

One of my Christmas traditions is listening to holiday-themed music.  This year is no exception.  For us, we began playing songs last Thursday, and continue every day, even if it’s only for an hour or so.

We turned on the music for a bit of festivity.  Whilst listening, “The Little Drummer Boy” sung by Andy Williams popped up.  This is the song whereby a little kid goes to Bethlehem to bang his drum for Baby Jesus since that was the only gift he could give.  Ra-pum-pum-pum-a-dum.  I listened closely to the lyrics this time.  I heard something that struck me – or rather, it was something I didn’t hear that struck me:

Mary nodded . . . the ox and lamb kept time . . .

But wait!  What about Saint Joseph?  Where was he, and what was he doing at the time?  What was the donkey doing?  There is no mention of either of them in this song.

Granted, the lyrics are what they are.  But is it always necessary to know more?  I believe so.  This song always seems to lack the full story.  It would make a better story for me to know that Joseph took the donkey and rode to the other side of Bethlehem for carry-out, maybe an order of falafel or at least Chinese (it’s a Christmas tradition for some, of course.)  Knowing that Joseph was an honorable and providing man, he would make sure Mary had something to eat.  She would have been pretty darn hungry after delivering Jesus.

Then there is “Driving Home for Christmas” by Chris Rae.  Gracious mercy!  It is the only song I know that gives a play-by-play of driving in heavy traffic:

I’m driving home for Christmas

Oh, I can’t wait to see those faces

I’m driving home for Christmas, yeah

Well, I’m moving down that line

And it’s been so long

But I will be there . . .

At this point, why is it that the singer “can’t wait to see those faces?”  Where has he been?  Why the surprise?   Was he in jail and just got sprung?  Was he in the service and is home on leave? Or is he one of those people that pops up during the Holidays, hoping for a wad of dough-re-me or a stack of presents?   There is no clue.  Yet, this song goes on with descriptions of heavy traffic:

Top to toe in tailbacks

Oh, I got red lights all around

For a bit of translation from British English to American English, “tailbacks” is a British term for bumper-to-bumper traffic.  Honk your horns!  The singer judges the guy in the car next to him:

I take a look at the driver next to me

He’s just the same

Just the same.

I still want to know the reason the singer is going to surprise the people at his destination.  Is his intention respectable or nefarious?

I prefer the traditional carols with singers who sang with no electronic enhancements.  Today’s singers?  Well, they yell, holler, and scream.  You don’t hear their voices; those “voices” you hear are the artificial creations the sound engineers create, along with the instruments’ sounds.

Right now, Bob Dylan’s version of “Must Be Santa” is playing.  It has a polka beat.


Good heavens.

As ever,

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms



Gracious Holiday Living – Part I.

I was in Vermont last weekend, among the pines, snow, and elegance.

Well, to be more clear, Best Friend and I watched the 1954 movie, White Christmas, and the movie transported me to a more beautiful era.  That is where I was for a couple hours – in post-War Vermont.  The characters in the movie were always well-presented, their hair always combed, their clothes pressed, and they exhibited civil decorum, even during a spat.  It struck me that today, our society has sadly fallen to something in the hideous department.

While I was growing up, we had three sets of clothes – a uniform for parochial school, Sunday clothes, and play clothes.  We kids always wore our Sunday clothes all day on Sunday, to church and at home.  Play clothes were just that – for play.  And I don’t need to explain the uniform for school; it’s self-explanatory.  Yes, there was a time that one did not wear pajamas to school and church.

I was horrified at the institution of casual Friday at work, and the public styles of students when I was attending college in the 90s:  uncombed hair, pajama bottoms, pajama sets, ripped clothes, bedroom slippers, and smelly body odors.

To quote Kelsey Grammar’s Frasier Crane, “What fresh hell is this?” was my thought.

These days, people generally make fun “the olden days” of the years prior to this – ahem – casual-sloppy style.  They shudder at the thought of the days when you presented yourself well in and out of the home.  When you never left home with your hair still in curlers or your face unshaven.  When ripped clothes were not the fashion.  When language was respectful and not bombarded with the f- and s-words.  Oh, that’s so old-fashioned.  You get the idea, I’m sure.

This season, many of us will find ourselves in the mix of parties (office, family, friends).  Even if the gathering is among your immediate circle of friends or family, do you dress up?  I mean Ladies, do you comb your hair, put on a little powder and lip gloss, and wear your best clothes (not those yoga pants or jeans)?  Gentlemen, do you eschew those ripped up jeans and faded sweatshirts and don your dressy trousers (pressed, of course) and a nice polo shirt (at least)?  Do you have clean and manicured nails?

Recently, I thought about the manner of dress these days, and there is something that our predecessors were on to – being well-presented was respect for oneself and respect for others.  I don’t see that generally these days.  Dress up – really dress up – for the parties and events you will be attending this season.  It is a fact that when you are well-presented (no sloppy clothes at church, for example), you feel better about yourself, and you produce better.  It is a fact.

Now, you might find yourself the butt of jokes if you show up at a holiday party this season dressed up, clean, and classy.  Honestly, I was in that situation many times.  I invariably attended functions dressed appropriately for the event, and that meant a dress and jewelry for the opera, tailored clothes for the office, and neat clothes whilst shopping.  There were people (strangers, mostly) who made fun of me for wearing a nice outfit to a function.  There were co-workers who laughed at me when I didn’t wear (what I consider) loungewear on casual Fridays (remember that debacle that started the sloppiness at work?)

Even at home when I spend the day there, I rarely don’t wear a bit of make-up, but at least I comb my hair and wear nice clothes, and my nails are clean and manicured.  The times I won’t wear something nice at home is when we are pulling weeds or cleaning house, for example.  Those situations call for work clothes.

Yet, physical appearance is not all that is profoundly lacking these days.  In the language department, do you let vulgar language flow freely from your lips, not caring who is around you?  It isn’t becoming nor befitting.  Moreover, today’s vernacular is vulgar and tasteless and does violence to the ears and the hearer.  This is so very unfortunate since the English language is rich with wonderful phrases and singular words that make it a pleasing language without the f- and s-words used abundantly as verbs, adjectives, nouns, determiners, prepositions, and interjections.  I don’t use vulgar language because I don’t believe it’s lady-like or intelligent.  I’ve been made fun of for this, and there have been people who, when they learn this about me, will ramp up the vulgarities in my presence or within earshot.  In fact, when I worked at an air traffic control facility, the vulgar language was de rigueur.  Nearly everyone out of the 75 people that worked there used vulgarities – men and women!  And when I asked these “offenders” to please not speak that way to me or near me, I was met with shock (at first), then laughter in the break room that was near my office.  Yes, I could hear them make fun of me.  There was a time, dear readers, that when women were in the same workspace, the men watched their language.  It’s passé in this era.  Women are known to let that filth fly with the best of the men.  That, dear readers, says more for those people than anything.  People that purposely do what you disdain for whatever reason (religion, upbringing, et cetera) in your presence have no manners nor compassion nor class.  Be bigger than that.  You will reap wonderful rewards as a result – others will think highly of you, you will be more of a delight to be around, and you will feel better about yourself, too.

Best Friend and I decorated The Oasis at Four Queen Palms for Christmas.  Up went the tree with a few presents underneath, and it looks inviting this year.  A dangly beaded ornament was inviting to Mademoiselle Kitten one evening when the tree was lit, but she quickly learned it’s a no-no toy for her.  Rat Terrier and Doxie are oblivious to the tree.  Just as well. CHRISTMAS TREE II

Baking is on the near horizon in my kitchen; the cookie dough is made and frozen until such time.  The fruitcake is busy fermenting, and my menus are being finalized.  We have a few concerts to attend.  And, of course, we have a slew of Christmas-themed movies we are watching, and we play Christmas carols every day.

One of these evenings, in front of the crackling fireplace and with carols playing in the background, Best Friend and I will start writing out our Christmas cards.

Make your holiday season classy.

As ever,

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms


Early Holiday Preparations.

A light fog hung on the grounds this morning as I looked out my window, the sandhill cranes trilling lively in the distance, the air feeling heavy with rain.  I cradled a cup of Earl Grey tea in my hand, as I let random thoughts somersault through my mind.  It felt as though this year had sped by, and now here it is, the end of November, with only thirty-three days left before we begin a new year.

As the holiday season began last week, and heads towards a full swing, it struck me as this is a good time to round out the month of November and its supposed focus on thanksgiving.

Drama dared to pop up its ugly head in the past couple of weeks or so; it’s such a crying shame since it has been absent most of this year.  Best Friend and I are grateful that we are not in the thick of the theatrical stage acting of that drama, but why, oh why, must it come knocking on the door from time to time?

Thankfulness is a virtue and a very private one.  I, for one, have much in the way of thankfulness, but I prefer to keep the specifics private.  Not everything needs to be – nor should be – publicized in the public square.  I will say that our celebration was just right for us in all aspects.

Packing away the Thanksgiving decorations (as little as there is) is a priority in preparation for decorating The Oasis at Four Queen Palms this year.  That’s about as far as it got as of this writing; decorating for Christmas will be in the coming days.

Over the weekend I baked a dark, English style fruitcake, using the recipe from the Antoinette Pope School of Cookbook (1948, by Antoinette and François Pope).  This cookbook is my go-to recipe and cooking method guide and has been a staple in my family since the early 1950s.  I’ll write more about that in a future essay.

I soaked the fruit in brandy for two days before preparing and baking the cake.  This step was a success, and now the cake is packed well in parchment paper and tin foil, aging for the next two weeks in a cool place.

I spend most evenings reading, snuggled in a chair by the fireplace, long into the night.  Currently, I am reading Old Times in Dixie Land by Caroline Elizabeth Merrick.  It was published in 1901, and it is a fascinating book.

December promises to be a grand month, filled with activities both here at The Oasis at Four Queen Palms and in the outside world.  Some of the stores are decorated with lit trees, garland, and greenery.  The restaurants are likewise decorated.  I’m waiting to see who in our neighborhood will be the first to set up their blow-up penguin or ginormous dinosaur in the front yard, because nothing says “Christmas” like a ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex, or a faded fat Santa Claus, or even a smiling Chilly Willy.  It is lost on me why Christmas decorations have become – dare I say it? – tacky?  Granted, there were plastic snowmen and reindeer in front yards years ago, but now there are twelve-foot vinyl blow-up monstrosities in characters that have nothing to do with Christmas:  Star Wars, dragons, dinosaurs, station wagons, Noah’s ark . . .  Well, I do get a laugh out of the ridiculousness of it all, so I suppose they have some purpose.

A few neighbors in this area already decorated their houses with clear and colorful twinkling lights, evergreen wreaths with large red ribbons, and red poinsettias on porches.

I’m already planning dinner menus, gathering gifts to wrap, perusing my Christmas card list, and the like.  We play Christmas music every day.  The jury is still out if a Christmas letter will be on the schedule.  I do vacillate on doing one.  It does not pay to include one to the people with whom we have regular contact, but the ones we rarely hear from . . . well, is it worth sending a letter?  Perhaps not.  Perhaps just a note of well wishes for the coming year.

Best Friend has by now bought tickets to the theater.  We are greatly looking forward to that, for those nights out mean worthwhile time just for us two.

And as a matter of course, there are the private religious observations to be followed.

Best Friend and I took a small break one evening and shared appetizer plates of heirloom cherry tomatoes with ham and a shrimp platter with hot dipping sauce.  I served them on our Fiestaware pumpkin plates.  We spent this time watching a Christmas-themed movie, “Father Christmas is Back” with Kelsey Grammar.



I look forward to sharing some of our holiday life during these upcoming weeks, and without the drama.

As ever,

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms