It was great to get the family together, but I'm glad that this holiday is over. It's a lot of work to prepare for Christmas, and after a month of shopping, wrapping, cleaning, decorating and baking, it all explodes into one huge pile of shredded paper. I learned a few things, like what I'm never going to do again.
I'm never going to bake these again...
I made raspberry chocolate chip bars too, but they were just too sticky and rich to struggle with. I suspect they'll end up the in trash, because not even I can eat them. I wish I could be like the Pioneer Woman, but I'm not.
Another thing I learned is that hosting Thanksgiving for family and friends, planning and going on an anniversary trip, and then hosting Christmas for family and friends is just too much for me to accomplish in one month. I don't handle stress well and need my regular, predictable routine interspersed somewhere in between. I didn't get that between November and December, and my horses need to see me more often.
That last thing I learned is that I put too much pressure on myself in the first place, and the reality is that most other people don't give a rat's turd about things like how clean my house is, whether all things are equal in the world of gift giving, whether I bake treats or not, and stuff like that. Although, my son did tease me about not having a real Christmas tree like most normal people. I tried to compensate with Christmas lights, but he wasn't impressed. I'd have to get rid of some furniture to make room for a tree, and I need all of our furniture so that company has room to sit.
One fun thing I did was finish a hook rug that my daughter started working on when she was a child, and never finished. Now she is a first grade and special education teacher, so I finished the rug as a gift to her and her class. She said she can use it as a reward and have the winning student sit on it.
I thought this gift from my daughter and her boyfriend was hilarious...
I gave and received other great gifts, but I knew that the horse people who read this blog would appreciate the socks.
The three days leading up to Christmas were jam-packed with last minute tasks, and of course, Rock had to come up lame on Christmas Eve, so I was down at the barn working on his hooves instead of doing what I had planned. Within 24 hours of mud forming in a rainfall, Rock gets thrush, and within 24 hours of him forming thrush, he gets a hoof abscess. So, I really need to be out there picking out his hooves and applying thrush treatment the second it starts raining. I knew an abscess was coming because of all the mud we have, but I was so busy that I hoped we'd skirt by this time without one. No such luck.
Mud is also a party pooper when you bust your butt to clean the floors and keep them clean until company arrives. Tonight we've got bone-chilling winds with crazy gusts. It took two of us to get the blankets on the horses, because no sooner would I get the blanket over the horse's back, and a wind would blow it up and spook the horse. I needed someone to hold it down while I attached all the straps.
Right now all I want is a routine I can rely on, but once the Christmas decorations come down, tax season begins. And the decorations aren't coming down until I get this gerd dang kink out of my neck, so I guess the taxes will have to wait.