Monday and Tuesday before Christmas are kind of a blur. I jumped every time my phone rang. The news was never good and only sometimes worse than the last report. Overall, there had been no change in Grandpa's condition.
As I said, I had decided to forgo sleep in order to finish the Christmas gifts I was making. I had made a last-minute change from a purse I was knitting that just wasn't working out to a pair of legwarmers. Legwarmers are very long - lots of stitches. I'm not sure what I was thinking there, other than I know the recipient likes legwarmers. I stayed up into the wee hours of each morning, knitting by the light of the Christmas tree.
I had expected to do this some. I had expected that the Christmas glow would be peaceful and I would enjoy my time. But my exhaustion got in the way and I spent those hours entirely tense and hurried, never once peeking up at the tree.
At some time on Tuesday, a doctor told us he was going to try a new medication that may wake up Grandpa. He wasn't showing signs of a stroke, but he was also not responding to commands. He seemed to be in pain, which was a good thing, but was locked away inside his body.
We suspected the doctor was just buying time until Christmas was over. Then he would give us the bad news.
I got my shopping list from Chris. He does that to me every year. I spend three months asking him what he'd like for Christmas, getting only, "I haven't really thought about it" in response. This is a man with no real hobbies and no obvious collections. He's tough to shop for. Everybody knows it.
So, two days or so before Christmas, he'll hand me a fist full of cash (don't get excited - it's usually about $40) and a short list and send me out into the last-minute Christmas-shopping fray.
Not that I resent him for it.
I wrapped up my shopping and knitted some more.
Tuesday night was baking night. I look forward to this every year.
The girls all gather at my mom's house for a crazy evening of baking and merry-making, made-up-song singing and apron-wearing.
This year, we decided to streamline the process a little bit and everybody just brought one cookie recipe to mom's house, deciding to bake anything else they wanted at home. This worked out really nicely, reduced the pressure to be there or leave at a certain time, and made for a really pleasant evening.
I made the congo squares, my daddy's favorite, using his mom's recipe. They have also become my husband's favorite, so that's a good thing. They're like a fat chocolate chip bar cookie with walnuts.
Mindy made the peanut blossom cookies from the classic Hershey's cookbook. They're her hubby's favorites. The job of unwrapping all those kisses usually goes to the youngest hands in the room.
And that's not even all of the cookies. My goodness!