Christmas: Was Yours Fancy, Frugal, Fun, Fabulous, or a Fail?

Our Christmas was littered with potential landmines this year, but we made it through. The worst part was that Mom and Greg didn’t get to come in for Christmas Eve. He had the nasty flu that’s going around – you know, the one the flu shot doesn’t protect you from πŸ™ We did a quick, germ-free present exchange with my mom, though, and they seemed to like their gifts, even though almost all of them were handmade πŸ™‚

That was another of our themes this year: handmade and frugal. It was out of necessity since I’m still battling to get disability benefits. In fact (drumroll, please) my appeal (Oct 2013) of my August 2013 disability denial was refused. As in they “refused to review it”. Now, mind you, someone reviewed it enough in October to let me know it would not be “fast-tracked”, but then it took fourteen more months for them to decide not to review it. I received that tidbit of information in the mail on December 23rd. Merry F-ing Christmas, huh? Anyway, that frees me to apply again, so I have a call in to my attorney. My case has gotten much stronger with the long wait since this is a degenerative condition, so my only real concern is the long wait times in this county.

The high point of Christmas was having Aaron, Catherine, and Tabby (my grand-dog) in from Austin for Christmas. The dogs got along great, the boys turned the dining room into a computer gaming room, and they put so much thought into our Christmas gifts it makes me cry just thinking about it. Of course with every high must come a low. Tabby, slim and quick, ducked out the front door and led the guys on quite a chase before I finally caught her by standing still and holding things she wanted. In the chase Michael messed up his ankle, so John got one day of courier duty and I helped out another morning.

We had a scrumptious supper Christmas Day at Dad and Edie’s, even with four large dogs in attendance. I suggested leaving ours home, but you’d have thought I’d suggested leaving the kids home from the way Michael behaved. It’s all about the dogs around here, which actually makes things easier. You can’t tell if a house is clean or dirty with dog toys strewn all over and a hundred-pound furball in your lap πŸ™‚

I managed to enjoy Christmas immensely this year, once again without setting foot in a mall, sending a single card, or baking a single cookie. Β Some lessons take a long time to learn, but I’m finally learning that how I spend my time and both my physical and emotional energy is 100% up to me, and I’m going to choose the people I love every single time. I hope you did, too πŸ™‚

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