The other night at the office holiday party, I gulped two glasses of sangria (seriously the best sangria I’ve ever had, and that includes La Grande Orange in Phoenix, which is saying something — I’ll post the recipe if I can wrest it out of the host) and for about 10 minutes, I was pleasantly tipsy.
Then immediately hungover.
That’s how the holidays feel — binge, buzz, crash. And it’s only December 6th. “You turn into a holiday elf,” my husband says, and he doesn’t mean it as a compliment.
But he went camping this weekend (at my urging — insert evil laughter here) and tonight the girls and I OD’d on holiday cheer. I opened all the Rubbermaids, took out the menorah, hung the stockings. Very Chrismukkah. Not that we’re either, really.
The holiday books came out, and the ornaments (I’ll try to hold the girls back til Ray gets home and can help decide — live tree or silver Urban Outfitters standby?) and the stuffed toys you press to make music. Sophie cuddled with the graying plush snowman, her face bathed in the glow from its ultra-tacky red and blue lights, playing “Let It Snow” over and over again.
Best of all, we busted out the holiday movies. Annabelle kindly let Sophie go first, so we watched “Elmo’s Happy Holidays” before “Pee Wee’s Christmas”. Then “Elf,” my favorite. Sophie konked out in the first few minutes; I let her snore on me for a while. It was time for bed, but I couldn’t help it. “Want to watch `Annabelle’s Wish?'” I asked. Annabelle practically swooned.
I’d never heard of “Annabelle’s Wish” til my own AB came along. A dear friend who has since move out of town spent weeks searching for it when she heard what I was naming my first kid, assuring me it would be worth it — her now-teen kids always loved it. So did I, once Laura finally presented it. And so does Annabelle. You can’t swing a dead cat around here without hitting another Sophie, but Annabelle’s are hard to find, and don’t appear much in pop culture.
Plus, this movie is terrific, as sappy as they get; I won’t ruin the plot for you, I’ll just say it’s worth seeking out. Watching it made me think of Laura, who has had a really rough year, health-wise. The last time I saw her was at our holiday cookie party last year, when she surprised me by showing up — moving slowly, but with a big smile. I’m hoping for another surprise this year.
And in Laura’s honor, I’m going to put the cranky bah humbugging aside and work on savoring the holidays. Maybe that means sticking to just one glass of sangria — and one holiday movie — an evening. I’ll try. Does “Love Actually” count? I was thinking of digging it out now…..