A Bishop Family Christmas

I had all sorts of things planned for this blog over December but the holidays caught me by surprise. Between being sick for a fortnight and putting out two issues of our business publication in-between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was doing good just to update Charity’s Place every weekend. I actually finished my last gift two days ago! It was a genius idea, and it’s still a marvelous idea… I just did not plan and execute it in as timely a manner as I had hoped. (If it gives you any hint, I have had the crafting supplies since Halloween. Ah, life, and the best of intentions… but I got distracted. You try running the world, or at least sitting around thinking about how much better you would run it than everyone else who is running it!)

Hey, at least I got my packages all mailed and a few here and there came in for me. I decided to open gifts from friends early, because I have the patience of a two year old when it comes to surprises. My brother heartily disapproves of this, because it’s just not right. You open presents on Christmas Eve in our house and not a minute sooner! (Where that tradition started, I do not know… probably from some impatient individual in my ancestry that greatly resembles me!) And now my note board in the office is covered with Christmas cards and photos out of the cards, including one new family with their newly adopted child from Ethiopia! My tree is up and has been for quite some time. The cat has already climbed it three times and pulled off at least three of the painted bulbs. I do a Phantom of the Opera theme every year, so it is decorated in gold, silver, and ruby tones, with roses tucked into the branches.

We sadly have no snow this year and are not likely to. The barrenness of our surroundings is a tad disconcerting, considering we live in ranch and farming country where moisture is much needed to ensure good grasslands and a proper harvest next year. I live “ten thousand miles from anywhere,” or so a friend once told me. I think he was joking. Then again, since he only visited the ranch once, maybe not. At least he made it. Most people ignore the maps we kindly give them, or think that is a suggestion rather than mandatory, and wind up hopelessly lost. I admit, it has provided me with an immense amount of entertainment over the last few weeks. You wait around for company to show up for whatever Christmas event is going on and about half an hour after they should have arrived, you get a phone call that sounds a lot like this:

“Uh… where are we?!”

“I have no idea. Where are you?”

“Well, we saw a farm house… a ways back…”

“Did you follow the map?”

“Uh… kind of?”

And then they go over a hill away from a cell tower and their cell phone drops the call. Eventually, either someone goes to get them or they find their way to a landmark.

“Hey, I see a herd of buffalo!”

Great. Turn right at the tepee and you’re halfway there!”

“… is that sarcasm?”


Holidays are a busy time for me because I am usually baking. I can make anything guaranteed to expand your waistline, and do it perfectly. Even on the occasions when it looks like muck (such as this morning, and my first attempt to make a Danish Kringle … oh, saints above, what a mess…) it still tastes amazing. I rather suspect that I am only gifted in making sweet treats and breads, because “real food” never comes out as good, but if I do indeed have a knack, perhaps I can work on turning that in low-carb directions at some point in the future. I was up this morning at 6:30 am folding pastry, if that gives you any hint as to where my priorities lie. (And no, I am not the size of a small barn just yet… thank goodness for long walks with the family dog! It takes an immense amount of energy to bundle up like an Eskimo and waddle your way over a couple of miles! … and no, that is not a joke.)

Tonight will be the usual festivities of Christmas quiche and Cherry Coconut bars for dessert (… which I have never made before either; let’s hope it turns out better than the Kringle did!) and the giving of presents. I am usually more excited to see if other people like my gifts than I am to open the ones with my name on them, perhaps because I’m an introvert who hates being the center of attention, even around her family. Tomorrow, we have dinner with Grandpa. So long as we can avoid talking about politics, or religion, or theology, or the president, or relatives, or … well, anything aside from food, dogs, making furniture, and redecorating, we should be okay.

All of that blathering to say with all my heart…

MERRY CHRISTMAS! (Or rather, since I have always been a tad rebellious and rather British in spite of living in America, “HAPPY CHRISTMAS!”) I hope this long weekend is full of delights for each and every one of you.

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