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A Very Garey Christmas

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This holiday season, it’s the cats, our home and children who matter to me. An untimely series of recent family mishaps have left the Garey Gang in diminished spirits, limited energy and severe economic distress. None of the usual ornamentation adorns the outside of our house; not a single of the many pink plastic flamingos in the yard is sporting its Santa beard, cap or scarf. But the holly bushes bravely sport their carmine berries. Flitting cardinals – the birds, not the religious personnel -stop by long enough to dazzle my eyes with their brilliant crimson feathers. The wintery skies are usually very, very blue and at night the stars are simply dazzling. There’s even been just enough short-lived snow to call to mind a Currier and Ives painting.

Indoors, a miniature Charlie Brown tree bravely illuminates a corner of the living room where I now spend my days and nights recovering from a pre-Thanksgiving accident that has left me facing months of home bound nursing care, rehab and physical therapy to regain my strength, vigor and vitality. Once raucous with home-school, play-time, kitty-cavorting, dawn-to-dusk activity, the house is very, very quiet. Horrible Childe Alexandra is in daycare and her mommy, Amanda, works the hellish hours seasonal retail demands. Most days, it’s just  the cats, dreadful daytime television for white noise, and me; I miss my girls very much.

My precious, young Amanda, thoroughly harried and stressed from having to suddenly shoulder all the household burdens, surprised me with the tiny tree a few weeks ago, making it – and me – glow much more brightly as she cheerfully sang “…haul out the holly, light up the tree before my spirit falls again; fill up the stockings, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now; for we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet…” At three years old, Lexie is still not quite sure what all the brouhaha on TV is all about, but since she is still ecstatic by being the recipient of mail addressed to “Occupant,” I doubt she is concerned about the trappings of the season, although she has enjoyed the peaceful, artsy craftsy projects we’ve devised and obviously inherited the genetic Garey tendency to stick bows on kitten heads.

We decided not to go gift-goofy this year, a decision reached long before being bombarded with commercial demands to demonstrate affection by going further into debt. Stacks of gaily decorated treats, homemade and collected throughout the year, await distribution by the Toys For Tots, Angel Tree and Middle Tennessee Free 4 All campaigns and a few little goodies for the Garey girls are enroute from the North Pole via eBay. Batches of homemade Schnicker Doodles await transfer from freezer to stove to share with our neighbors – and the cats. Miles of mishapen paper chains and strung popcorn have been haphazardly draped over curtain rods (and the cats) and Lexie has created some remarkable eclectic art with which to surprise her mommy and playmates (and the cats.) I did the unthinkable and bought myself the new Susan Boyle cd, leaving me in want of nothing but a new coffee pot (NEITHER object for the cats.) The kitties will receive their new schmousies, along with new collars and enough food to last them several months; a similar donation has been made on their behalf to a local cat shelter. Basically, there’s just enough temporary bling to keep the cats entertained, intrigued, amused and amusing, but not so much as to drive us all bonkers. And snuggling together on the couch the other night – kids, kitties, cocoa and cookies - giving ourselves over to Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and their celluloid promise of a “White Christmas,” somehow made us feel that we had all the gifts anyone could ever dream of or want.

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Read more: Christmas, Family, Hanukkah, Holidays, Kitten Smitten, Life, Pets

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51 comments

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11:23AM PST on Nov 16, 2011

what a cute story, thank you.

6:33PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

catherine -- since robyn was her editor, you might consider writing to robyn about the daily action.

janet was a beautiful spirit.

6:17PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

i think about janet often too. and i worry about her daughter because i know she would if she were here. but i guess we all have to make our own way at some point. i really hope she's ok. i appealed to care2 to do a daily action with all of janet's stories, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. at least janet knows she hasn't been forgotten.

6:08PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

i did hear from one of her friends -- the middle tennessee website guy -- janet's daughter lost the apartment where they were living, after janet died. he then lost contact with the daughter.

6:06PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

i miss janet so much. she used to email me me frequently - in fact i was sick around christmas time that year, so had not had a chance to reply back to her email -- sent one off, never received a reply back - but figured she was busy for the holidays. :::::sigh:::::

such a beautiful person she was.

4:35PM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

thank-you.

6:19PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

thank you

1:44PM PST on Jan 18, 2011

thanks for posting this.

9:15AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

I certainly intend to honor her memory this coming winter holiday season by sticking a bow on each of my cats' heads.

1:24AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

This is absolutely lovely, thank you for sharing

The deodorant I make only without the arrowroot, which I have no idea what it is. Interesting to see…

A ((huge hug)) for u, Jennifer B..My condolences

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