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I can finally see the back of the fridge. My husband, though sick with cold, has done a great job of plowing through the leftovers. I tossed out the ham bone. The idea of split pea and ham soup sounded good on Christmas, but I’m a realist. Same goes for the turkey. The prime rib has morphed into beef stroganoff. Those apples I forgot to slice up and put on the platter with the brie, now sit in a flaky pie crust enrobed with sugar and cinnamon.

I’m not tired of cooking. I’m holiday-fooded-out.

Last year, it took me FOREVER to clean up after Christmas. Determined not to let it happen again, I started cleaning after the last guest headed out the door. Before the night was over, I’d finished the dishes, scrubbed the guest bath and then washed the kitchen floor.

The next day, the clean-up continued. Given the clank, clank, clank of the wine and beer bottles going into the recycling bin, I had to wonder if our neighbors thought we were a bunch of drunks. 

I checked the discarded wrapping paper for any stray Uno cards. Rescued strands of pretty ribbon and asked myself why I even bother since I know I won’t find these scraps next year. Collected at least fifteen gift bags.

All five tablecloths have been spot treated with a vinegar and water solution (cranberry sauce and pomegranate juice stains) and are ready to go to the cleaners. The Christmas decorations are stacked up by the basement door. Considering we had thirty-plus people over, I felt I’d made some major progress. 

After appetizers and dinner, we had a hybrid “Dirty Santa” gift exchange using Uno cards. One deck was taped to each gift and the recipients drew a card from the other deck.

Afraid my eighty-two-year old aunt would end up with my husband’s contribution, I begged him to re-think his gift of posterior enhancement.

He said he didn’t care. 

Who would have thought it was one of the most sought after items? (What does this say about my family?)

My sister gave me two wind-up toys to add to my collection. With Carrie’s gift of Iowa sweatshirts, I am almost an official Ioweenie. Becke, my other CP, inundated me with things Audrey Hepburn. Now, if I only had Audrey’s svelte figure and the fab, black Givenchy dress she wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

My roommate from college bequeathed me with a beautiful watering can and MooPoo tea (uh, it’s made out cow patties and it’s very good for roses).

The hubster didn’t get my anything. That’s okay because I jumped on-line the day after Christmas and scooped up some great deals. He has no idea how generous he can be.

Am I tired? YES! I’m so tired that I worked on my manuscript so I could relax. We shared a high-calorie meal and a lot of laughs. I hope everyone had a good time. 

I often ask myself if it’s worth all the trouble and angst just for one day.

Recalling the smiles, I’d say yes.

How was your holiday? Have you taken down the tree? Put all the gifts away? Hit any post-holiday sales?

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