The week between Christmas and New Year's always feels a little odd.
Kids out of school. Shorter work weeks for some. Vacation days for others. New jigsaw puzzles to put together. Small appliances to master. (We're newcomers to the world of the single-serve coffee-maker, and I know we're not alone.)
Too many sweets in the house. Not enough vegetables. Final gifts to deliver -- like the one that sits on a table in our living room, already looking tired in its red and green wrapping.
Everyone's schedule is messed up, which is why the dog looks confused. Or perhaps it's because Santa forgot to leave something in his stocking.
I'm not complaining here, not at all. This week has plenty of memorable moments. I bet there will never again be a week when my 11-year-old daughter and I spend time together watching episodes of the first season of "The Partridge Family," for example.
The DVDs were a gift (or possibly a regifting?).
"Shall we watch one more?" I asked her one night, eyeing the clock.
"Suuuure," she yawned, reaching for the remote.
By episode oh-I-don't-know, we decide the Partridges spent a lot of time in their bathrobes.
Come on, get happy!
Among the many plans our daughter dreamed up for her winter break are 1) sledding, and 2) a sleepover with her cousin.
We'll have root beer floats, our daughter informed us, making sure my husband added the two essential ingredients to the grocery list he was drafting.
Root beer floats? Was she kidding?
"What else do we need?" my husband asked me.
"Everything," I told him. "Everything except sugar."
With the holidays falling on the weekends, this year feels especially odd. Sunday felt like Monday. Tuesday felt like, I don't even remember what Tuesday felt like.
And now it's New Year's Eve, and I realize that my life has come full circle.
There were the early years of staying home under the care of my grandmother when my parents went out. (I believe she made us root beer floats.)
Then came the many years of going out or hosting parties at home.
Then the last couple years of staying home, having a nice dinner and trying to stay awake until midnight.
Perhaps a root beer float isn't such a bad idea after all.