merry tuesday!

Reading SkippyJon Jones and the Big Bones, which was a Hanukkah present.

We'll be going to our cousins' house to celebrate family today. I'm making a smoked gouda potato mushroom gratin (per the old Naked Chef recipe, with some tweaks). Since there won't be much oven space, I'm waiting til the last hour to bake it off. (My husband prepped the ingredients for me while I slept in this morning, so there isn't much to do.)

It's been too many years since we had a proper "Jewish Christmas" (Chinese food and a movie*). And that's ok. Celebrating family is special any time of the year (and Remy doesn't want to go to the movies ever).

Yesterday, I made a decision to stand in line for (probably over) 45 minutes to get a cake to bring with us (it's the best cake ever). I had avoided most of the crazy Christmas shopping lines/ traffic (except Saturday we needed to go to Costco for a huge container of vinegar because our basement sink had a huge clog and we needed to be able to do laundry). I figured waiting in a pretty fast moving line at our favorite bakery would be worth while because then I'd be able to eat chocolate mouse cake today. And it was.

There was a lot of bonhomie in the line, because everyone knew the bakery was worth it. (And we were all part of the special group that knows about them - ok, so does everyone who saw the Jersey Episode of No Reservations, but whatever. We were there for the good stuff. Which was canolies and cookies for most people, not chocolate mouse cake. But it really is that good, I promise. So are the canolies, btw, I just didn't want them to sit out for a day, they're best fresh.)

For us, today isn't a special day. Just a Tuesday filled with love and family, just like every other day. (And one where we happen to be going to a party at someone else's house. Like you do.)

If there was one gift I could give to the world it would be this: the knowledge that it's ok to let go of the "should" and be happy with what is. Every day. Not just today, which is a day fraught with "should" for far too many people. Every day.

Did you have to wrap a million presents (staying up too late)?
Did you have to bake thirteen different kinds of cookies?
Did you have to brave the mall Saturday because you forgot a present for your uncle's new wife?

It's ok to let some of it go and just be there for the people you love. (And it's ok to feel like you want to do it all, too. And if you can, you can. Just know it isn't necessary. All that's necessary is love. And food and water and shelter and health care. Amen.)

Go to the beach (if you have one nearby and there isn't a huge storm in your area). Take a walk under some trees. Eat with family, but without the pressure of a perfect meal. Laugh and be merry.

* I totally would have gone to see Les Misérables today but we'll go see it later this week instead, when our babysitter gets back into town. In the meantime, I put the album (which was hard to find, I had to search for Anne Hathaway) on my spotify starred list and I'll be singing "I dreamed a dream" all day long. You're welcome for that awesome ear worm.