Writing this from the Christmas fair at Saint Cassian’s in Montclair, our home parish. [That’s Punch in the photo, second from right.]
I used to come for hours with Figgy and her friend Christy. Now I show up for hours with Punchy, who begs me for more and more raffle tickets [$20 for 25] to stuff into boxes in the hopes of winning toys, bikes, gift cards, the talking Alexa and more. It’s a big fundraiser for our Catholic school, where the teachers do not get paid a lot. Punch bought $30 worth of little red tickets with all of her money and I peeled out at least two green twenties, too. I also spent:
- $25 on a fresh decorated green wreath.
- $30 on three cute holiday boxes of cookies, $10 each. Two are Hershey’s Peanut Butter Blossoms, one to bring to a party tonight*, and one for Punchy, who was wanting to make some of those. The bake table lady, a nice young woman, said her mother-in-law, who came from Italy, made the anisette cookies. That pretty much sealed the deal for me; that’s in the third box. These are like the soft anise “S” cookies Dan’s Italian Grandma, Carmela [Millie], made. So I got those for Dan.
- $10 at the table of new/gently used items, where I found earrings, a mint condition box of pretty notecards with gold foil-lined envelopes, an expensive looking little picture frame and a large Christmas candle in a jar.
- $19 in the Candy Cane Cafe—such a cute name—for sausage and peppers, coffee, cookies and more for Punchy and me.
And now I’m sitting on the metal bleachers with everyone else, waiting to see whose lucky numbers are called from the [about 100?] raffle boxes, starting at 4 p.m. We have been here since about 1:15 and I am looking forward to going home to take a winter’s nap.
Merry Christmas, with the wink of old Santa, the scent of a wreath, the warmth of a good cause and the joy and energy of a sleighful of kids running around in this gym. They will quiet down when the winners are announced.
Until next time.
*I made healthy baby step changes today. I went to my morning support group. I sat and had a healthful lunch before leaving for the fair. I’m drinking water. I ate three different cookies here because they still embody Christmas in many ways for me—but basta. Enough. I’m also in touch w nutrition and fitness angel Rachael via text. And buying cookies to bring somewhere instead of striving to present my own rich, buttery, decadent, best of the batch every time? That’s a giant step!