I guess you could say my Christmas spirit was missing in action this year. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like me to forgo decorating with enough holiday decor that borders on being embarrassing. However, I was swamped with work so finding time (and the gumption) to drag everything from the shed was rather daunting. So I skipped it, other than placing a wreath on the front door, giving the illusion I’m festive.Normally I invite my 10 besties over for a tree decorating party in early December. We eat, drink and are consequently quite merry. Karen hangs the lights because she does it best. The gals hang most of the ornaments, yelling at me to “Come help us!” That’s because I’m usually busy gabbing. Dinner is just a ruse to lure them over. I’m like Tom Sawyer, only instead of painting my fence, they decorate my tree. But this year I gave them a reprieve.
Sharon usually comes early to help make an appetizer. We grew up on opposite ends of the same block and have been besties for 42 years. She’s like a junior Martha Stewart, only nicer. I’m envious of how talented she is at so many things. We lived together for 4 years and were each other’s Maids of Honor. Her son Martin is my godson.
Sisters Pam and Sheila are two of the sweetest people on the planet. Pam is a superb athlete who, at age 60, is an exercise-fiend with the body of a 25-year-old. I hate her. She and Sheila just successfully climbed Mt. Whitney. Sheila is game for anything. They normally hike 15 miles on Mt. Tam each Sunday, which is a warm-up for Pam.
Everyone knows when sisters Patty and Karen arrive, as the octave increases a bit. I love it. They and their 5 siblings have 23 kids between them and 30 grand kids. Can you say Catholic? We’re talking humongous gatherings, so being adept at projecting their voices is a must with this clan. Karen is kind, almost beyond belief, but she’s for real. Patty is, in a word, hysterical. She holds court with descriptive stories of her family and has us constantly in stitches.
Sue is one of my oldest besties, or shall I say one I’ve known the longest? Yeah, that sounds better. We met at 16 in high school, 46 years ago when we were given lockers according to our last names. She was Dalton, I was Donnelly. The rest is history. Sue has the best sense of humor. Her son Eric is my godson.
Kim is the quiet one of the bunch so she rarely gets a word in edgewise, poor thing. But apparently she’s content to listen to our never ending stories. At least I think she is. She interjects when she can, which isn’t often with our bunch. Kim lived with Sharon when I moved out to get married and that’s how and when she became one of us.
Maria happens to be the mother of my goddaughter, Corie, so I’m a bit fond of her. We both unknowingly chose the same wedding dress, as our weddings were a month apart. She was the best third baseman on our softball team and you won’t often find Maria without a smile.
Mandy nor Joan could make it to dinner but here they are…
Nine of the eleven of us played softball together for 10 years. These gals go through life seeing the glass half full, never half empty. And they’re always up for anything. I love that about them. Each one is like family to me, sisters I’ve had for over 40 years. That’s a rare and wonderful thing, don’t you think?
It’s true my home had few decorations this year. But the minute my besties walked through my door, it felt like Christmas.
Through the years…
Originally posted in December, 2017.