Seasonal wonderings

Susan Manzke

With all the holidays on the calendar, I’m confused what day of the week it is, let alone what year it is.

Christmas is over — well, almost. Our Manzke family gathering never took place. Because of a snowstorm, we canceled it. It will happen sometime in January, depending on weather and family calendars.

Packages for grandchildren are still wrapped under our tree. I sure hope we get them to the kids before they outgrow what we purchased. Of course, if they don’t fit, there will be exchanges. That’s like shopping all over again, except I don’t have to do it.

Bob and I actually wrapped packages this Christmas. I prefer gift bags, but I had a lot of paper I purchased years ago in an after-holiday sale. It was time to use some of it.

I hate wrapping. I’m all thumbs when it comes to folding the paper properly around the gift. First, I usually cut the paper too short, which means I have to cut some more to patch it, or cut a whole new piece, which is too big, but I use it anyway. Only one finger with a paper cut this season.

I drafted Bob to help this year. He wasn’t doing anything. It was too cold outside, so Bob was in charge of taping.

Bob helps with Christmas wrapping

The first problem was our old tape dispenser. It’s an office model, but we hadn’t used it in a long time. When we tried to cut the tape, the serrated blade came off.

We tried gluing it, but that didn’t help.

I remembered another dispenser in a drawer upstairs. That blade stayed put, but Bob still had trouble. He pulled tape off and tried cutting it. His effort brought forth a foot of tape, which he then tangled into a useless ball.

Eventually, Bob figured out how to hold onto the roll while he cut. This took experimentation because he wouldn’t listen to me. Yes, I was crabby.

When he finally had tape ready to put on a package, I was fighting with the paper. Bob reached across to put the tape on, but I pulled back. “Not yet,” I grumbled. My problem was with the paper, not Bob — well a little with Bob. He was too fast coming with the tape, and I was too slow folding the paper.

The packages all got wrapped, but I was tied in knots. I ended by having a bit of Peppermint Schnapps afterwards and felt better.

I still have Christmas paper left, but I think maybe next year we’ll revert to bagging again. The kids don’t care how their gifts come. We’ll see.

Bob and I don’t exchange gifts. We needed something in November, bought it, put it to use and called it our Christmas gift.

For close friends, I made loaves of bread. This year I made my own herb concoction, and it came out great. I only hope I can recreate it.

New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean much to us. Bob and I don’t party, though I might have some Schnapps again. We’ll be asleep at midnight, unless we fall asleep in front of the television and then go up to bed at midnight. It’s just another day that has strings attached, like trying to remember to write 2017 instead of 2016.

New Year’s Day we’ll have the Rose Parade on (oops, just checked, the parade is on Jan. 2, 2017). It’s one of my favorite parades. I love watching how creatively they use flowers. After that we’re back to our usual, dull, mid-winter life.

That thought really makes me anticipate our future time with all the grandchildren. Nothing is dull with them.

Happy 2017 everyone!

If you missed getting a Manzke Christmas card, here it is.
Susan has a couple photo cards left, so hurry and send a card with a return stamp, and she'll put one in the mail.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;