where the #*?! is ridgewood, new jersey?

I love December.  The twelfth month ushers in some of my favorite occasions and traditions.  December holds lots of family birthdays – mine, two of my children’s, my step-son’s, my sister’s, and, Jesus’, to boot.  Don’t forget December has two Eves, plus my wedding anniversary. 

These celebrations bring lots of gift giving.   My gift acquisition strategy has typically focused on quantity and range with a hope for egalitarian distribution.  It doesn’t usually work out.   One year the neighbors received beautiful, hand blown ornaments, but I had to borrow one back on Christmas Eve so my mother-in-law would have something to unwrap Christmas morning.  Another year my eldest sat dazed among a mountain of birthday gifts, and only afterward I realized the mountain included her Christmas allotment, too.  Santa brought two bunnies one particularly frenzied December without first warning the husband.

This year one daughter chose to celebrate her birthday by making gingerbread houses with friends.  I outsource my baked goods, so searched up the Raleigh Ridgewood Shopping Center Whole Foods and requested a gingerbread themed cake.  The next day when the new cake decorator Lauren called, I reiterated my confidence in her décor reign since previous decorators had such and the cakes were picture perfect. (Save for the cake whose fairy looked like a lady of ill repute.)  When I went to pick up the cake several days later and two hours pre-party, I learned there was no order, no Lauren, and my conversations were with the Whole Foods in Ridgewood, New Jersey.  My daughter and her friends had their freshly constructed gingerbread houses in lieu of cake.

And guess what . . . . ?  It was fine.  For that matter, each and every one of my December mishaps has been fine.  There was enough love and spirit in the not-quite-right gifts, plans, and orders for the intentions behind them to shine. December stretches me mightily and I love it.  December reminds me there is usually enough and, mostly, everything and everybody is just fine.

Whitney Cain