I hadn’t planned on doing anything for Christmas this year, but somehow I am ending up feasting again and again, and the day isn’t even here yet.

It started last night with Pasta Night in a Box (a complete salmon pasta dinner that I fixed last night and shared with my landlord), continues this afternoon with lunch with a friend (and the beautiful flowers she gave me!), and will and end on Tuesday after Christmas when I have a tea party with my dance teacher to share a gift basket I received from a relative.

Meantime, there is tonight. Since I hadn’t planned on doing anything for Christmas, I obviously had no intention of cooking a Christmas dinner (Christmas Eve dinner, to be exact), but when turkeys went on sale for so cheap that I could buy a whole small turkey for the price of a pound of ground beef, I went ahead and bought it. I am pretending I don’t know about the horrors of turkey farms, and anyway, the poor thing was already sacrificed, so the least I can do is honor its gift. To that end, I stuffed the turkey with celery, oranges, carrots, and apples, and am currently crockpotting the bird, as well as making turkey soup, and cranberry sauce with oranges, apples, and honey.

That’s a lot of cooking for someone who planned to enjoy a lazy couple of days.

Still, it was fun cooking — I haven’t really had a kitchen in a long time, at least not the sort of kitchen I wanted to spend any time in. (The kitchen in my last place was so encrusted with grease, there was no way to ever get it clean, no matter how much I scrubbed, and when I was on the road, the only “kitchen” I had the use of was my Solo camping stove.)

The one thing I had planned to do — go out to dinner with a few friends, I cancelled out on. I just couldn’t face another long wait standing in line. Maybe not the best reason for saying “no,” but I seem to be doing that more frequently lately. (It’s not as bad as it sounds — for most of the past seven years since Jeff died, I’ve tried to say “yes” to almost everything that came my way in an effort to feel as if I were living, so saying no is a nice departure.) Since I now have the day free (I won’t even have to cook since there is plenty of pasta left, and there will most of the turkey and cranberries), I am considering hiking to a friend’s house to deliver a gift. Six miles round trip. I wonder if I’ll make it, though stoked with all this feasting, I should have plenty of energy.

We’ll see. Meantime, I need to go check on my turkey.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.